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Public Statements

Commission to Study the Potential Creation of the National Museum of the American Latino Act of 2007

Location: Washington, DC



Ms. ROS-LEHTINEN. I rise in strong support today, Mr. Speaker, of H.R. 512, the commission to study the potential creation of a National Museum of the American Latino Community Act. And I would like to thank my dear friend, Mr. Becerra of California, for his commitment in bringing this important legislation to the floor. We have been working on it for a number of years. It has got strong bipartisan support, and it has been a delight for me to have worked with him and members of my staff to have worked with his staff as well.

As the Republican lead on this legislation, I am so pleased that this bill will take the next step in developing a plan of action for an establishment of a National Museum of the American Latino.

The commission would be comprised of experts in art and museum administration, as well as individuals with experience in the development of similar cultural institutions. The commission would have the responsibility of examining and reporting to Congress and the President a plan to establish a new national museum.

Even as the largest minority group in the United States, Hispanic Americans, are not fully represented by one of the permanent exhibits in Washington's museums, currently there are over 42 million Hispanics in the United States. Furthermore, the Census Bureau estimates that in the year 2050, the Hispanic population in the U.S. will reach over 100 million.

As we can see, Hispanic Americans are our country's largest and fastest growing minority group, and they continue to expand and contribute to the greatness of our wonderful country.

As the first Hispanic American woman elected to Congress, I am so proud to advance the issues affecting all citizens living in our great country. I have been proud to represent my diverse south Florida constituency for many years now in Congress, and I look forward to a future that is, indeed, bright for individuals across our terrific country.

Hispanic Americans are playing an increasing role also in the Nation's economy and in our workforce. For example, according to the Office of Management and Budget, the unemployment rate among the Hispanic community dropped to 4.7, an all-time record low. This statistic demonstrates that the economic policies of lower taxes and less government regulations are working and that all Americans are benefiting from it.

The great diversity of ethnicities and nationalities of the many people of the United States is what makes our Nation strong, is what continues to be a home for many different cultures; and this national museum will signify our strong commitment to proudly exhibit America's rich cultural diversity.

Therefore, I ask all of my colleagues to join me in support of this important legislation to ensure that visitors to our Nation's Capital gain a more complete understanding of who we are as Americans.


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