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Pocan pushes LGBTQ+ museum

By M.D. Kittle

Wisconsin Spotlight | Oct. 3, 2022

MADISON — Just in time for LGBTQ+ History Month (because Pride Month isn’t enough), U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan (D-Madison) has introduced two bills “to begin the process of creating a National Museum of American LGBTQ+ History and Culture.”

Expect taxpayers to pick up the tab for at least a portion of this latest woke tribute.

Pocan sounded as politically strident as ever in pushing the bills.

“It is vital to remember our collective past – particularly when certain states seek to constrain and repeal existing rights by passing bills that harm LGBTQ+ youth and our community at large. Let’s tell these stories, and honor the many contributions the LGBTQ+ community has made to this nation with a museum in Washington, D.C,” said Pocan, an openly gay member of congress and co-chair of the Congressional LGBTQ+ Equity Caucus, in a press release.

Lawmakers in many states have been resisting a radical LGBTQ+ agenda that has attempted to force woke policies on governments, in schools, and throughout society — at taxpayer expense.

Pocan’s legislation is no exception to that far left campaign.

The first bill would create an eight-member commission – consisting of individuals “with various expertise in museum planning or LGBTQ+ research and culture” – to look into the viability of establishing such a facility in the nation’s Capital. The commission would be required to:

› Report recommendations for a plan of action for the establishment and maintenance of a National Museum of American LGBTQ+ History and Culture

› Develop a fundraising plan to support the establishment, operation, and maintenance of the museum through public contributions

› Obtain an independent review of this fundraising plan, including an analysis of the resources necessary to fund the construction of the museum and its operations and maintenance without reliance on federal funds

› Report on the availability and cost of acquiring collections for the museum, identify potential locations for the facility in Washington, D.C., and determine its regional impact on other museums;

› Submit to Congress a legislative plan of action to establish and construct the museum.

The bill would also direct the commission’s recommendations to address whether the museum should be part of the Smithsonian Institution, the world’s largest museum and research complex. The commission would have 18 months to complete the full study. After the commission completes its work and issues its recommendations, Congress can consider the second bill to formally create the museum.

Pocan’s bill talks about coming up with a plan to build and operate the new museum without “reliance on federal funds” but that’s not how it works. If it is attached to the Smithsonian, it would be part of a museum network that is subsidized by U.S. taxpayers.

According to the Smithsonian Institution:

The final appropriation for the Smithsonian for fiscal year 2022, which began Oct. 1, 2021, is $1.062 billion, a slight increase over last fiscal year’s appropriation of $1.032 billion. Several continuing resolutions from Congress covered the period from Oct. 1, 2021, through this month. The Smithsonian’s Salaries and Expenses (S&E) account—its operating budget—is $852.2 million, and the Facilities Capital account—for major renovations and new construction—is $210 million.

The spending bill included funding for new museums: $8.3 million for the National Museum of the American Latino and $7.5 million for the Smithsonian American Women’s History Museum, both authorized by Congress in December 2020.

For Fiscal Year 2023, the Smithsonian requested $1,174,500,000 in federal funding.

If the LGBTQ+ History and Culture bills become law, you can bet taxpayers will chip in for that museum, too.

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