Joint hearing with actors Alec Baldwin and Kevin Spacey called off

Hollywood credentials might give you easy access to nightclubs, but not the halls of the Capitol.

“American Beauty” actor Kevin Spacey and “30 Rock” star Alec Baldwin’s scheduled Tuesday hearing was canceled due to budget debates. The celebrities were to testify before members of Congress about the importance of arts funding, reported Politico. The hearing was scrapped, but Sen. Dick Durbin and Rep. John Larson will join Baldwin on Wednesday at a press conference about campaign finance reform.

Spacey trekked to the Capitol Rotunda on Tuesday to talk about arts funding and said in an interview with CNN that budget cuts shouldn’t apply to the arts.

“For that billion dollars that is put into the funding of arts and culture around this country, $29 billion comes back into the Treasury … There is no other issue, no other area of the budget, that has that kind of return on its investment,” Spacey said. “Countries may go to war, but it’s culture that unites us and teaches and makes us better as citizens.”

Baldwin who said earlier this year that he was “very, very interested” in running for political office, is not quiet about his liberal political views. In February 2006, Baldwin declared former vice president Dick Cheney a terrorist.

“Cheney is a terrorist. He terrorizes our enemies abroad and innocent citizens here at home indiscriminately,” Baldwin wrote in a Huffington Post blog entry.

A few days later, Baldwin blogged that he’d mischaracterized Cheney, stating, “I want to apologize to all of the readers of this blog for referring to Vice President Cheney as a terrorist … How about something more measured, then? How about … a lying, thieving Oil Whore. Or, a murderer of the U.S. Constitution?”