Hollywood actor Alec Baldwin took part in Arts Advocacy Day in Washington DC yesterday (14MAR06), delivering a speech lobbying Congress for arts funding. THE COOLER star praised the Republican administration for increasing the amount of money allocated to the National Endowment For The Arts over recent years - in 1996 Congress cut the agency's budget by 39 per cent and voted to eventually stop all funding. Baldwin said, "If you told me back in 1996, we would have a Republican president and Republicans in charge of both houses of Congress, and the NEA would be flourishing and would be safe, it wouldn't be possible. But we do have some work to do."