Press Release ● For The People
For Immediate Release: 
February 10, 2020
Contact Info: 
Annaliese Davis 202-225-3130
WASHINGTON, DC – House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (MD) delivered remarks today at a press event on H.R. 1980, the Smithsonian Women’s History Act, which will be considered by the House tomorrow. Below is a transcript of his remarks: 

“Thank you so much, [Oversight and Reform Committee Chairwoman] Carolyn [Maloney]… I wanted to be here with Carolyn Maloney, I wanted to be here with Brian Fitzpatrick, and, of course, my colleague [Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton] representing the Washington Metropolitan area, one of the great leaders in the Congress and the District of Columbia, which hopefully soon is going to have a bill on the Floor which will make it a state. In addition to recognizing women, we want to recognize the District of Columbia as all that it should be, being larger than two other states in the nation.
“Jane Abraham, let me thank you for your leadership and your leading of the [American Museum of Women’s History Congressional] Commission.
“In 2020, 56 percent of the electorate will be women, otherwise known as the majority. I have a women’s history [lunch] every year in August, and we celebrate the adoption of the 19th Amendment, when America took another step towards recognizing – yes, we believe in America that all are created equal.

“They said ‘men,’ but I’d like to believe they meant human kind, but whether they were that expansive in their thoughts – they were an extraordinary group of people – but obviously people of color, women, were left out of our democracy. Notwithstanding that they made an extraordinary contribution every step – in the colonial period, in the revolutionary period, in the time between our founding, our Civil War, our Civil War to World War I. [They made] incredible contributions to World War II. We would not have won that war without women. Nancy likes to have that muscle bulging as we’re here to help America.

“So, this is so very appropriate, and it is appropriate that it is bipartisan. Brian - thank you for your leadership, and we still give our sympathies for the loss of your brother.

“From the courageous women who participated in our revolution – as I said – from the women who marched for voting rights and civil rights, this museum will ensure that women’s voices are not left out in telling our history. Women of all colors, all nationalities, all regions of our colonies – my own state has had some extraordinary women leaders. This week, we will pass this bill on suspension to begin recognizing in a bipartisan way that – we have a lot of differences, a lot of confrontation, but the work that has gone into this Carolyn, as you said, for decades, in trying to get to this point.

“Lonnie [Bunch] is now the head of the Smithsonian and did an extraordinary job - and it was a tough job and took a lot of time - in getting the African American Museum of Culture and History.

“This is something I’ve supported and advocated [for] for many years. I was so glad to see the Commonwealth of Virginia become the 38th state to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment. Think of that being more than two and a half centuries after we said in 1776 ‘all men…’

“And we certainly interpret that today, as some founders determined then - but few - all of us, irrespective of gender, color, race, religion - equal. In the eyes of God we think, in many of our faiths, but from a standpoint of secular in the eyes of our Constitution.

“So I am pleased to be here with Carolyn, my other colleagues, to celebrate and then to go tomorrow and do more than celebrate. Put a card in the slot, hit that green button, and say ‘it is time,’ as a matter of fact, we’re going to say, ‘it is long past time.’

“Thank you very much Carolyn Maloney, Eleanor, Jane, Brian.”