Steil Introduces Bill to Rescind $25 Million Funding Increase for a Washington Theater Included in Coronavirus Relief Act

March 31, 2020
Press Release

JANESVILLE, WISCONSIN—Congressman Bryan Steil (WI-01) introduced a bill to rescind the $25 million in funding for the Kennedy Center included in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. Steil’s bill has 13 cosponsors, including Republican Whip Steve Scalise. 

“Families and workers are struggling to pay rent, pay their mortgage, and buy groceries. Americans need relief and assistance now which is why I supported the CARES Act. However, some in Washington felt it was important to spend $25 million of taxpayer dollars on the Kennedy Center when there are obviously bigger needs right now. This is frivolous spending in the midst of a national emergency. Coronavirus requires a serious and targeted response. Some of my colleagues refused to allow a clean bill to move forward. The Kennedy Center spending should have never made it into the final CARES Act. We must correct this mistake,” said Steil.

“While Americans are struggling to pay their bills or buy groceries, Speaker Pelosi continues to direct millions in relief funding to special interests. Speaker Pelosi and her allies demanded the CARES Act include $25 million for the Kennedy Center, yet just hours after President Trump signed the legislation, the Kennedy Center’s leadership shamefully stopped paying their National Symphony Orchestra musicians. This money should be rescinded and given back to the American people. I want to thank Rep. Bryan Steil for his leadership in filing a bill to return the Kennedy Center’s abused earmark, and send a clear message — if an organization is receiving assistance from the federal government, we expect them to take care of their workers. As we take further Congressional action to fight the Coronavirus’ devastating impact on families and our economy, I call on Speaker Pelosi to finally put the American people, not special interests, first,” said Whip Steve Scalise.