Covid-19 stimulus bill to spend $1 billion for two Smithsonian museums? Angry Americans call it 'despicable'

"Who's going to the Performing Arts & Museums these days!? Give Americans the moolah for food, clothing, & shelter."


                            Covid-19 stimulus bill to spend $1 billion for two Smithsonian museums? Angry Americans call it 'despicable'
Sen. Cory Gardner and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (Getty Images)

Congressional leaders have hashed out a massive, year-end catchall bill that combines $900 billion in Covid-19 aid with a $1.4 trillion omnibus spending bill and reams of other unfinished legislation on taxes, energy, education and health care. Since the details of the bill came to light, Americans strongly criticized major sections of it. Internet strongly slammed the government for allocating $600 stimulus checks and $300 bonus benefits. Now, the bill is getting backlash for the amount of $1 Billion, which is allocated for the creation of two new Smithsonian Museums.

A whopping amount of $1 Billion will be used to build two new Smithsonian museums. The two museums will be, the Women’s History Museum and the National Museum of the American Latino as new Smithsonian museums located near the National Mall, Washington DC.

Women’s History Museum

A museum dedicated to women's history will be joining the monuments and museums on the National Mall in Washington, DC. In February 2020, as the country celebrated the 100th anniversary of women's suffrage, the House voted 374-37 to establish a national women's history museum under the Smithsonian Institution, before the congressmen took the final decision to include it in the Covid-19 relief bill. "For too long, women's history has been left out of the telling of our nation's history," the lead sponsors of the bill, Representatives Carolyn B Maloney, Brian Fitzpatrick, Brenda Lawrence and Eleanor Holmes Norton, said in a statement. "Today, the House of Representatives took an important first step to change that. Women are part of every American moment, and their contributions should be recognized and celebrated."

Carolyn B. Maloney (Getty Images)

 

Brenda Lawrence (Getty Images)

The bill asserts that "establishing a comprehensive women's history museum representing a diverse range of viewpoints, experience, and backgrounds is necessary to more accurately depict the history of the United States." The purpose of the museum is to showcase collections that highlight women's contributions to various fields throughout the history of the United States that have influenced the direction of the nation. The bill won support from 224 Democrats and 150 Republicans. Every woman in the House voted for it except one — Representative Liz Cheney, a Republican from Wyoming (and the daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney). 

National Museum of the American Latino

National Museum of the American Latino will also join the long list of monuments in Washington DC. The museum will be built in honor of the contributions of Latinos to the United States. The bill to build this museum was introduced by Texas Senator John Cornyn, a Republican, and New Jersey Sen. Robert Menendez, a Democrat.

John Cornyn (Getty Images)

 

Robert Menendez (Getty Images)

“Obviously in Texas, with 40% of our population Hispanic, this is a deserving tribute to these Texans and their forebears,” Cornyn said on Monday, “But I think it will be an important educational opportunity for all Americans to learn more about the contributions of a very diverse ethnic group of Latinos.”

Rep. Joaquin Castro of San Antonio, chairman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, said the museum will bring to life their stories, many of which have been erased due to “systemic discrimination.” “From astronaut José Hernández, athlete Roberto Clemente, and Medal of Honor recipient Macario García to Supreme Court Justice Sonya Sotomayor, civil rights organizer Dolores Huerta, and cultural icon Selena Quintanilla, Latinos are from many nations, compose diverse cultures, and have contributed to what it means to be an American,” Castro said. “Amidst the historic devastation of Latino communities by Covid-19, it is more important than ever to preserve and celebrate Latino stories for future generations," he added.

Slamming the government and the bill, one Internet user said, "During LOCKDOWN, the Covid  Stimulus Bill passed by Congress includes a cool BILLION for the Smithsonian. Smithsonian = $1,000,000,000 Needed for the creation of TWO new Smithsonian Museums: the American Women's History Museum and the National Museum of the American Latino." Another one mocked the government and wrote, "“$1,200 is too much for lazy Americans who just want to mooch off the government, looking for a handout. Let’s give them $600 so we can give this museum the billion it so desperately needs.” -US govt’"



 



 

Soon more and more people started criticizing the bill, as one said, "Americans should not have to pay for the destruction of our history b/c that's exactly what this is, just like tearing down the statues." Questioning it, another one said, "Who's going to the Performing Arts & Museums these days!? Give Americans the moolah for food, clothing, & shelter." Creating an online poll, another one questioned, "Should the Smithsonian be funded for $1 billion dollars? Why should the Smithsonian be funded when people cannot even go and visit the museums because of the #StayHome order? #StimulusBill #StimulusCheck #StimulusChecks #COVID19 #covidreliefbill #GovernShutdown #CongressIsBroken" While another one wrote, "Smithsonian Americam Women’s History Museum, legislation to rein in surprise medical billing, a tax credit for racehorse owners? Despicable!"



 



 

 



 



 

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