Mike Lee blocks legislation to create Smithsonian museums for Latinos and women – POLITICO

Menendez shot again at Lee, saying that he was standing “in the way in which of the hopes and desires and aspirations of seeing Individuals of Latino descent having their desires fulfilled and acknowledged.”

“I don’t know if these arguments have been made towards the Native Individuals. I don’t know if these arguments have been made towards African Individuals, however I don’t see them as being separate and aside,” Menendez mentioned. “I see them as a part of the collective historical past mosaic that’s coming collectively underneath the Smithsonian.”

Earlier this 12 months, the Home for the primary time handed legislation that might create a Smithsonian museum devoted to Latino Individuals. The Senate Guidelines Committee additionally accredited the legislation, which is co-sponsored by Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), unanimously. The Home additionally voted overwhelmingly in February to move legislation to create a women’s historical past museum. However Lee’s transfer drastically reduces the chance the payments will move Congress this session.

Following Menendez, Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) tried to move the Smithsonian Women’s Historical past Museum Act within the Senate by voice vote. In her flooring remarks, Collins highlighted the recognition of the Smithsonian’s African American and Native American historical past museums and famous {that a} bipartisan fee beneficial the creation of a museum “showcasing the historic experiences and the influence of women” in the USA.

However Lee once more blocked the measure.

The Utah Republican mentioned that whereas “all racial, ethnic, non secular teams in America are worthy of celebration, even to the extent of getting their very own museums,” he argued that in “many situations” these museums don’t take federal {dollars}.

“There’s a model that comes together with the Smithsonian Establishment and some huge cash that’s taken from the American folks within the type of tax income,” Lee mentioned. “And so on account of that, the Smithsonian Establishment has a novel position.”

Collins described Lee’s actions as a “unhappy second.”

“I had hoped that we might proceed with each of those payments and move them earlier than the tip of this 12 months,” Collins mentioned. “Certainly in a 12 months the place we’re celebrating the a hundredth anniversary of women’s suffrage, that is the time. … I remorse that that won’t happen this night, however we is not going to hand over the combat.”

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