Collins bill aiming to create women’s history museum passes

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A bill authored by Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, aimed at establishing a National Women’s History Museum will become law, according to a release from the senator’s office.

The bill is part of the 2015 National Defense Authorization Act, which passed both houses of Congress and is slated to be signed by President Barack Obama.

“I have been proud to lead the effort to establish a museum for women’s history since 2003,” Collins said in the release. “The need for a museum recognizing the contributions of American women is long overdue, and the commission approved today is an important first step toward that goal.”

The bill creates a privately funded commission that will create a plan to establish and maintain a National Women’s History Museum in Washington, D.C., according to the release. The eight-member commission would have 18 months to write and present its report to Congress. Members of the panel would be chosen by congressional majority and minority leaders.

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“When I first introduced legislation to form a National Women’s History Museum, I never dreamed it would take 16 years to get this commission passed,” bill co-sponsor Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney, D-New York, said in the release. “It seemed like an easy lift — it’s hard to see who can be opposed to a museum dedicated to chronicling the achievements of women. Women gained the right to vote in 1920. I hope that a century later, in 2020, the efforts and accomplishments of women throughout our history will be chronicled in a museum that both our daughters and sons can learn from and enjoy.”

The bill was also co-sponsored by Sen. Barbara Mikulski. D-Maryland, and Reps. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tennessee, and Eleanor Holmes Norton, D-D.C.

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