Congress Earmarks Money For Calif. Mission Repair

California lawmakers in Congress forced into an expansive spending bill thousands of dollars for repair of one of the state’s Roman Catholic missions.

Senators Diane Feinstein (D) and Barbara Boxer (D) announced in late July that they had secured a $300,000 grant for the repair of the San Miguel Mission, one of the state’s 21 Catholic missions.

Feinstein is a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee and a proponent of the California Missions Preservation Act, which last year authorized $10 million for upkeep and repair of the missions, 19 of which are still owned by the Catholic Church.

The Sacramento Bee reported that the grant is the first to be issued since the law’s enactment. Feinstein, during a House-Senate conference committee on the Interior Appropriations spending bill, “insisted on money being” granted to the mission, the newspaper reported.

Americans United for Separation of Church and State is challenging the law in federal court as a violation of the First Amendment.