The Kennedy Center was slated to receive $25 million in relief funds, and shortly after the CARES Act was signed, they fired their musicians. All 96 members of the National Symphony Orchestra. The musicians were told that this week, on April 3rd, is their last check. This was sent to them via email.
Many critics are asking what was the point in getting slotted for $25 million in relief if the Kennedy Center was just going to fire people anyway? Why give the Kennedy Center a $25 million taxpayer bailout just to watch people lose their job?
As the drama with Kennedy Center unfolds, there’s at least one Representative who was willing to put their foot down and fight to get the $25 million rescinded from the Kennedy Center.
He is Rep. Bryan Steil, a Republican from Wisconsin, and he has at least 15 cosponsors, such as Steve Scalise, who support the bill to take the $25 million away from the Kennedy Center. Keep in mind, the center hasn’t received a check yet, that we are aware of, so this bill could technically prevent them from receiving the money at all.
Here’s where it gets interesting. Steil believes that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is responsible for the Kennedy Center being a recipient of the $25 million, according to the report on the Daily Caller, who spoke with Steil in a short interview.
Steil was quoted saying, “so we were negotiating this bill. Nancy Pelosi holds up getting relief to Americans to try to get this and other things in the bill. And so the day that the House passed this bill, I drove from Janesville, Wisconsin, to Washington, D.C. to be there…. I spoke on the bill, spoke about how I thought the funding for the Kennedy Center was inappropriate. And then before I left Washington, D.C. to drive back home, the day we passed the bill, I dropped this bill into the hopper and introduced it to start day one. The moment after we passed a bill to begin the work of improving it and getting out of the bill, inappropriate funding. A handful of days later, after this passes and you find out that the Kennedy Center is laying people off. That’s almost the icing on the cake.”
Henry Rodgers of the Daily Caller provided a link to Steil’s bill here.
The Kennedy Center has been very heavily criticized after firing their musicians just hours after the CARES Act was signed by President Donald Trump.