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Washington—Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) applauded passage of The Smithsonian Women’s History Museum Act by the Senate Rules Committee. The bipartisan bill would establish a Smithsonian museum honoring American women.

The senators introduced The Smithsonian American Women’s History Museum Act last year. The House of Representatives passed companion legislation with overwhelming bipartisan support in February. The legislation now awaits consideration by the full Senate.

“Women have contributed so much to the greatness of our country – from science, health care and technology to the arts and humanities and beyond – and we need a permanent place to tell their magnificent stories,” Senator Feinstein said. “A Smithsonian museum for women’s history is long-overdue, and I’m grateful to the Rules Committee for advancing our bill to pay tribute to this important part of country’s shared legacy. I’m hopeful that Republicans will bring this bill up for a vote before the full Senate so we can build on this momentum.”

“As our Women’s Suffrage Centennial year draws to a close, I can think of no better way to honor those women and that momentous achievement than by passing The Smithsonian American Women’s History Museum Act,” Senator Collins said. “I encourage my colleagues to support the creation of a museum in our nation’s capital that celebrates the many contributions of American women to our nation.”

In December 2014, Congress created a Congressional Commission to study the potential for an American museum of women’s history in Washington, D.C. This bipartisan commission unanimously recommended the creation of a new Smithsonian museum dedicated to women’s history. Incorporating their recommendations, this bill would establish a national museum to collect, study, and create programs on a wide spectrum of American women’s experiences, contributions, and history.

The bipartisan bill is supported by the American Historical Association, the National Coalition for History, the Women’s Business Development Center, Women in Aerospace, the National Foundation for Women Legislators, Women in Defense, the Women’s Suffrage Centennial Commission, and many other organizations.