Brady Calls for Congress to Fulfill Commitment to Fund Smithsonian National Museum of African American H&C
July 26, 2011 (Washington, DC): House Administration Ranking Member Robert A. Brady issued a letter today calling for Congress to fulfill its commitment to provide the funding necessary for the establishment of the National Museum of African American History and Culture, under the Smithsonian Institution. The FY 2012 Appropriations bill, H.R. 2584, provides less than half of the $125 million FY 2012 federal contribution requested by the Smithsonian.
“When Congress enacted the authorizing legislation establishing the National Museum of African American History and Culture within the Smithsonian in 2003, we explicitly authorized a 50-50 public-private funding ratio,” said Brady. “We entered into a public trust with the Smithsonian and the American people to contribute 50 percent in Federal funds, with the remainder coming from private funds raised directly by the Smithsonian.”
“With the ground-breaking on the African American Museum currently scheduled for the summer of 2012, underfunding it now, at this critical juncture, could generate substantial delays and ultimately cost tax-payers significantly more,” added Brady. “It could also impact the Smithsonian’s ability to continue to raise funds at the current pace. The Institution’s continued success in private fundraising for the Museum is contingent upon Congress honoring its own commitments and doing so in a timely manner.”
Brady called on his Congressional colleagues to join him in expressing their opposition to the proposed reduction in funding.
“We all understand the difficult financial position our country is in, but these cuts will create more problems which must ultimately still be addressed,” said Brady. “We have a commitment to the American people which needs to be honored.”
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