Bill would ban funding for 'Popular Romance Project'

Rep. Matt Salmon (R-Ariz.) has introduced a bill that would prohibit federal funding for a project sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities to study romance in popular culture.

The National Endowment for the Humanities has awarded more than $914,000 toward the Popular Romance Project since 2010. The project "explores the fascinating, often contradictory origins and influences of popular romance as told in novels, films, comics, advice books, songs, and internet fan fiction, taking a global perspective—while looking back across time as far as the ancient Greeks," according to its website.

The funding is being used for a feature-length documentary, website and academic symposium on the role of romance novels in popular culture.

Salmon said that taxpayer funding should be not be used toward such a project.

"When I first read about the Popular Romance Project, even I was surprised that the National Endowment for the Humanities would waste money on a project like this," Salmon said. "My question is simple: Why would we continue wasting our money on a pet project that gives nothing worthwhile to the taxpayer?"

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