The House of Representatives has unanimously approved a bill that would help determine the feasibility of creating a national Asian Pacific American museum in Washington, D.C.
On Tuesday, members of the lower house passed H.R.3525, a bill that would establish a commission to review the development of the proposed National Museum of Asian Pacific American History and Culture. The commission would be tasked to determine the potential costs involved in building the new museum, as well as its possible location in the Washington area and whether it would be a part of the Smithsonian Institution.
The proposed bill mandates that the commission would have 18 months to report to Congress and the president with its findings.
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“It’s a joy to see this AAPI museum study bill arrive at this point today,” said Rep. Grace Meng (D, NY-6), who proposed the bill last year.
Meng noted during the floor debate that Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders have made significant contributions to the economy, culture and history of the U.S. for years, citing examples such as the Chinese workers who helped construct the transcontinental railroad.
“Those contributions are often unheard of and simply forgotten,” she was quoted as saying. “It is time to change that.”
Rep. Andy Kim (D, NJ-3) also spoke in favor of the bill. During the debate, he shared that he hopes his sons will grow up proud of their heritage.
“I don’t want my kids to understand who they are through sources of hate and discrimination,” he said. “I want them to feel pride. Our story is not just an Asian American story, it’s an American story.”