By Clare Foran and Ali Zaslav, CNN
The Senate unanimously passed a bill Thursday to establish a commission to study the creation of a national museum of Asian Pacific American History and Culture in Washington, sending the measure to President Joe Biden’s desk.
Democratic Sen. Mazie Hirono of Hawaii asked for unanimous consent on the floor for the Senate to take up H.R. 3525 — a bill to establish a commission to study the potential creation of a national museum of Asian Pacific American History and Culture. There was no objection and the bill passed.
The legislation has previously been passed by the House, meaning it is now cleared for Biden’s signature.
“We have an opportunity to pass meaningful legislation to establish a commission to study the creation of a national museum of Asian Pacific American history and culture,” Hirono said ahead of the bill’s passage.
Hirono outlined that the measure establishes an eight-person commission “appointed equally by House and Senate Majority and Minority leadership.”
“The commission will be composed of individuals with expertise in the research, study and promotion of Asian American Pacific Islander history,” Hirono said. “This commission will submit a report to Congress, at which point, we should act.”
Asian and Pacific Islander American communities “have made significant contributions to American life, but despite these undeniable contributions, our communities have largely been excluded or erased from American history,” said Hirono in her floor remarks.
She continued to say, “If not invisible, AAPI groups are often pejoratively depicted as foreigners: always the other, instead of people who have lived in and positively contributed to this country for generations.”
The Hawaii Democrat added that these narratives have helped “fuel xenophobia and racism.” She said creating this museum would help “combat these harmful narratives by sharing AAPI history on an unprecedented scale.”
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said he’s “elated” to support this “long overdue step,” which will help establish one of the “greatest museums dedicated solely to telling the stories of Asian Americans throughout history” in the nation’s capital.
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