Finance Minister Steven Mnuchin deplored the Money for Art in the Coronavirus Stimulus Package

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Finance Minister Steven Mnuchin deplored the Money for Art in the Coronavirus Stimulus Package

Finance Minister Steven Mnuchin, who made a lot of money in the entertainment industry before joining the administration of President Donald Trump, deplored that the economic stimulus package, in response to the nation’s corona virus crisis, contained money for art.

The approved Senate package, which is expected to be signed by Trump after the Parliament passes, includes $ 75 million for the National Endowment for the Arts and $ 75 million for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), which supports PBS television stations and National Public Radio Stations. Also, $ 25 million in stimulus money will be given to the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C.

“I like the Kennedy Center. I don’t know why we need to put it in the coronavirus bill. And public broadcasts. This is not a coronavirus,” Mnuchin said Wednesday night at Hannity, Fox News event hosted by Sean Hannity.

When Hannity accused the Democrats of filling the bill with pork, Mnuchin replied that it was a business negotiation and the two sides needed to compromise.

“They are willing to let the Americans suffer and wait so they can get all this nonsense for the National Endowment for the Arts and Kennedy Center, all the other rubbish,” Hannity said.

“I agree with you,” said Mnuchin. “I’d rather send the money to the hospital than send the money to the Kennedy Center. Nobody is against the Kennedy Center, but it’s about the coronavirus.”

President Donald Trump and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, joining members of the Coronavirus Task Force, raised questions about the pandemic in a press conference room at the White House on March 17 in Washington, D.C.
Drew Angerer / Getty

Mnuchin added, “We take everything related to wind and environmental issues and cut a lot of things from this agreement.”

Mnuchin’s statement made him at odds with Trump, who revealed in a press conference Wednesday that Democrats want $ 35 million for the Kennedy Center but the Republicans receive $ 25 million.

“The Kennedy Center, they did a beautiful job,” Trump said. “I have no problem with that, but this is a request from Democrats due to the fact that they have facilities that are basically closed.”

The CPB and the Kennedy Center did not respond to requests for comment, but the latter announced on March 17 that it would be closed until at least May 10. CPB and NEA, meanwhile, have always been antidotes when it comes to public funding, with many Republicans arguing that they should get less money, or none at all, from taxpayers.

Also, small businesses of all types will have access to more than $ 450 billion in loan guarantees after Trump signs the law. The National Theater Owners Association, which lobbies on behalf of the film exhibition industry, has praised the law and estimates it can help theater operators survive now because most US auditoriums are closed indefinitely.

Mnuchin has deep ties with the film industry, after becoming an investor in RatPac-Dune Entertainment, which co-produced American Sniper and Mad Max: Fury Road. He also has a lot of film credits, such as executive producers for titles like Sully starring Tom Hanks and The Accountant starring Ben Affleck.

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