While the country waits to see how the (likely) sequestration will affect travel, visitors to the nation's capital can breathe a little bit easier, knowing that some of the city's top attractions will remain open: In spite of $40 million in funding cuts, the Smithsonian Institution will keep its normal business hours, according to the Associated Press.
Smithsonian spokeswoman Linda St. Thomas said the attractions serve 30 million people a year, and will maintain normal visiting hours if automatic federal spending cuts take effect Friday. However, the cuts will affect the Institution in other ways: Maintenance and new construction will be delayed. Use of outside contractors will be reduced, as well as training, research and travel. (The halt on new construction won’t affect the new National Museum of African American History and Culture, which already is being built on the National Mall.)
The Smithsonian operates 19 museums in the District of Columbia, Virginia and New York City, as well as research centers in Maryland, Massachusetts and elsewhere.