US Senate Excludes Arts from Stimulus Package

The Los Angeles Times reports that, on Friday, a wide majority of the US Senate passed an amendment “to ensure that taxpayer money is not lost on wasteful and nonstimulative projects” such as museums, theaters, and art centers. Americans for the Arts, which has been fighting for a crumb or two of the federal economic-stimulus package to land on the table of nonprofit arts organizations, reported that its side took a drubbing to the tune of seventy-three votes to twenty-four. The arts advocacy and lobbying organization labeled the amendment to the Senate’s $827 billion stimulus proposal “egregious” in its exclusion of “any . . . museum, theater, [or] art center” from sharing in the bailout. Americans for the Arts notes that among those voting for Oklahoma Republican Tom Coburn’s amendment to freeze out the arts “surprisingly” were Diane Feinstein of California, Charles Schumer of New York, Robert Casey of Pennsylvania, and Russ Feingold of Wisconsin.

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