Congressional defunding rollback hits back as lawmakers earmark $3 million for Brooklyn art museum | National

(Central Square) – Congressional securities returns are under scrutiny as they begin to pile up and spark controversy, including $3 million in taxpayer money for an art collection in Brooklyn, New York.

The FY 2022 appropriations bill passed in March included a “historic” $17.7 million in federal funding for “community projects,” marking a resurgence of earmarked congressional funds handed out by lawmakers and raising eyebrows.

U.S. Sens. Mike Brown, R-Ind., Steve Daines, R-Mont., and Rick Scott, R-Fla., have filed a congressional resolution condemning Target brands, saying that “fiscal year 2022 marks the return of “Congressionally Directed Spending” and “Community Project Funding,” also known as “Targets,” after a 12-year hiatus.

The resolution points to the 2022 Omnibus spending bill, which includes a set of earmarks. Scott gave several examples, including $1.6 million for “fair shellfish farming” in Rhode Island, $500,000 to revitalize a ski club in New Hampshire and $500,000 for horse management in Nevada.

The resolution listed other expenditures, including “funding for targeted brands, including $2,500,000 to build a museum addition in Vermont, $605,000 to build a greenhouse in New York, and $3,000,000 to create a gallery in Brooklyn, in addition to targeted projects, including bike paths in Vermont, abandoned lobster pots in Connecticut, and pavement for a country club road in Colorado.”

Democratic officials in New York praised the passage of funds to the Brooklyn Museum at the time.

Reps. Yvette Clark, D-N.Y., Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., and Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., pose with a large check for the museum in May of this year. They also praised the $17.7 million in funding for these kinds of projects as “historic.”

“I fought hard alongside Congresswoman Yvette Clark and Speaker Hakeem Jeffries to secure $3,000,000 for the Brooklyn Museum to create a permanent gallery for its African art,” Schumer said in a statement. “Under my leadership, the Senate passed a funding bill that includes historic levels of investment in community projects like this one here at the Brooklyn Museum. This investment will strengthen one of Brooklyn’s iconic institutions and expand its appeal, relevance and depth of collection to a wider audience…”

The Brooklyn museum thanked members of the Democratic Party on their Tumblr page for the $3 million in funding, saying it would “help bring back our celebrated collection of African art.”

The museum said the funds will help create permanent art galleries for the “Arts of Africa collection,” which it says will be open by 2025. The museum currently has a range of exhibits and galleries, including Climate in Crisis: Changing the environment in the Native Americas and A Woman’s Afterlife: Gender Transformation in Ancient Egypt.

The museum also promoted an upcoming exhibit, “Jimmy DeSana: Submission,” featuring a naked face wearing orange cones on his arms and legs, among other “sexually overt content” that “may not be appropriate for all audiences.”

“In conjunction with special exhibitions focusing on the art of the African diaspora, our new galleries will be the second largest freely accessible collection of African art on permanent display in New York, and the only one located in Brooklyn,” the museum said. “We’d like to extend special thanks to Senator Chuck Schumer, Congresswoman Yvette Clark and Rep. Hakeem Jeffries for their leadership in securing this transformative grant and for making the new galleries possible!”

Scott argued that the earmarks are part of a broken system in Congress and pointed to the rising national debt and the highest inflation in 40 years.

“Here’s what’s going on,” he said. “The federal government takes the tax dollars of hardworking Americans across the country and uses thousands, sometimes millions, of dollars on pet projects that benefit only a small number of people. In this broken system, Washington says: Give us your money, and the politicians who live all over the country will divert it wherever they want. Americans deserve and expect fiscal accountability, not to be used as a political piggy bank.”

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