The second COVID-19 stimulus is coming under a lot of criticism for a multitude of reasons, the first being that Congress approved $900 billion of spending taxpayers dollar to help re-stimulate the economy, which is a massive number. People became even more irate when they discovered that after over nine months since the first stimulus check was issued to the U.S. public, they'd only be receiving $600. Which led folks to a lot of questions, like why does The Smithsonian need a billion dollars?
Seriously, why does The Smithsonian need a billion dollars?
It's a head-scratching proposition from Congress that has many Americans questioning the validity, legality, and intentions behind the second round of stimulus checks courtesy of the United States government. The economic destruction that was caused to families across America in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic is one that many major industries and businesses didn't feel, thanks to government bailouts.
United Airlines is one such example: After benefiting from some $15 billion in stimulus funds courtesy of the government, the airline laid off thousands of employees, the same day that the bailout was approved. Then there were businesses that became even richer during the pandemic. Amazon, Walmart, Target, and other essential companies all made a huge killing. Streaming services and loads of other companies that are about that stay-at-home life did well, too.
But a huge number of jobs, mostly those provided by brick-and-mortar small businesses, restaurants, and live entertainment venues, all suffered immensely. Those businesses and employees were hit especially hard by COVID-19 and have found themselves dependent on the comparably meager government assistance from these stimulus packages.
So, when folks learned that they were only getting $600 a piece in the new $900 billion bailout, they were very interested in knowing why, especially when that only accounts for about $198 billion of the taxpayer dollars that are being used to stimulate the economy. Specific public programs and structures, like The Smithsonian receiving $1 billion of the money, raised more than a few eyebrows.
So exciting! 26 yrs after recommendation was made to the Smithsonian, the bill passed! It’s been a gargantuan and long effort by many.— Ana Navarro-Cárdenas (@ananavarro) December 22, 2020
People like @AGBecerra & @RosLehtinen helped along the way. A special thank u to @SenatorMenendez & @JohnCornyn for getting it past finish line. pic.twitter.com/CxxfnT3Zmd
The new grant will create new museums, namely the American Women's History Museum and the National Museum of the American Latino. The Kennedy Center will also receive $40 million of this $1 billion grant to help facilitate upgrades along with bolstering operations and maintenance across the center. In the fall of 2019, several Latino activists and noteworthy public figures made cases for the creation of such a museum.
An emphasis was made on bringing to light forgotten and little known stories of the American Latino, like the fact that over a million soldiers of Latino descent fought in the Vietnam War.