Lawmakers renew push to create American Latino Smithsonian museum

Lawmakers renew push to create American Latino Smithsonian museum
© Greg Nash

A bipartisan group of lawmakers on Tuesday reintroduced legislation to establish a national Latino museum in Washington, D.C., after a previous effort stalled in a previous legislative session.

Sens. Bob MenendezRobert (Bob) MenendezEnding the Cyprus arms embargo will increase tensions in the Eastern Mediterranean We can accelerate a cure for Alzheimer's The Hill's 12:30 Report: Manafort sentenced to total of 7.5 years in prison MORE (D-N.J.) and John CornynJohn CornynThe Hill's Morning Report - Trump says no legislation until Dems end probes Bipartisan House bill calls for strategy to protect 5G networks from foreign threats Collins offering bill to boost battery research as GOP pushes energy 'innovation' MORE (R-Texas) as well as Reps. José Serrano (D-N.Y.), Barbara LeeBarbara Jean LeeLee, Sanders introduce bill to tax Wall Street transactions Overnight Defense: Trump officials say efforts to deter Iran are working | Trump taps new Air Force secretary | House panel passes defense bill that limits border wall funds House Appropriations passes defense bill that would limit funds for border wall, pull US support from Yemen war MORE (D-Calif.), Joaquin CastroJoaquin CastroHispanics still thriving with the economic growth of Trump era Pelosi employs committee chairs to tamp down calls for Trump impeachment Pelosi faces tipping point on Trump impeachment MORE (D-Texas) and Will HurdWilliam Ballard HurdDemocrats talk subpoena for Mueller Here are the eight Republicans who voted with Democrats on the Equality Act House approves anti-LGBT discrimination Equality Act MORE (R-Texas) reintroduced a bill that would establish a Smithsonian museum on the National Mall dedicated to Latino Americans and their history.

The National Museum of the American Latino Act would renew previous efforts to secure a location close to the Smithsonian's other museums, such as the National Museum of African American History and Culture and the National Museum of the American Indian. Similar bipartisan bills to create such a museum have stalled in Congress.

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“Latinos have been contributing to the fabric of America from it’s earliest days, and yet we still don’t have a place on the National Mall to celebrate these contributions,” Danny Vargas, chairman of the Friends of the National Museum of the American Latino said in a press release.

“It is now necessary and urgent that we establish a national museum to recognize the full picture of American history. Congress has every reason it needs to pass the bill authorizing the Smithsonian National American Latino Museum in this session," he added. 

"At a time when hateful rhetoric so often poisons our airwaves and our newsfeeds, it’s never been more important that we come together to tell the story of the American Latino in a way that it deserves to be told. Aquí estamos y no nos vamos [We’re here and we’re not going anywhere],” Menendez said during a press conference outside the Capitol on Tuesday.

Cornyn said Tuesday in a press release that he was proud to work with Menendez on an effort that he said would extend representation on the National Mall to a third of Texas'x residents, who are Hispanic.

"The history and culture of Latin Americans are woven into the fabric of our country," Cornyn said. "More than a third of all Texans identify themselves as Hispanic, and I am proud to partner with Senator Menendez in the struggle to honor his contributions by establishing a new museum at the Smithsonian Institution."