Washington—Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) today spoke before the Senate Rules Committee on the Smithsonian American Women’s History Museum Act, a bipartisan bill she introduced with Senator Collins (R-Maine) to establish an American women’s history museum.
Video of her remarks is available here. Full text follows:
“I was pleased to join my friend and colleague Senator Collins in introducing this bipartisan bill to establish a National Women’s History Museum. It’s a long time a comin’.
And in the Senate, our thirteen co-sponsors include every woman who sits on this committee, and I thank Ranking Member Klobuchar and Senators Capito, Fischer, Hyde-Smith, and Cortez Masto for their support.
In February, the House overwhelmingly passed the companion to our bill by a vote of 374-37 and it’s my hope that this legislation can get done by the end of this year and we can celebrate the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment giving women the right to vote with this commission.
From the earliest days of our nation, women have made substantial and lasting contributions. I don’t know why the recognition process has been so difficult but it has been. But I think the election of women to places of power, like political bodies, has made a difference.
But the fact is, American women have transformed the fields of science, government, literature, medicine and so much more. So it’s well past time that we establish a museum that specifically pays tribute to this history.
It would honor and recognize tremendous collective achievements of American women and will help to tell a more complete story of our past.
Just a bit of history. In 2014, Congress established an independent, bipartisan commission to study the potential for creating a National Women’s History Museum. Mrs. Jane Abraham, chair of that commission, is here with us and will be testifying.
The commission submitted its report to Congress in November 2016 with a unanimous recommendation to establish a comprehensive women’s history museum.
The report further recommends that this museum be on a prominent location on or near the National Mall and that it be established as an official part of the Smithsonian.
So the bill we are considering today incorporates the commission’s recommendations and moves us closer to the realization of what I saw begin on this committee, Mr. Chairman, 25 years ago, and that’s to establish this museum.
The act would establish it, run by the Smithsonian, it would be part of the Smithsonian, create a process to determine a location for it on the National Mall and appoint leadership to carry out its construction and operations.
I just want to say that I’m very proud to be here. I welcome Senator Collin’s support and leadership. It has been fantastic. And I also thank you Senator Klobuchar.
As women have gained in this body, I think, we have gained our ability to achieve this legislation.”