Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

National and World

February 27, 2013

Smithsonian vows regular hours, despite $40M cut

WASHINGTON (AP) — The world's largest museum complex is bracing for a $40 million cut in funding due to the budget stalemate in Congress, but the Smithsonian Institution vows to keep the doors open at its museums and National Zoo.

Smithsonian spokeswoman Linda St. Thomas says the attractions will maintain normal visitation hours.

Instead, the Smithsonian is preparing to absorb the funding cut in other ways. Maintenance and new construction will be delayed. Hiring will be frozen. Use of outside contractors will be reduced, as well as training, research and travel.

Smithsonian Secretary Wayne Clough (cluff) wants to avoid a furlough of the institution's 6,000 employees.

The $40 million cut represents about 5 percent of the Smithsonian's budget spread out from March 1 to the end of its fiscal year on Sept. 30.

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