The creation of new Smithsonian museums dedicated to Latinos and women can now move forward. Earlier this month, Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) was the lone vote blocking legislation, saying "separate-but-equal museums" would "further divide an already divided nation." Supporters of both museums quickly moved to ensure the museums would be included in the $900 billion year-end spending package which was passed by Congress on Monday and now heads to President Trump's desk.
"Victory finally came today," Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) wrote in a statement. Noting that a National Museum of the American Latino has been decades in the making, Menendez says, "We have overcome tremendous obstacles and unbelievable hurdles to get to this historic moment, but, as I've said before, Latinos are used to overcoming obstacles."
Estuardo Rodriguez, president of Friends of the American Latino Museum, tells NPR it's fitting that the museum is included in the coronavirus relief bill.