Advocacy Alert: Feb 6, 2009

Amendment Excluding Museums Passes Senate, 73-24 
Tell Congress About Your Museum's Economic Impact!

During Senate consideration of the economic recovery legislation today, an amendment was passed prohibiting funds from going to museums, zoos and aquariums. The amendment, offered by Sen. Tom Coburn (S. Amdt. No. 309), states, "None of the amounts appropriated or otherwise made available by this Act may be used for any casino or other gambling establishment, aquariums, zoo, golf course, swimming pool, stadium, community park, museum, theater, art center and highway beautification project."

The amendment was adopted on a 73-24 vote. See how your Senators voted.

Differences between the House and Senate versions of the economic stimulus legislation will have to be resolved in a House-Senate conference committee before the bill is submitted to the President.

"Congress needs to be reminded that museums are a vital part of our economy," said AAM President Ford W. Bell. "It's time for us to make our case and I am calling on all museums to send their members of Congress an Economic Impact Statement showing the ways in which their museum contributes to the economy."

You can do this today by answering a few questions about your museum, the information you provide will be automatically entered into letters that you can send to your members of Congress.

Most members of Congress do not realize that museums employ more than a quarter-million Americans, spend an estimated $14.5 billion annually, and rank among the top three family vacation destinations. Let them know about the local impact your museum has by contacting your U.S. Senators and Representative today!