CONGRESSIONAL LEADERS SUPPORT NATIONAL WOMEN'S HISTORY MUSEUM INITIATIVE

April 1, 2011

(WASHINGTON, DC) - The National Foundation for Women Legislators (NFWL) was pleased to join a bi-partisan coalition of elected women this week in the nation's capital to support the establishment of the National Women's History Museum (NWHM).

U.S. Rep.Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY) and U.S. Rep. Judy Biggert (R-IL) hosted a press event on Capitol Hill to announce the reintroduction Aof the National Women's History Act and show their support for the establishment of a National Women's History Museum in a prominent location near The Mall in Washington, DC.

Maloney and Biggert were also joined by their colleagues, U.S. Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-OH) and U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) for the announcement.

Maloney and U.S. Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) reintroduced The National Women's History Museum Act in both Chambers - the House Bill is HR 1269 and the Senate Bill is S. 680.

This Bill provides a permanent site for NWHM where it will house its collections and further its educational services. The location at 12th Street S.W. and Independence Avenue S.W. is across the street from several of the nation's most iconic museums, such as the National Air and Space Museum, the National American History Museum and the National Gallery of Art. It's the right place for a comprehensive museum on women's accomplishments. The bill provides that NWHM will pay fair market value for the vacant site and will fund the construction with private funds.

"Of the 210 statues in the Capitol building, only nine are of women; of the 2400 national historic landmarks in the country, only five percent document women's accomplishments," stated Maloney. "There are museums dedicated to airplanes and buildings and postage stamps-but no single location dedicated to celebrating the accomplishments of women, who are over half our country's population. We need to explain to our sons and daughters the roles that women have played in the life of our nation."

"This will be the first national museum dedicated to celebrating the unique and courageous contributions that women have made in American history," stated Biggert. "Thanks to the generous support of private contributors all across the country, this dream will come true at no cost to the American taxpayers. In fact, the Museum Foundation will pay the taxpayers fair market value for the current property - a small parking lot. They say women are more responsible when it comes to handling the household check book, and I think this project just proves that the same might be true for the national budget."

NWHM President & CEO Joan Wages said, "Washington, DC is a city of symbols and a beacon to the world. The National Women's History Museum will show that our nation honors our women. Women deserve this recognition for the many contributions they have made to the building of our country. "

HR 1269 was introduced with 22 cosponsors: Representatives Sandy Adams (R-FL), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Karen Bass (D-CA), Judy Biggert (R-IL), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Madeleine Z. Bordallo (D-GU), Susan A. Davis (D-CA), Barney Frank (D-MA), Raul M. Grijalva (D-AZ), Alcee L. Hastings (D-FL), Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA), Jesse L. Jackson Jr. (D-IL), Barbara Lee (D-CA), Cynthia M. Lummis (R-WY), Doris O. Matsui (D-CA), Gwen Moore (D-WI), James P. Moran (D-VA), Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), Janice D. Schakowsky (D-IL), Jean Schmidt (R-OH), Jackie Speier (D-CA), and Fortney Pete Stark (D-CA).

S 680 was introduced with 19 cosponsors: Senators Daniel K. Akaka (D-HI), Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), Mark Begich (D-AK), Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Kay Hagan (D-NC), Kay Bailey Hutchinson (R-TX), Mary Landrieu (D-LA), Joe Lieberman (I-CT), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Patty Murray (D-WA), Mark Pryor (D-AR), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Olympia Snowe (R-ME), and Debbie Stabenow (D-MI).

Press Conference Remarks Available for Download:

Robin Read, President & CEO, NFWL

Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY)

Rep. Judy Biggert (R-IL)

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