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116th Congress   }                                       {  Rept. 116-286
                         HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 1st Session     }                                       {    Part 1




 November 13, 2019.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on 
            the State of the Union and ordered to be printed


Ms. Lofgren, from the Committee on House Administration, submitted the 

                              R E P O R T

                             together with

                            ADDITIONAL VIEWS

                        [To accompany H.R. 1980]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on House Administration, to whom was referred 
the bill (H.R. 1980) to establish in the Smithsonian 
Institution a comprehensive women's history museum, and for 
other purposes, having considered the same, report favorably 
thereon with an amendment and recommend that the bill as 
amended do pass.


Purpose and Summary..............................................     2
Background and Need for Legislation..............................     2
Hearings.........................................................     4
Committee Consideration..........................................     4
Committee Votes..................................................     4
Committee Oversight Findings.....................................     5
Statement of General Performance Goals and Objectives............     5
New Budget Authority, Entitlement Authority, and Tax Expenditures     5
Earmarks and Tax and Tariff Benefits.............................     5
Committee Cost Estimate..........................................     5
Congressional Budget Office Estimate.............................     5
Federal Mandates Statement.......................................     7
Duplication of Federal Programs..................................     7
Advisory Committee Statement.....................................     7
Applicability to Legislative Branch..............................     7
Section-by-Section Analysis of the Legislation...................     7
Explanation of Amendment.........................................     9
Additional Views.................................................    10


    The amendment (stated in terms of the page and line numbers 
of the introduced bill) is as follows:
   Page 6, insert after line 4 the following:

          (4) Ensuring diversity of political viewpoints in 
        exhibits and programs.--In carrying out its duties, the 
        council shall ensure that the exhibits and programs of 
        the museum reflect the diversity of the political 
        viewpoints held by women of the United States on the 
        events and issues relating to the history of women in 
        the United States.

                          PURPOSE AND SUMMARY

    H.R. 1980 would establish in the Smithsonian Institution a 
comprehensive women's history museum.


    Efforts to legislatively advance a women's history museum 
goes back to the 105th Congress.\1\ During the 113th Congress, 
Representative Carolyn Maloney of New York introduced H.R. 863, 
a bill to create a commission to study the potential creation 
of a National Women's History Museum. H.R. 863 was reported 
favorably to the House by both the Committee on House 
Administration and the Committee on Natural Resources.\2\ 
During the markup of H.R. 863 by the Committee, then Chairman 
Candice S. Miller of Michigan stated:
    \1\See H.R. 4722 (105th Congress).
    \2\H.Rept. 113-411, Parts 1 and 2.

          Establishing a commission is a step in the right 
        direction to fully explore how such a museum would 
        integrate with our existing national institutions, 
        especially the Smithsonian, as well as regional and 
        local cultural institutions, what it will cost, how we 
        can fund it, and where would we put it? These issues, 
        and I am sure many more, are some areas that a 
        commission will discuss, investigate, and make 
        recommendations for consideration.\3\
    \3\Committee on House Administration, Markup of H.R. 863, 
Commission to Study the Potential Creation of a National Women's 
History Museum Act of 2013, April 2, 2014, 113th Congress.

    The language of H.R. 863 was included as section 3056 in 
H.R. 3979, the Carl Levin and Howard P. ``Buck'' McKeon 
National Defense Authorization Act, 2015, which was 
subsequently enacted.\4\
    \4\P.L. 113-291, 128 Stat. 3292, 3810-3813.
    The Congressional Commission on the American Museum of 
Women's History released its report on November 16, 2016.\5\ 
The Commission recommended that ``America needs and deserves a 
physical national museum dedicated to showcasing the historical 
experiences and impact of women in this country'' and that such 
a museum be part of the Smithsonian Institution.
    \5\Congressional Commission to Study the Potential Creation of an 
American Museum of Women's History, Report to the President of the 
United States and Congress, November 16, 2016, available at http://
    The report listed 19 reasons ``we need to build this 
          1. There has never been a better time for the 
        American Museum of Women's History.
          2. There has never been a more important time for the 
        American Museum of Women's History.
          3. U.S. history is not complete without women's 
        history. Absent women's history, only half of the 
        nation's story is being told--women's history is 
        American history.
          4. Across the board, the American Museum of Women's 
        History will meet an existing and increasing appetite 
        for more information on women's dynamic participation 
        in American history.
          5. The AMWH will educate, inspire, and meet our 
        nation's need for diverse role models for girls as well 
        as boys.
          6. The AMWH will shape the future as it makes the 
        past come alive for present generations, planting the 
        seeds for ideas and personal growth.
          7. The contributions and experiences of American 
        women to American history deserve national celebration 
        and recognition.
          8. The design of the AMWH will support a mission of 
        innovative and compelling storytelling that is 
        accessible to all.
          9. The AMWH will be unique, relevant, and have an 
        important impact on the future.
          10. The AMWH will focus on American women in their 
        many roles.
          11. The AMWH will present difficult subjects in well 
        researched, balanced and inclusive ways.
          12. The AMWH will add to the presentation of our 
        nation's history.
          13. Via its national research center and other 
        digital outlets, the AMWH will help create a nationwide 
        network of museums and other sites around women's 
          14. The AMWH will develop key partnerships with 
        museums nationwide.
          15. Top-notch scholarship will be central to the 
        AMWH, in a way that both informs and engages. A 
        Research Center will be a core component of this 
          16. The Museum will strengthen educational missions 
        city-wide by creating content bridges that reach to 
        other D.C. museums.
          17. The AMWH will be a popular destination for 
        tourists, and its creation makes good business sense 
        for Washington, D.C.
          18. Women make up a majority of our population. The 
        AMWH will have a natural built-in audience of 
        influential decision makers, public advocates and 
        financial supporters.
          19. Location does matter. A prominent site among some 
        of the country's most highly regarded museums in the 
        epicenter of our nation's capital sends an important 
        message to our fellow citizens, especially young 
        people: women matter, and women's history matters.\6\
    \6\Id., at 16-23 (emphasis in original).
    During the 115th Congress Representative Maloney introduced 
H.R. 19, the Smithsonian Women's History Museum Act. Upon 
introduction, Representative Maloney stated that:

          This bill has been decades in the making and it is 
        based on the excellent American Museum of Women's 
        History Congressional Commission final report, which 
        was the result of 18 months of thorough study. The bill 
        would establish a Smithsonian museum dedicated to 
        women's history prominently located on the National 
        Mall. It calls for the Smithsonian Board of Regents to 
        designate a site for the museum within six months of 
        enactment, and the cost of construction would be raised 
        privately. The museum will be governed by a 25-member 
        Advisory Council appointed by the Board of Regents.

    This measure was referred to three committees: House 
Administration; Natural Resources; and Transportation and 
Infrastructure. No action was taken on this measure, ultimately 
cosponsored by 257 Members.
    Representative Maloney introduced H.R. 1980 on March 28, 
    June 4, 2019 marked the Centennial of Congressional passage 
of the 19th Amendment, with the House passing the proposed 
amendment (H.J. Res. 1) on May 21, 2019 on a vote of 304-90,\7\ 
and the Senate June 4, 1919 on a vote of 56-25.\8\ On August 
18, 1920, the 19th amendment was ratified.
    \7\58 Cong. Rec. 77-94.
    \8\58 Cong. Rec. 615-635.
    As Chair of the Board for the National Women's History 
Museum, Susan Whiting put it in a 2017 article:

          This brings us to one conclusion: Our collective 
        national story is incomplete. The history we learned as 
        children and that children are being taught in 
        classrooms today doesn't tell the full story. When we 
        don't include women's contributions to history, we're 
        teaching a story riddled with holes.\9\
    \9\Susan Whiting, ``Why We Need a National Women's History 
Museum,'' Time, May 10, 2017 (


    For the purposes of section 103(i) of H. Res. 6 of the 
116th Congress the following hearing was used to develop or 
consider H.R. 1980:

          On Wednesday, September 18, 2019, the Committee held 
        a hearing titled ``Oversight of the Smithsonian 
        Institution.'' The following witnesses testified: Mr. 
        Lonnie G. Bunch, III, Secretary, Smithsonian 
        Institution, and Cathy L. Helm, Inspector General, 
        Smithsonian Institution.

                        COMMITTEE CONSIDERATION

    On Tuesday, November 12, 2019, the Committee met in open 
session, a quorum being present to consider H.R. 1980. There 
was one amendment which was offered and which was adopted by 
voice vote. The Committee ordered the bill H.R. 1980, as 
amended, favorably reported to the House by voice vote.

                            COMMITTEE VOTES

    In compliance with clause 3(b) of rule XIII of the Rules of 
the House of Representatives, the Committee advises that there 
were no recorded votes taken in connection with consideration 
of H.R. 1980. A motion to order H.R. 1980, as amended, reported 
favorably to the House was agreed to by voice vote, a quorum 
being present.


    In compliance with clause 3(c)(1) of rule XIII and clause 
(2)(b)(1) of rule X of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives, the Committee's oversight findings and 
recommendations are reflected in the descriptive portions of 
this report.


    Pursuant to clause 3(c)(4) of rule XII of the Rules of the 
House, the general performance goals and objectives of this 
legislation is to authorize the establishment in the 
Smithsonian Institution of a comprehensive women's history 

                            TAX EXPENDITURES

    In compliance with clause 3(c)(2) of rule XIII of the Rules 
of the House of Representatives, the Committee adopts as its 
own the estimate of new budget authority, entitlement 
authority, or tax expenditures or revenues contained in the 
cost estimate prepared by the Director of the Congressional 
Budget Office pursuant to section 402 of the Congressional 
Budget Act of 1974.


    H.R. 1980 contains no congressional earmarks, limited tax 
benefits, or limited tariff benefits as described in clauses 
9(e), 9(f), and 9(g) of rule XXI of the Rules of the House.

                        COMMITTEE COST ESTIMATE

    The Committee adopts as its own the cost estimate on H.R. 
1980 prepared by the Director of the Congressional Budget 
Office pursuant to section 402 of the Congressional Budget Act 
of 1974.


    Pursuant to clause 3(c)(3) of rule XIII of the Rules of the 
House of Representatives, the following is the cost estimate 
for H.R. 1980 provided by the Congressional Budget Office 
pursuant to section 402 of the Congressional Budget Act of 

    H.R. 1980 would authorize the appropriation of whatever 
amounts are necessary for the Smithsonian Institution to plan, 
construct, and operate a museum dedicated to women's history. 
The bill would establish a council within the Smithsonian 
Institution to advise the Board of Regents on museum 
operations, acquire artifacts, create exhibitions, and raise 
funds for the museum. Additionally, the bill would permit the 
Smithsonian Institution to appoint a Director to manage the 
museum and to carry out educational programs related to women's 
history. H.R. 1980 would allow the Board of Regents to select a 
site and design and construct the museum. Fifty percent of the 
total construction cost would be financed by the Smithsonian 
Institution with nonappropriated funds that do not appear on 
the federal budget.
    CBO estimates that implementing H.R. 1980 would cost $190 
million over the 2020-2029 period: $83 million for construction 
and $107 million for staffing, planning, creating exhibits and 
educational programs, and operating the museum. This estimate 
is based on information from the Smithsonian Institution about 
similar efforts, and from the report to the Congress from the 
Commission to Study the Potential Creation of a National 
Women's History Museum. Based on specifications from the 
Commission, CBO expects that a site for the museum would be 
chosen in 2021 and that the site would be under 100,000 square 
    For this estimate, CBO assumes that H.R. 1980 will be 
enacted near the beginning of 2020. Estimated outlays are based 
on historical spending patterns. The costs of the legislation, 
detailed in Table 1, fall within budget function 500 
(education, training, employment, and social services.)

                                                                                         By fiscal year, millions of dollars--
                                                               2020   2021   2022   2023   2024   2025   2026   2027   2028   2029  2020-2024  2020-2029
    Estimated Authorization.................................      0      0      1      2      7      7     28     26     20      9        10        100
    Estimated Outlays.......................................      0      0      *      1      3      5     11     19     24     20         4         83
Planning and Initial Staff:
    Estimated Authorization.................................      2      5      5     10     10     10     10     15     20     25        32        112
    Estimated Outlays.......................................      2      4      5      9     10     10     10     14     19     24        30        107
    Total Changes:
        Estimated Authorization.............................      2      5      6     12     17     17     38     41     40     34        42        212
        Estimated Outlays...................................      2      4      5     10     13     15     21     33     43     44        34       190
* = between zero and $500,000.

    The CBO staff contact for this estimate is Meredith Decker. 
The estimate was reviewed by H. Samuel Papenfuss, Deputy 
Assistant Director for Budget Analysis.

                       FEDERAL MANDATES STATEMENT

    The Committee adopts as its own the estimate of Federal 
mandates prepared by the Director of the Congressional Budget 
Office pursuant to section 423 of the Unfunded Mandates Reform 


    Pursuant to clause 3(c)(5) of House rule XIII, the 
committee states that no provision of this resolution 
establishes or reauthorizes a program of the Federal Government 
known to be duplicative of another Federal program, a program 
that was included in any report from the Government 
Accountability Office to Congress pursuant to section 21 of 
Public Law 111-139, or a program related to a program 
identified in the most recent Catalog of Federal Domestic 


    No advisory committees within the meaning of section 5(b) 
of the Federal Advisory Committee Act were created by this 


    The Committee finds that the legislation does not relate to 
the terms and conditions of employment or access to public 
services or accommodations within the meaning of section 
102(b)(3) of the Congressional Accountability Act.


Section 1. Short title

    This section would provide the short title of H.R. 1980 as 
the ``Smithsonian Women's History Museum Act.''

Section 2. Findings

    This section provides findings that the United States has 
greatly benefited from the contributions of women; that 
historical accounts, monuments, memorials, and museums 
disproportionally represent the achievements and contributions 
of men while often neglecting women; that there exists no 
national museum in the United States devoted to the 
documentation of women's contributions, and that establishing a 
comprehensive women's history museum is necessary to more 
accurately depict the history of the United States and would 
add value to the Smithsonian Institution.

Section 3. Establishment of museum

    This section would establish within the Smithsonian 
Institution a comprehensive women's history museum and lists 
the purpose of such a museum to include the collection, study, 
and establishment of programs relating to women's contributions 
to various fields throughout different periods of history that 
have influenced the direction of the United States; to 
collaborate with other Smithsonian Institution operations,; and 
to create exhibitions and programs recognizing diverse 
perspectives on women's history and contributions.

Section 4. Council

    This section would establish a council responsible for 
planning, design and construction of the museum. Additional 
council responsibilities would include assisting the Board of 
Regents in operating the museum; recommending operating budgets 
and providing annual budgets to the Board of regents; adopting 
council bylaws; acquiring artifacts for collections and 
disposing of those artifacts only to raise funds for additional 
collections; specifying criteria for use of collections and 
museum resources; preserving the collections; soliciting and 
accepting gifts; and ensuring diversity of political viewpoints 
in exhibits and programs.
    The council would be comprised of 25 voting members, 
including the Secretary of the Smithsonian, one member of the 
Board of Regents, and 23 individuals appointed by the Board of 
Regents. Members of the council would select a chairperson by 
majority vote and serve three-year, staggered terms with no 
pay. Members are limited to two terms. The council would be 
required to meet no less than twice per year and not less than 
four times in the year subsequent to the first council meeting.

Section 5. Director and staff of the museum

    This section would provide for a museum director to be 
appointed by the Secretary of the Smithsonian after considering 
individuals recommended by the council. The Director would be 
responsible for managing the museum subject to the policies of 
the Board of Regents. The Secretary of the Smithsonian would 
also be able to appoint two additional employees to serve under 
the Director. These employees would paid without regard to 
General Schedule pay rates.

Section 6. Educational and liaison programs

    This section would authorize educational and liaison 
programs that support museum goals and would require the 
Director to carry out educational programs in collaboration 
with elementary, secondary and postsecondary schools.

Section 7. Building

    This section would require the designation of a site for 
the museum no later than six months after the enactment of the 
bill. The Board of Regents may select any appropriate location 
in consultation with the council. Two preferred sites are 
identified, the ``South Monument site,'' on the National Mall 
opposite the National Museum of African American History and 
Culture and the ``Northwest United States Capitol site,'' 
located at of 3rd Street NW and Constitution Avenue NW. A 
number of factors are listed for consideration of a possible 
site, including consideration of the cost, proximity to other 
buildings and transportation and the recommendations of the 
Commission to Study the Potential Creation of a National 
Women's History Museum.
    In addition, this section would direct the Board of 
Regents, in choosing a site, to consult with: the National 
Capital Planning Commission; the Commission of Fine Arts; the 
Commission to Study the Potential Creation of a National 
Women's History Museum; the House Appropriations Committee; the 
House Administration Committee; the House Transpiration and 
Infrastructure Committee; the Senate Appropriations Committee; 
and the Senate Rules and Administration Committee.
    This section would furthermore require the transfer of the 
designated site to the Smithsonian if the museum is in an area 
under the administrative jurisdiction of a Federal agency and 
instructs the Board of Regents to prioritize a site on the 
National Mall. It would also make inapplicable certain 
provisions relating to monuments and commemorative works.
    Finally, this section would mandate cost sharing with the 
Federal funds being responsible for 50 percent of the costs of 
this section and 50 percent coming from non-federal sources.

Section 8. Definitions

    This section would provide definitions for Board of 
Regents, Congressional Commission, and Secretary.

Section 9. Authorization of appropriations

    This section would authorize appropriations for FY2020 and 
each succeeding fiscal year to be available until expended and 
would allow appropriations to be used to conduct fundraising in 
support of the museum.

                        EXPLANATION OF AMENDMENT

    An amendment offered by Representative Walker of North 
Carolina to ensure diversity of political viewpoints in 
exhibits and programs, which the Committee adopted by voice 

                            ADDITIONAL VIEWS

    Congress has an important role to study pending 
legislation, create a thorough legislative record, and weigh 
all public policy concerns for any legislation before it. Once 
legislation is passed, committees have a responsibility to 
conduct comprehensive oversight of laws and entities under 
their jurisdiction. Several of these steps were skipped prior 
to the Committee on House Administration reporting H.R. 1980 to 
the House. There still exists several issues surrounding the 
creation of a new national Women's History Museum that are 
outlined in these views. Ranking Member Davis intends on 
exploring these issues through oversight of the Smithsonian 
Institution as H.R. 1980 proceeds through the legislative 
Size of the Museum
    The American Museum of Women's History Congressional 
Commission (``Commission'') was tasked with studying the 
potential creation of an American Museum of Women's History and 
issued their report in November 2016. The report indicated a 
conservatively-sized museum of 75,000-90,000 square feet would 
be appropriate. This is significantly smaller than other 
Smithsonian museum.\1\ The National Museum of African-American 
History and Culture (``African American Museum'') is over 
600,000 square feet and the National Museum of the American 
Indian (``American Indian Museum'') is over 400,000 square 
feet.\2\ The smaller scale envisioned by the Commission is not 
adequate to cover the scope and breadth of a women's history 
museum and the anticipated visitation. These concerns were 
echoed by Secretary of the Smithsonian, Lonnie G. Bunch, who 
sent Ranking Member Davis a letter stating he could not imagine 
the museum being less than 350,000 square feet.\3\ The 
Commission's report also notes that non-pubic areas of the 
space, including collection storage, would be housed off-
site.\4\ This off-site storage could require the use of an 
additional building, which would require a further 
congressional authorization.
    \1\By comparison, the National Museum of African American History 
and Culture is over 600,000 square feet. Letter from Lonnie G. Bunch, 
Sec'y, Smithsonian Inst. to Congressman Rodney Davis (Nov. 5, 2019), on 
file with the Committee.
    \2\Id. at 58.
    \3\Letter from Lonnie G. Bunch, Sec'y, Smithsonian Inst. to 
Congressman Rodney Davis (Nov. 5, 2019), on file with the Committee.
    \4\By comparison, the National Museum of African American History 
and Culture is over 600,000 square feet. Letter from Lonnie G. Bunch, 
Sec'y, Smithsonian Inst. to Congressman Rodney Davis (Nov. 5, 2019), on 
file with the Committee at 69.
    Size is a crucial consideration in the establishment of a 
new museum as it affects programming, location and cost. 
Congress has provided direction on the size of new museums in 
the past. The enabling legislation for the American Indian 
Museum authorized no less than 400,000 square feet for the 
facilities.\5\ Legislation introduced in the 116th Congress 
establishing a National Museum of the American Latino provides 
for no less square footage than what is recommended in the 
final report of the National Museum of the American Latino 
Commission (359,422 square feet.)\6\
    \5\Pub. L. No. 101-185.
    \6\National Museum of the American Latino Act, H.R. 2420, 116th 
Cong. (2019).
    The size of the museum also impacts construction and 
operations costs. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) cost 
estimate for H.R. 1980 assumes a museum of 100,000 square feet. 
However, in his letter addressed to the House Administration 
Committee, Smithsonian Institute Secretary Lonnie Bunch stated 
the proposed 100,000 square feet ``cannot adequately capture 
the full breadth of experience shared by more than one half of 
our population,'' and the Smithsonian Institute does not think 
it is possible ``in a space under 350,000 square feet.''\7\ It 
has not been discussed how the larger size will increase 
construction costs, operating costs, or maintenance costs. 
Congress should have a comprehensive understanding of costs as 
an ongoing federal commitment is necessary to sustain the 
museum. To this end Ranking Member Davis wrote to Dr. Keith 
Hall, Director of CBO, asking for a revised cost estimate for 
H.R. 1980.\8\
    \7\Letter from Lonnie G. Bunch, Sec'y, Smithsonian Inst. to 
Congressman Rodney Davis (Nov. 5, 2019), on file with the Committee.
    \8\Letter from Congressman Rodney Davis to Dr. Keith Hall, 
Director, Congressional Budget Office (Nov. 7, 2019), on file with the 
    H.R. 1980 directs the Smithsonian Board of Regents to 
select from one of two named sites or an alternative location 
identified by the Board. A comprehensive site assessment should 
be conducted on these locations to determine suitability for a 
museum of the appropriate size. By comparison, the statute 
establishing the American Indian Museum identified the specific 
site, and for the African American Museum, the statute mandated 
one of four specific options. Legislation could provide the 
Board of Regents for the Women's History Museum the authority 
to select a site not identified by Congress.
Capacity of Smithsonian
    As the Majority is aware, the Smithsonian faces several 
facilities challenges: (1) a deferred maintenance backlog of 
over $1 billion; (2) a $900 million renovation of the National 
Air and Space Museum; (3) and 47% of collections storage space, 
across the entire Smithsonian, identified as unacceptable. 
Currently, the Minority is unaware of the Smithsonian's 
specific plan and timing to address these issues. If there is 
such a plan, the addition of a new museum will undoubtedly 
further delay its implementation. Last Congress, the 
Smithsonian Secretary testified that the Institution did not 
have the capacity to bring a new museum to fruition given these 
    Legislation establishing the American Indian Museum and the 
African American Museum were the subject of hearings held at 
this Committee. A national museum celebrating women's history 
deserves no less consideration. The Minority would like to hold 
a hearing on the proposal and pursue any other appropriate 
mechanisms to examine these issues with the intention of 
providing a solid foundation for a Smithsonian Women's History 

                                              Rodney Davis,
                                                    Ranking Member.