88 Members of the U.S. House of Representatives Support $6 Billion for Museums

On April 16, 88 members of the U.S. House of Representatives sent a letter to House leadership, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), that requests a dedicated fund of up to $6 billion for museums to be distributed through the Institute of Museum and Library Services. Representatives Debbie Dingell (D-MI) and Fred Upton (R-MI) were the original authors and cosponsors of the letter. Download the letter and see the full list of signatories below.

The letter also requests expanding eligibility for the loan programs administered by the Small Business Administration (SBA), including making eligible nonprofits with more than 500 employees, and removing the cap on universal charitable deductions and limits on charitable gifts of cash. The letter closely reflects a set of joint asks sent by a coalition of nine museum associations—including ASTC—to House leadership on April 6.

Thank you to the many members of the science center community for reaching out to their Representatives and encouraging them to sign-on to this letter. We expect a similar letter will soon be circulating in the Senate, so stay tuned for the opportunity to advocate with your Senators.

ASTC’s Next Steps

ASTC and eight of its sister associations are working to send thank you letters to the Members who signed on to the letter, and to share the final sign-on letter with Representatives who serve on key committees in order to elevate our communities’ needs as the House debates the next COVID-19 relief bill.

What You Can Do

If your Representative signed on to the letter, reach out to thank them for their support. If you haven’t already, you can remind them of a few other needs of the nonprofit museum and informal STEM education community: 

  1. Ask your Representative to cosponsor the Save the Organizations that Serve (SOS) America Act (H.R. 6408), bipartisan legislation proposed by Representatives Seth Moulton (D-MA) and Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), which includes several similar objectives to the Dingell-Upton sign-on letter and benefits charitable nonprofits. Read the press release.
  2. Remind your Representatives that university-affiliated science and technology centers and museums, as well as those that are part of state, county, or municipal governments, have not been eligible for the small business loans authorized by the CARES Act. Among ASTC members, there are nearly 50 university-affiliated museums and more than 30 government-affiliated museums, which are, like other museums, also in need of relief.
  3. Make the case that science and technology centers and museums are community anchors that play a unique role in engaging the public with science and providing rich STEM learning opportunities. You can refer to this letter ASTC sent to the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee on April 13.

Stay tuned for the next call-to-action for the Senate! Additional talking points and tips for communicating with elected officials are available at www.astc.org/coronavirus/advocacy.

List of Signatories

  • Julia Brownley (D-CA)
  • Salud Carbajal (D-CA)
  • Tony Cárdenas (D-CA)
  • Judy Chu (D-CA)
  • Susan A. Davis (D-CA)
  • Alan Lowenthal (D-CA)
  • Doris Matsui (D-CA)
  • Jimmy Panetta (D-CA)
  • Scott H. Peters (D-CA)
  • Adam B. Schiff (D-CA)
  • Juan Vargas (D-CA)
  • Joe Neguse (D-CO)
  • Joe Courtney (D-CT)
  • Jim Himes (D-CT)
  • John B. Larson (D-CT)
  • Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC)
  • Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-DE)
  • Kathy Castor (D-FL)
  • Frederica Wilson (D-FL)
  • Henry C. “Hank” Johnson, Jr (D-GA)
  • Ed Case (D-HI)
  • Danny K. Davis (D-IL)
  • Bill Foster (D-IL)
  • Jesús G. “Chuy” García (D-IL)
  • Daniel W. Lipinski (D-IL)
  • Mike Quigley (D-IL)
  • Bobby L. Rush (D-IL)
  • Jan Schakowsky (D-IL)
  • André Carson (D-IN)
  • John Yarmuth (D-KY)
  • Cedric L. Richmond (D-LA)
  • Katherine M. Clark (D-MA)
  • Bill Keating (D-MA)
  • Joseph P. Kennedy, III (D-MA)
  • Stephen Lynch (D-MA)
  • James P. McGovern (D-MA)
  • Seth Moulton (D-MA)
  • Ayanna Pressley (D-MA)
  • Lori Trahan (D-MA)
  • Anthony G. Brown (D-MD)
  • C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger (D-MD)
  • John P. Sarbanes (D-MD)
  • David Trone (D-MD)
  • Chellie Pingree (D-ME)
  • Debbie Dingell (D-MI) – original author
  • Brenda L. Lawrence (D-MI)
  • Andy Levin (D-MI)
  • Elissa Slotkin (D-MI)
  • Haley Stevens (D-MI)
  • Fred Upton (R-MI) – original author
  • Wm. Lacy Clay (D-MO)
  • David Price (D-NC)
  • Ann McLane Kuster (D-NH)
  • Donald M. Payne, Jr. (D-NJ)
  • Albio Sires (D-NJ)
  • Dina Titus (D-NV)
  • Anthony Brindisi (D-NY)
  • Yvette D. Clarke (D-NY)
  • Antonio Delgado (D-NY)
  • Eliot L. Engel (D-NY)
  • Adriano Espaillat (D-NY)
  • Brian Higgins (D-NY)
  • Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY)
  • Grace Meng (D-NY)
  • Paul D. Tonko (D-NY)
  • Joyce Beatty (D-OH)
  • Marcy Kaptur (D-OH)
  • Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR)
  • Brendan F. Boyle (D-PA)
  • Matt Cartwright (D-PA)
  • Mike Doyle (D-PA)
  • Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA)
  • Mary Gay Scanlon (D-PA)
  • David N. Cicilline (D-RI)
  • Joe Cunningham (D-SC)
  • Vicente Gonzalez (D-TX)
  • Will Hurd (R-TX)
  • Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX)
  • Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX)
  • Marc Veasey (D-TX)
  • Filemon Vela (D-TX)
  • Gerald E. Connolly (D-VA)
  • Jennifer Wexton (D-VA)
  • Suzan DelBene (D-WA)
  • Pramila Jayapal (D-WA)
  • Derek Kilmer (D-WA)
  • Adam Smith (D-WA)
  • Gwen S. Moore (D-WI)
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