Politicians Want to Rescind Kennedy Center's Emergency Funding Due to Furloughs
It was recently announced that the Kennedy Center will furlough hundreds of employees, shortly after receiving $25 million in emergency funding.
Now, according to The Washington Post, some politicians who previously approved the grant, want it to be taken back.
Rep. Bryan Steil (R-Wis.) has introduced a bill to rescind the funding, which he described as "frivolous spending in the midst of a national emergency." In addition, House Republican Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) called the job cuts shameful.
"If an organization is receiving assistance from the federal government, we expect them to take care of their workers," Scalise said in a statement.
Rep. Betty McCollum (D-Minn.), chair of the House subcommittee that funds the arts center, has said that she will review the staff reductions.
"It is extremely disappointing that the Kennedy Center has decided to furlough employees," said McCollum in an email to The Washington Post. "It was our clear understanding that with this financial relief, layoffs and cuts to benefits would be avoided."
But, it's not just politicians who are angry at the decision.
John Nellis, a patron of the Center, had previously agreed to donate the $380 he spent on four tickets and a parking pass for a canceled performance by the New York City Ballet. But after reading about the decision to furlough the artists, Nellis has decided to ask for a refund.
"I found it difficult to take, hard to stomach," Nellis said. "I would like to take that money and donate it to a worthy charity that is trying to feed people and help people out."
The Kennedy Center's board of trustees is now being required to submit a report by Oct. 31 to the House and Senate appropriations committees "that includes a detailed explanation of the distribution of the funds provided."
Read more on The Washington Post.