WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — In July, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill that would establish a National Museum of the American Latino in the nation’s capital. The museum would form part of the Smithsonian Institution.
“This is 26 years in the making,” said Rep. Will Hurd (R-TX).
Hurd says since 1994, Congress has been fighting to put a Latino museum on the National Mall.
“Latino history is American history… Latinos were the only group, that their contribution to our culture and our history, wasn’t properly recognized,” Hurd said.
Hurd blames what he calls “partisan nonsense” for stopping the bill in the past, but he now says everyone is on board.
The House passed the legislation in July by a unanimous voice vote.
“Bipartisan things can still happen up here in Washington, D.C.,” Hurd said.
“It is a bright spot and a happy moment in an otherwise very contentious and difficult period in Washington,” said Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-TX).
Doggett says he made his first speech in favor of a Latino Smithsonian museum a decade ago.
“I think we have a big story to tell about Texas and about Hispanic values of pride and family and patriotism,” Doggett said.
The bill now heads to the Senate, where it already has bipartisan support. But there’s still a long way to go before visitors can expect to see a museum.
“Find a location on the mall, start designing the structure and thinking through some of the displays,” Hurd explained.
He says the bill establishes a board to tackle all the details and raise roughly $700 million in donations to make the museum a reality.