WASHINGTON – President Joe Biden signed a bill Monday that will create a commission to study establishing a national museum on the history of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the United States.
“I’m honored to sign into law something that’s long overdue,” he said at a White House ceremony.
The “Commission to Study the Potential Creation of a National Museum of Asian Pacific American History and Culture Act” creates an eight-member commission to study how to make such a museum a reality in Washington, including whether it should be part of the Smithsonian Institution.
The Senate majority and minority leaders, and the House speaker and House minority leader each would name two members of the study commission.
The House passed the bill in April, and the Senate did so in May, which Biden had designated as Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander Heritage Month.
Biden was joined at the ceremony by Vice President Kamala Harris, the first person of Indian descent to be elected to the position. Harris’ mother was Indian.
Harris said such a museum will help “fight ignorance” and “dispel misinformation” about Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islander people in the U.S.
The Smithsonian is in early planning stages for two new museums, the National Museum of the American Latino and the Smithsonian American Women's History Museum.
Both the National Museum of the American Indian and the National Museum of African American History and Culture are run by the Smithsonian.
The legislation was sponsored by Rep. Grace Meng, D-N.Y., and Sen. Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii.