Obama Budget Calls for $100M Smithsonian Increase

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    WASHINGTON - AUGUST 30: The Smithsonian Museum Castle is shown August 30, 2006 in Washington DC. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

    The Smithsonian Institution would see a $100 million increase in President Barack Obama's budget plan to build a new museum on the National Mall, while making small cuts elsewhere at the museum complex.

    The 2012 fiscal year request Monday totals $861.5 million. The increase would fund construction of a black history museum.

    Congress has pledged to provide half the museum's $500 million cost. It is scheduled for completion in 2015.

    The Smithsonian's budget for salaries and facilities would decline about $5 million.

    To absorb the cut, the National Zoo will close its Kids Farm. The National Museum of the American Indian will replace a paid interpreters program with volunteers. And a repatriation program that returns sacred objects to American Indian tribes would be reduced.