Dec 21, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Government funding bill includes creation of Latino and women's history museums

Sen. Bob Menedez

Sen. Bob Menendez. Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

A massive year-end deal to fund the government and provide coronavirus relief, which is expected to pass Congress later Monday, will establish a National Museum of the American Latino and American Women's History Museum as part of the Smithsonian Institution.

Why it matters: Earlier this month, Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) blocked separate legislation that would have created the two museums despite broad bipartisan support.

  • The Smithsonian Institution operates more than a dozen museums and galleries, but none are dedicated to the contributions and history of Latino Americans and women.

What they're saying: “Building a Smithsonian Women’s History Museum, a testament to the women who helped build and shape this nation, has been years in the making and I am thrilled that we are finally set to pass this historic legislation,” Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.), who sponsored the House version of the women's history museum bill, said in a statement Monday.

“For too long, women’s stories have been left out of the telling of our nation’s history, but with this vote, we begin to rectify that. Americans of all ages deserve to see and be inspired by the remarkable women who helped shape this nation – seeing role models doing the thing to which we aspire, can change the course of someone’s life."
— Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.)
  • Sen. Bob Menendez, who sharply criticized Lee for blocking the previous bill, called the inclusion of a Latino history museum in the legislation a "big win."
  • "We will finally have a Latino Museum that elevates our stories & history," Menendez tweeted Monday.
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