Menendez replied to Lee, saying he was standing “in the way of the hopes, dreams and aspirations of seeing Hispanic Americans realize their dreams and be recognized.”
I don’t know if these arguments were made against Native Americans. Menendez said, “I don’t know if these arguments have been made against African Americans, but I don’t see them as separate and divergent.” “I see them as part of the mosaic of collective history that is gathering under the Smithsonian rule.”
Earlier this year, the House of Representatives first passed legislation that would create a Smithsonian museum dedicated to Latin Americans. The Senate Rules Committee approved the legislation co-sponsored by Senator John Cornyn (R-Texas) unanimously. The House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly in February to pass legislation to create a museum for women’s history. But Lee’s move greatly reduces the likelihood that bills will pass to Congress at this session.
After Menendez, Senator Susan Collins (R from Maine) attempted to pass the Smithsonian Museum of Women’s History Act in the Senate by voice vote. In her auditorium notes, Collins highlighted the popularity of the Smithsonian Museum of African American and Native American History and noted that a bipartisan committee has recommended the creation of a museum that “displays historical experiences and the influence of women” in the United States.
But Lee prevented this action again.
The Republican from Utah said that while “all racial, ethnic and religious groups in America deserve to be celebrated, even to the point of owning their own museums,” he said that in “many cases” these museums do not take federal dollars.
“There is a brand that comes along with the Smithsonian Institution and a lot of the money is being taken from the American people in the form of tax returns,” Lee said. As a result, the Smithsonian Institution has a unique role. ”
Collins described Lee’s actions as a “sad moment.”
“I was hoping that we could go ahead with these two projects and pass them on before the end of this year,” Collins said. “Certainly in a year that we celebrate the centenary of women’s right to vote, now is the right time. … I regret that it will not happen this evening, but we will not give up the fight.”