Efforts to create a national Asian Pacific American museum in Washington, D.C., pushed ahead Thursday with the passage of legislation that would create a commission to study the issue.
The bill approved unanimously by the Senate would establish a new commission to consider the feasibility of a new National Museum of Asian Pacific American History and Culture.
The commission would be tasked with studying the costs involved with the proposed National Museum of Asian Pacific American History and Culture, whether it should be considered as part of the Smithsonian Institution and possible locations in the Washington-area.
“I can’t think of any better way to celebrate AAPI heritage month than signing this historic bill into law!,” said Rep. Grace Meng, D-N.Y.
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The bill now heads to President Joe Biden's desk.
Meng argued on the House floor that Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders have shaped the nation's history from its earliest days, from the Chinese laborers who helped build the transcontinental railroad to today's contributions made in culture and the economy.
“Those contributions are often unheard of and simply forgotten,” she said. “It is time to change that.”
The legislation comes as visitors have flocked to the latest addition to the National Mall, the National Museum of African American History and Culture, which opened in 2016. Plans are underway for two other museums, the National Museum of the American Latino and the Smithsonian Women’s History Museum.