Hispanic Caucus Renews Calls for Latino Smithsonian
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.