The Smithsonian Institution on Thursday recommended sites on the National Mall for the construction of an American Women’s History Museum and a National Museum of the American Latino.
Both sites on the National Mall fall within “The Reserve,” an area closed to additional construction, making legislative action necessary for the museums to be built, according to The Hill.
Leadership for the prospective National Museum of the American Latino celebrated the announcement of National Mall site recommendations.
“On behalf of the Board of the National Museum of the American Latino we commend Secretary Lonnie Bunch and the Smithsonian Board of Regents for a thoughtful, open, inclusive site selection process that we believe has arrived at the best place possible on our National Mall to tell the stories of Latino contributions to American history, heritage, culture, arts and science,” said NMAL Board Chair Henry R. Muñoz III in a press release.
“This beautiful site will welcome all Americans as we illuminate a more complete American story for all people. Knowing that land on our nation’s mall is so precious, we acknowledge the many years of hard work and study undertaken by so many people, necessary to determine that in accordance with the guiding principles of our National Mall both the Smithsonian American Women’s History Museum and The National Museum of the American Latino are now poised to take their rightful place on our most important public land,” he continued.
Congress will have to approve exemptions for both museums in order for construction to begin in the Reserve area. Officials for the museums are optimistic that the upcoming lame-duck session might present an opportunity for that approval, per The Hill. However, with the GOP poised to take a majority in the House in the November midterms, some Republicans have already voiced opposition to a lame-duck budget deal, potentially jeopardizing congressional approval of the museums as a consequence.