Click HERE to read Senator Collins’ remarks.
Washington, D.C. — At a Senate Rules Committee hearing today, U.S. Senator Susan Collins provided testimony in support of legislation she introduced with Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) to establish a Smithsonian American Women’s History Museum on the National Mall. Senators Collins and Feinstein 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 very first bill that I introduced to create such a museum was in 2003, and at that time, Senator Mikulski and Senator Feinstein were cosponsors of that bill,” said Senator Collins. “This year, as we commemorate the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage and the decades-long fight for women’s equality at the ballot box, it is fitting that we at long last establish an institution in our nation’s capital to honor American women.”
“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,” continued Senator Collins. “In Washington, we all enjoy the many museums along the National Mall that commemorate various aspects of our history and our culture. We even have a museum that celebrates buildings. Surely if we can have a museum that celebrates buildings, we ought to have one and are long overdue in establishing one 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’s report recommended the creation of a new Smithsonian Museum dedicated to women’s history. Incorporating the recommendations of the bipartisan Commission, 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.
In March, Senators Collins and Feinstein sent a letter to Senate leadership, urging them to bring up the legislation for consideration by the full Senate as soon as possible.