US Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), and Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) sent a bipartisan letter today to the Senate Appropriations Committee Subcommittee requesting that the Committee include language in their Fiscal Year 2013 appropriations bill supporting the creation of a Smithsonian American Latino Museum, Latino programming and outreach through the Smithsonian’s Latino Center, as well as the recommendations of the National Museum of the American Latino Commission.
The letter signed by 8 members overall, including Senators Harry Reid (D-NV), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Charles Schumer (D-NY), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Tom Udall (D-NM), and Dean Heller (R-NV), was spearheaded by Senator Menendez (D-NJ), Chair of the Senate Democratic Hispanic Task Force.
“For centuries, Hispanic-Americans have helped shape the history of Nevada and the country. Latinos have contributed to every facet of our lives and culture, they have spurred progress in our laboratories, playing fields, halls of justice, art, literature and the economy,” Reid said. “It is time for the country to build a place where we can honor a culture and people that are such an integral part of our national identity. Senator Menendez and I are working hard to make the Latino museum a reality.”
“This will be an enduring monument to people who have found opportunity and refuge in America and strengthened her in return, while also serving as a tribute to this exceptional country which welcomes people and helps them realize their dreams like no other place has ever done in all of human history. With our nation facing major economic and fiscal challenges, it’s important that we also continue encouraging private fundraising efforts to make it a reality.” Said Senator Rubio.
In November 2011, US Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Majority Leader Reid (D-NV), US Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), US Representative Xavier Becerra (D-CA) and US Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) introduced bipartisan legislation in the Senate and House of Representatives to authorize the Smithsonian’s Arts and Industries building on the National Mall as the designated location of the Smithsonian American Latino Museum. The authorization of the museum follows the recommendations of the May 2011 report of the bipartisan Commission to Study the Potential Creation of the National Museum of American Latino, a Commission that was established by law in 2008.