A Radical Minority of Republicans Want To Defund Libraries… Again
Cutting libraries isn’t a mainstream political idea on either side of the aisle.
In a draft budget proposal put out by the Republican Study Committee, extreme House Republicans are once again proposing to completely eliminate federal funding for libraries.
They are nothing if not persistent. And that might be the most dangerous thing.
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This is not a new proposal for the RSC. The Federal Institute of Museum and Library Services has been the target of their defunding campaigns for more than a decade. They had their biggest opportunity for success during the Trump administration when the President’s proposed budget proposed to gut the support for libraries and museums.
During his four years, Trump and these particularly partisan Republicans attempted to zero out the IMLS budget in each budget.
And EveryLibrary has been fighting against these cuts since their first efforts to eliminate federal funding for libraries in 2017.
Given how relentless the effort has been to defund our libraries, you have to wonder just what is so egregious about them. Why do fringe Republicans want libraries done away with entirely?
Some recent activities the IMLS have funded include aiding veterans in their transition back into civilian life. They have also set up programs that teach children in rural areas how to code on computers. It funds Interlibrary loans allowing you to access any book from almost any library in the country. And it helps pay for the expansion of buildings, collections, and services.
That’s right. The people who claim to love the troops and want our veterans to be taken care of are actively trying to defund the organization, helping them return to civilian life — libraries.
The partisan politicians who claim to want people to: pull themselves up by their bootstraps” is trying to defund the organization that would teach the next generation of students to do exactly that.
The group that wants to “return infrastructure spending to America” for the benefit of American citizens wants to eliminate that very same kind of funding.
Also, for the record, the IMLS budget is $250 million of the United State’s $1.7 trillion dollar budget. Cutting it out would save .014 cents on every dollar.
Not fourteen cents for every dollar. Point zero one four cents.
The government would have to spend $100 just to save a penny and a half.
There is a history here. Groups like the Heritage Foundation are very influential over the Republican Study Committee. They have had their sights set on this agency for years now. It was not enough to attempt it four times under Trump, they are going to keep after it until they succeed.
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Cutting libraries isn’t a mainstream political idea on either side of the aisle. The IMLS provides grants and funding for libraries around the country — in red and blue states. YOUR library might be benefiting from its funding. A veteran you know might have been helped by this organization. A student in your community might be preparing for their future because of it. Not to mention all the cultural preservation efforts they have advanced!
Libraries are not a threat; they are a vital part of every community and only improve the cities and towns where they are present.
We cannot let this Republican Study Committee budget pass. Speak up to your Representative now and let them know this is not acceptable.