Congressman José E. Serrano

Representing the 15th District of New York

Hispanic Caucus Renews Calls for Latino Smithsonian

Jul 30, 2018
In The News

Members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus on Thursday renewed calls for a Latino-specific Smithsonian Museum. The lawmakers pointed to the National Museum of African American History and Culture as an example of the type of plan they needed to follow to make a Latino Smithsonian a reality, and they said they plan to push Congress to pass legislation that would cover half the cost. The members estimated it could take $600-$700 million to build. There is currently bipartisan, bicameral legislation, the National Museum of the American Latino Act, which was introduced in June 2017 by Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) and Congressman José Serrano (D-NY) in the House and by Senators Bob Menéndez (D-NJ) and John Cornyn (R-TX) in the Senate. Congressman Tony Cárdenas (D-CA) said, "If we don't take charge, another decade is going to go by, another decade is going to go by, and the biggest minority population in America is not going to have a powerful presence in Washington, D.C., as we should." Unfortunately, the effort faces an uphill climb; previous bills to establish a Latino Smithsonian have stalled, and the chief spokesperson for the Smithsonian has said there are no plans for a new museum. More here.