In 1994, the lack of Latinx representation at the Smithsonian was called part of “a pattern of willful neglect.” At the time, the report counted that exclusion an offense to the 25 million Latinos living in the U.S. Now, that number is at nearly 60 million. On Monday, July 27, the U.S. House of Representatives approved the creation of the nation’s first-ever National Museum of the American Latino as part of the Smithsonian Institution, according to Forbes.
The bill was introduced by Rep. José E. Serrano—congressman representing district 15 in New York—last year. He had large bipartisan support in the House, with 295 co-sponsors.
“The building of a Latino Museum to honor the Hispanic community’s history and contributions to our nation is long overdue,” Serrano said prior to the vote.
Next, the bill will go to the Republican-controlled Senate for a vote and then move to Trump’s desk. Though a shutdown of official representation of a community the president and friends have so often attempted to reduce and slander wouldn’t be surprising, it’s not in their best interest. Funding for the museum—estimated to total nearly $700 million, according to The Hill—will be a 50/50 effort of federal and private funding. The Board of Trustees reportedly has two years to determine its location.
The creation of this museum would follow the 2016 opening of the National Museum of African American History Culture—the last museum to be built on the National Mall. Earlier this year, the House passed a bill for a women’s history museum as well. The process that follows can often be a long one.