WASHINGTON, D.C. (NEXSTAR) — The museums on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., include national museums dedicated to Native Americans and African Americans — now lawmakers are introducing a bill to build the National Museum of the American Latino.
New Jersey Democratic Senator Bob Menendez says the largest minority in America is not represented in Washington.
“It’s hard to believe in the year of 2019 a museum for the American Latino doesn’t exist,” said Menendez. “Our legislation will establish the Museum of the American Latino right where it belongs. Here in the nation’s capitol.”
There are currently 58 million Latino Americans living in the U.S. — or nearly 1 in 5 Americans.
Menendez and Texas Republican John Cornyn say their bill, the National Museum of the American Latino Act, will change that.
The museum would be located on the National Mall near the Smithsonian’s other iconic museums, like the National Museum of the American Indian and the new National Museum of African American History and Culture.
Texas Republican Congressman Will Hurd is leading the effort in the house. Hurd said:
“I think we can look to the African American history museum which is one of the most successful museums. It’s the most attended — it’s surpassing all the projections, and an American Latino museum would ultimately do the same.”
Cornyn says now is the time for the House and Senate to make the museum a reality. He says he’s confident the bill will pass this year.