People want to know how Dems will justify $35M for Kennedy Center for Performing Arts in coronavirus stimulus bill

Of the many completely unrelated provisions in Nancy Pelosi’s “socialist wish list” bill that the House Speaker is demanding as ransom for the passage of emergency coronavirus funding, one line item getting a great deal of attention is the appropriation of $35 million for the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., as well as an additional $600 million for the arts and humanities.

It’s an obvious example of the intent by Democrat leaders to bundle superfluous, inappropriate causes with the critical rescue-funding intended to help carry the nation through an unprecedented time of public health and economic crises.

There is no explanation or defense for how funding the Kennedy Center contributes to the urgent effort to save the economy. As for the effort to contain the virus, well, the phrasing of the provision does claim to be for “operations and maintenance requirements related to the consequences of coronavirus.”

The bill reads: “For an additional amount for ‘Operations and Maintenance,’ $35,000,000, to remain available until September 30, 2021, for operations and maintenance requirements related to the consequences of coronavirus: Provided, That notwithstanding the provisions of 20 U.S.C. 76th et seq., funds provided in this Act shall be made available to cover operating expenses required to ensure the continuity of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and its affiliates, including for employee compensation and benefits, grants, contracts, payments for rent or utilities, fees for artists or performers,  information technology and other administrative expenses.”

The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts is of course a popular tourist destination and facility for theatrical arts presentations and events, funded through a private-public partnership.

The absurdity goes on and on through the 1400-page Pelosi hostage note. The very next page of the bill following the Kennedy Center appropriation calls for $300 million for the National Endowment of the Arts and another $300 million for the National Endowment of the Humanities.

Further random and irrelevant funding provisions in Pelosi’s bill supposedly aimed at saving the economy include $100 million for NASA and $278 million for the IRS.

The moves by Pelosi to refuse to support the Senate’s previous essential, bipartisan bill; to delay congressional action while Americans lose their jobs; and to quickly emerge with a massive 1400-page legislation package encompassing a broad range of funding provisions for progressive causes clearly demonstrate the left’s evil intent and self-serving ambition that have no rational place in dealing with the current existential crises the nation is grappling with.



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Victor Rantala


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