Rep. Steve Scalise said he would support a bill demanding the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., to give back the $25 million it is set to receive as part of the coronavirus relief funding passed by Congress last week.
“It shows the misplaced priorities of Speaker Pelosi,” Scalise said Monday on Fox News. “While everybody else was working together … Nancy Pelosi literally held up the bill for days to get her pet projects including the money for the Kennedy Center.”
In the middle of a national emergency, Nancy Pelosi fought to give the Kennedy Center $25 MILLION…and then they stopped paying their musicians anyway.
RT if you agree → Congress should take that money back and give it to hospitals and hardworking families in need. pic.twitter.com/RtY354yUoc
— Steve Scalise (@SteveScalise) March 31, 2020
Hours after President Trump signed the bill, 96 members of the National Symphony Orchestra were told they were furloughed until the center reopens.
The NSO has canceled performances until mid-May, citing public health concerns related to the coronavirus.
The president of the Local 161-710 of the American Federation of Musicians said the moves taken by the center are “illegal.”
“This decision, from an organization with an endowment of nearly $100 million, is not only outrageous — coming after the musicians had expressed their willingness to discuss ways to accommodate the Kennedy Center during this challenging time — it is also blatantly illegal under the parties’ collective bargaining agreement. That agreement specifically requires that the center provide six weeks’ notice before it can stop paying musicians for economic reasons,” Ed Malaga said in a statement.
Rep. Bryan Steil, a Republican, says he plans to introduce a bill that would take back the $25 million appropriated to the center.
“This money should be spent fighting the virus or in taxpayers’ pockets!” Steil said.
Thanks @SteveScalise for supporting my bill that takes back the $25 million from DC’s Kennedy Center. This money should be spent fighting the virus or in taxpayers’ pockets! WATCH on @seanhannity here: pic.twitter.com/HgmYGEdvE5
— Bryan Steil (@RepBryanSteil) March 31, 2020
Trump previously said of the millions going to the center, “That was a Democrat request. That was not my request. But you got to give them something.”
Author: Dominick Mastrangelo
Source: Washington Examiner: Scalise backs bill revoking $25M from Kennedy Center following layoffs