Two proposed Smithsonian museums hit a snag in Congress Thursday. Despite bipartisan support for the National Museum of the American Latino and the American Women’s History Museum, Senator Mike Lee blocked legislation Thursday to establish them.
As reported by Politico, the Utah Republican argued that the histories of American Latinos and women should just be incorporated into the existing National Museum of American History: “The last thing we need is to further divide an already divided nation within an array of separate but equal museums of hyphenated identity groups,” said Lee.
Both proposed museums—which would be located on the National Mall—had flown through other important hurdles this year, enjoying support from both sides of the aisle. Now their future is uncertain. If approved, the legislation would’ve authorized the museums to begin curating artifacts and organizing educational programming.
Perhaps when the existing Smithsonian museums reopen, Senator Lee would enjoy a visit to the National Museum of the American Indian or the National Museum of African American History and Culture.