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Drive for National Women’s Museum Stalled

Senators Jim DeMint (R-SC) and Tom Coburn (R-OK) have placed a hold on a bill that would allow for the purchase of federal land for a National Women’s History Museum. The Washington Post reports that the bill, which passed the House in 2009, will need to be reintroduced in the new Congress next year unless the Senate takes it up before the November elections. DeMint and Coburn say their concerns are purely financial, and claim that little money has been raised for the museum despite the fact that the museum would pay “fair market value” for the site. According to USA Today, they also claim the museum would “duplicate” over 100 museums with similar content that already receive government subsidies. Abortion politics may, however, have also influenced the move to hold the bill. According to USA Today, the stall came just two days after the anti-choice group Concerned Women for America wrote DeMint asking for a hold. Meanwhile, supporters of the museum continue to hold fundraisers and have started an online petition. Meryl Streep, who has been the campaign’s honorary spokeswoman since 2006, spoke at a fundraising dinner recently where she said, “We are not asking for a check — we want to give them a check” (Washington Post). The National Women’s History Museum, which would tell the story of women who contributed to American history, sports, politics, medicine, business and culture, hopes to be located in Washington, DC, one block from the National Mall. NPR reports that if all goes according to plan, the museum would apply to be a Smithsonian Affiliate.

Sources:

USA Today 9/29/10; Washington Post 10/3/10; NPR 9/29/10