Sens Ask Smithsonian to Build National Latino, Women’s History Museums on National Mall

Sens Ask Smithsonian to Build National Latino, Women's History Museums on National Mall Sens Ask Smithsonian to Build National Latino, Women's History Museums on National Mall The US Capitol and the National Mall, seen from the Washington Monument on November 21, 2021 in Washington DC. ( Daniel SLIM/AFP via Getty Images)

By Theodore Bunker | Monday, 22 November 2021 06:19 PM

A group of U.S. senators are calling on the Smithsonian Institution to build the planned museums for Latino and women’s history on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., The Hill reports.

The National Museum of the American Latino and Smithsonian American Women’s History Museum were both approved by Congress in 2020, but the locations for the buildings have yet to be set. A bipartisan group of senators, led by New Jersey Democrat Sen. Bob Menendez, on Monday wrote in a letter to Smithsonian Secretary Lonnie Bunch asking that the museums "be located on or near the National Mall, to the maximum extent practicable."

The Hill notes that space on the National Mall is difficult to come by at the moment, with the only major recent addition being the National Museum of African American History and Culture in 2016. The senators argue in their letter that placing the new museums anywhere else would imply that they are lesser than the Smithsonian’s other locations.

"The addition of the two new museums on the Mall will further the Smithsonian’s mission by showcasing and highlighting the untold and overlooked contributions to our nation of both women and Latinos,” the senators wrote.

"It is fitting that these two museums be prominently located as that will help ensure that more visitors will be able to enjoy and learn from them," they added.

The letter was signed by Menendez, as well as Sens. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis., Michael Bennet, D-Colo., Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., Cory Booker, D-N.J., Ben Cardin, D-Md., Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., Maggie Hassan, D-N.H., Martin Heinrich, D-N.M., Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii, Ben Ray Luján, D-N.M., Ed Markey, D-Mass., Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., Patty Murray, D-Wash., Alex Padilla, D-Calif., Jacky Rosen, D-Nev., Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., Tina Smith, D-Minn., Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., Sheldon Whitehouse D-R.I., John Cornyn, R-Texas, Marco Rubio, R-Fla., and Susan Collins, R-Maine.

Reps. Tony Cárdenas, D-Calif., and Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., led a similar letter in the House, which was signed by 70 representatives from both parties.