National Women's History Museum Proposal Gains Momentum

Wednesday, 26 Mar 2014 09:48 AM

By Courtney Coren

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The proposal for a national women's history museum has been brought back to life in the House by two female lawmakers and even has the support of the House majority leader.

Democratic Rep. Carolyn Maloney of New York and Republican Rep. Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee are the main sponsors of the measure presented to a House subcommittee Tuesday, saying that project would use private donations to begin exploring a location for the museum, The New York Times reported.

Their original bill presented in 2010 relied on taxpayer funds. It passed in the House but was later blocked by Senate Republicans.

Several versions have passed the House and Senate over the past two decades but not during the same Congress.

The objections to the proposal are that $500 million would need to be raised to build the museum, which may be difficult, and that there are existing women's history museums  across the country.

Maloney contends that the existing museums focus on specific areas of achievement by women but do not cover a broad overview of all the contributions and accomplishments of women throughout history.

"I don't know of a national museum anywhere in any of the capitals of the world that chronicles the achievements of women," she said. "I find that astonishing."

Blackburn's support of the museum has eased fears that such a museum will be used to push abortion rights, as she is a strong opponent of the pro-choice movement.

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor told The Hill that he will bring the measure to a vote this year.

"This is a huge boost to our efforts," Maloney said. "Leadership from both parties in the House has now come out in favor of this bill, and I'm hopeful we can secure a large, bipartisan vote in favor of its passage."


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