The Smithsonian Museums Have Fallen Victim to the Government Shutdown, Closing Until Further Notice


Since the partial government shut down in the US took affect on December 22, the Smithsonian Institution has limped along, staying open by using leftover funds from prior years—until today. As the lapse in funding continues, all 19 Smithsonian museums in New York and Washington, DC, have been forced to close their doors. The National Gallery of Art will follow suit tomorrow. In a statement issued December 27, the Smithsonian warned that “prior-year funds” would only keep the lights on until the new year, and that closures would begin January 2. The government has been paralyzed for nearly two continuous weeks since political leaders have failed to come to an agreement over President Donald Trump’s demands for $5 billion in funding for his much-vaunted border wall with Mexico. “For us, it’s really disappointing for our public because we know so many people come to Washington with plans to visit the Smithsonian museums, which are free, and they really plan on that being a part of their visit to the city,” Smithsonian spokesperson Linda St. Thomas told. “It would be the height of irresponsibility for Senate Republicans to now reject the same legislation they have already supported,” House Speaker-designate Nancy Pelosi said in a statement. She warn  Republicans against being “complicit with President Trump in continuing the Trump shutdown and in holding the health and safety of the American people and workers’ paychecks hostage over the wall.”

WASHINGTON, DC – FEBRUARY 21: (AFP OUT) President Donald Trump is joined by David Skorton, Secretary of the Smithsonian, as he tours the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History & Culture on February 21, 2017 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Kevin Dietsch – Pool/Getty Images)


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