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Trump Faces Backlash Over $3 Million Cut to Holocaust Museum

A bipartisan group of 64 members of Congress is demanding a reversal on the $3 million in funding cuts to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum proposed in President Trump’s budget.

“In our view, the mission of the museum has never been more important, particularly as the number of anti-Semitic attacks around the world rises,” the letter to the Interior appropriations subcommittee said. “Now is not the time to cut funding for this national treasure.”

The letter, spearheaded by Reps. Stephanie Murphy, (D-Fla.), Carlos Curbelo (R-Fla.), John Katko, (R-N.Y.) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.), highlights the challenges Trump faces in cutting funds to popular programs. Trump’s budget proposal shifts $54 billion in nondefense discretionary funding to defense and proposes deep cuts to social safety net and health programs.

The reduction, which will return the museum’s budget to its 2016 level of $54 million, is roughly a 5 percent decrease.

“It is important to craft a disciplined and fiscally-responsible budget, but cutting millions of dollars in essential funding for this museum is not the appropriate course of action,” said Murphy

According to the budget proposal, the cut “will assist in meeting the President’s budget objectives, while still providing adequate funds to cover pay increases and rising costs for current services for the Museum’s facilities and collections. The decrease is achieved by reductions in staff and selected non-pay areas.”

Johnathan A. Greenblatt, the CEO of anti-Semitism watchdog group the Anti-Defamation League, said cutting the museum’s funding would be a “mistake.”

“The U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum is the most important American institution preserving the memory of the six million Jews who were murdered by the Nazis and educating future generations about the importance of combating hate and bigotry,” he said, echoing the letter’s call for Congress to fully fund the museum.

The cut could play into the hands of the left, who have noted Trump’s inability to sometimes quickly distance himself from white supremacist leaders during the campaign.