Gail Collins wrote about this the other day, noting that a simple bill clearing the way for the museum was already approved by the House, but like everything else, is tied up in the Senate. The proposal intends to sell an unused piece of federal land to a private group, which would use private funds to pay fair market value for the land and construction. If financing falls apart, the land property would simply revert back to federal ownership.
...Washington already has a postal museum, a textile museum, a spy museum and the Newseum. You may be wondering why there is any problem getting Congressional support for a women's history museum. Especially since the bill has already passed the House unanimously and come out of its Senate committee with unanimous approval. And since the bill, which is sponsored in the Senate by Susan Collins of Maine, has 23 co-sponsors from both parties. The Senate itself passed a different version of the plan unanimously a few years ago when the museum people were hoping to lease a government building rather than construct a new one.
The answer -- and, people, how many times have you heard this story? -- is that two senators, Jim DeMint of South Carolina and Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, have put holds on the bill.
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