Source: The Hill
By Julia Manchester
Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) personally urged President Trump and Ivanka Trump to support the creation of a women’s history museum in Washington, D.C., according to a new interview. She even handed them take-home material to read on the initiative.
The New York Democrat is urging the Trump administration to get behind her legislation to build a Smithsonian museum honoring women’s history on the National Mall, she said in an interview with Politico published on Saturday.
Maloney, whose district includes Trump’s Tower in Manhattan, has pressed various female members in the administration to consider the legislation.
“I talked to Ivanka about it, I talked to Melania about it, I talked to Karen Pence about it, I talked to Kellyanne [Conway] about it,” the congresswoman told Politico.
“I handed it directly to the president and he said he would read it. I asked Kellyanne for advice on how to approach it. She said to talk to the president directly, she said she would not do it on my behalf,” Maloney said.
Conway raised the question of why former President Obama did not pursue the museum.
“I admire her persistence and pledged we will review the materials and speak about it internally before raising it directly with the president,” Conway told Politico.
“The answer I seek is why President Obama did not support it and get it done in his eight years in office,” she continued.
Bipartisan momentum is growing in both chambers to build the museum. According to Politico 277 House members signed on to co-sponsor legislation to build the museum.
Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) introduced a companion bill in the Senate last week that has garnered 11 co-sponsors.
The Smithsonian is fresh off opening the National Museum of African American History and Culture last year, and is in the process of revamping the National Air and Space Museum, which could hinder future projects.
“Right now, we’re only ten months into our brand new African-American Museum, and our next big capital project is a complete revitalization of the Air and Space Museum, which will be $650 million,” Smithsonian spokeswoman Linda St. Thomas told Politico.
“It would be very difficult for us to handle a new building right now,” she continued.
Obama opened the National Museum of African American History and Culture last year, alongside his predecessor George W. Bush, who signed legislation in 2003 allowing construction to begin on the museum in 2003.
Obama called on then candidate Trump to visit the museum. Trump visited the site honoring African-American culture and history in February, calling it “a masterpiece.”