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Lofgren Applauds Establishment of New Smithsonian Museums

Washington, D.C. –  Two new Smithsonian museums will be established upon the enactment of H.R. 133 to more fully celebrate the breadth and diversity of American heritage and better educate the public about our nation’s rich history and culture.  The Omnibus spending bill includes legislation sought by Chairperson Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) and respectively authored by U.S. Reps. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) and Jose Serrano (D-N.Y.) to establish the National Museum of the American Latino and a women’s history museum within the Smithsonian Institution. 

A priority for Lofgren, the Committee on House Administration held hearings to examine the feasibility of establishing additional Smithsonian museums, and subsequently advanced the bills from committee and managed the House passage of H.R. 2420, legislation to establish the National Museum of the American Latino, and H.R. 1980, legislation to establish a comprehensive women’s history museum.   

Chairperson Lofgren issued the statement below: 

“The Smithsonian Institution’s renowned museums serve as powerful representations of our history, culture, and values – but they have long been incomplete.  The American story is a diverse collection of unique experiences and, for too long, the stories of American Latinos and women have been underrepresented or untold.  I’m pleased to be moving forward with establishing the National Museum of the American Latino and a women’s history museum to recognize the roles of American Latinos and women in our nation, past and present, as well as to inspire future generations to build on the progress they have made.  

“The Committee on House Administration was able to bring to fruition the tireless work of advocates and my colleagues Representatives Maloney and Serrano to ensure the voices, contributions, and traditions of these underrepresented groups will take their rightful place in the Smithsonian’s representation of our history and society.  I am thankful for their hard work and commitment to this bipartisan legislation – and proud of their work to honor the contributions of American women and Latinos throughout our nation’s history.” 

Background:  

In addition to jurisdiction over federal elections and House operations, the Committee on House Administration is responsible for oversight of the Smithsonian Institution. 

Included in the Omnibus legislation are provisions of: 

H.R. 1980, the Smithsonian Women’s History Museum Act, authorizes a Smithsonian national museum for the collection, study and establishment of programs covering the historical contribution of women to various fields.  The House passed this legislation on February 11, 2020.  

H.R. 2420, the National Museum of the American Latino Act, which authorizes the National Museum of the American Latino in the Smithsonian Institution, passed this legislation by unanimous voice vote on July 27, 2020. 

These provisions are included in H.R. 133 to authorize federal spending for the upcoming Fiscal Year 2021. 

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