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Wisconsin Spotlight | April 29, 2020

MADISON — What does the Institute for Museum and Library Services have to do with pandemic relief efforts?

Nothing much, but the institute is pocketing $50 million in federal funding to “expand digital network access, purchase Internet accessible devices, and provide technical support services.” 

The cash is part of billions of dollars in questionable funding funnelled through the $2.2 trillion CARES Act that will send the federal budget deficit soaring past $3.7 trillion, according to projections by the Congressional Budget Office.  

Another $75 million is earmarked for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which has long been a taxpayer-funded organ for the progressive agenda. 

“The money is to keep up facilities of noncommercial TV and radio stations and to help stations, particularly rural ones, keep the lights on and the transmitters going in what is expected to be a lean time for pledges and corporate sponsorships, which constitute about 85% of noncom budgets.”

While the pandemic has restricted travel worldwide, the federal lawmakers thought it a good idea to dish out $350 million for refugee assistance and resettlement. That’s on top of the healthy funding the program already receives. 

One of the more controversial appropriations in the stimulus bill is $25 million in funding for the John F. Kennedy Performing Arts Center. As The Federalist noted, the Washington D.C. theater will use the funding for “deep cleaning” of the facility and for employee compensation and benefits, as well as administrative expenses. The provision drew the outrage of many, including U.S. Rep. Bryan Steil (R-Janesville), who introduced a bill to rescind the funding. 

“The Kennedy Center should not have been allowed to jump in line,” he told the New York Post earlier this month. “They should not have had a sweetheart deal to allow them to get $25 million to jump in line in front of everyone else. That was wrong.” 

In the fight against the pandemic, federal lawmakers decided to drop $75 million more into the National Endowment for the Humanities, and another $75 million for the National Endowment for the Arts. These are the same groups that have funded such “important” “works of art” such as the Piss Christ and transgender theater. 

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