A group of 64 Republican and Democratic members of Congress are calling for President Trump not to cut $3 million from the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum.
“In our view, the mission of the museum has never been more important, particularly as the number of anti-Semitic attacks around the world rises,” the members of Congress wrote in a letter to the Interior Appropriations Subcommittee. “Now is not the time to cut funding for this national treasure.”
Trump’s proposed cuts would decrease the Museum’s budget back down to its 2016 allocation. The effort to gather support for the letter has been led by Reps. John Katko (R-N.Y.), Stephanie Murphy (D-Fla.), Carlos Curbelo (R-Fla.), and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.).
“Attempts to cut funding for the museum are misguided, and this letter demonstrates a strong, bipartisan commitment to protecting the museum and the educational value it provides to all Americans,” said Sinema.
Trump’s budget proposal says the cuts “will assist in meeting the President’s budget objectives, while still providing adequate funds to cover pay increases and rising costs for current services for the Museum’s facilities and collections. The decrease is achieved by reductions in staff and selected non-pay areas.”
The optics of Trump cutting the Holocaust Memorial Museum’s budget are not good, given his administration’s problematic relationship with the Holocaust — and its more benevolent relationship with white supremacists. The White House statement on Holocaust Remembrance Day did not mention the Jews or anti-Semitism. In April, Press Secretary Sean Spicer implied that Assad’s chemical attacks on the Syrian people was worse than Hitler’s concentration camps in a series of bizarre off-the-cuff remarks (that he eventually apologized for). Trump’s oddly excited, all-caps note in Israel’s national Holocaust memorial guestbook “IT IS A GREAT HONOR TO BE HERE WITH ALL OF MY FRIENDS – SO AMAZING & WILL NEVER FORGET!” also drew criticism when compared to past presidents’ more somber reactions.