‘It’s Another Government Boondoggle’: This Republican Lawmaker Just Introduced a Bill to Cut All Fun

US Representative Tim Burchett. Photo by Michael Brochstein

US Representative Tim Burchett. Photo by Michael Brochstein/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images.

Freshman congressman Tim Burchett, a Republican from Tennessee, has introduced a new bill to stop the government from spending any money on art for overseas US embassies.

The legislation, introduced April 1, was inspired by news that the State Department’s Art in Embassies program paid $84,375 for an iron sculpture by musician and artist Bob Dylan.

The controversy? The transaction was completed during this year’s government shutdown, which was the longestin US history.

That the country was buying pricey artwork for the Mozambique embassy when 800,000 federal workers were being forced to forego pay didn’t sit well with some critics. (The funding for the work’s purchase was taken from the previous year’s appropriations and was thus unaffected by the shutdown.)

“I think it’s another government boondoggle and people at the State [Department] are out of touch with reality. Money could be spent on something better, I’d think,” Burchett told Knox News.

Burchett’s bill, titled the “No Art in Embassies Act, would prohibit the use of any funds “for the purchase, installation, insurance, or transport of any art for the purposes of installation or display in any embassy, consulate, or other foreign mission of the United States.”




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