Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Your legislative update

Let's check in on (former) HR 1700, the mascot bill of our little website.

Recently, the leadership of the National Women's History Museum asked us charter members to generate some buzz around the project, and see if we could get it a little media attention (or at the very least, search results).  And desperately in need of content, as I often am, I will take the win/win.

Just yesterday, the museum's president  got some airtime delivering a 4 minute update.  I won't repeat it; you can see it here.  In the mailing to us, the leadership was nervous about having been pressed by spokeswoman Meryl Streep for something new to say in the way of progress.  Streep and I share a common complaint, which is... "show me some progress, and I'll show you the money."  I suppose if I had been nominated for more Oscars they might have listened to me (and if I hadn't written it manifesto style on the back of the pledge envelope."

Our little Bill is no longer HR 1700, having been reintroduced Bride in Blue style as HR 2844.  1700 now belongs to some Medicare thing, and I suppose we should care about that too, but I only have time to adopt one congressional bill at a time.  Our Bill is also now called "National Women's History Museum and Federal Facilities Consolidation and Efficiency Act of 2011."   zzzzzzzzzzzz   Would the Civil Rights Act have settled for "Civil Rights and Paperwork Reduction Act"?  I think not, sir.

NWMH makes much about the "progress" of being re-introduced -- they have to -- but we are still just trying to land authorized. 

They also tout "The Museum will be the first museum on the Mall designed by a woman."  This is the problem with women's history -- everything is still a "First" in a Man Bites Dog vein.  Recently the nightly news encouraged me to be jubilant about a woman running IBM.  And sitting first chair in the Boston Symphony.  In 2011, I should hope so.  

Once again, we'll send you to Govtrack, to watch the laws get made, and remade, and marinade.  Here are the current facts on bills related to opening a women's history museum in our nation's capital:

S 1741 actually passed the Senate in 2004, but didn't survive its legislative term, so it was "cleared from the books."  In girls' rules, this is a do-over.
S 501 suffered the same fate, but god bless Susan Collins for trying to introduce it again.  We can almost forgive you for 505, known as "See Something, Say Something."
S 1841 died in committee.  This is starting to read like Alpha-Gorey

Then comes 1700 in the 2009-2010 session.  Passed the House.  Stayed that way.  Its companion in the Senate died.  Now come HR 2844 and S 680 - main difference being naming a new address as 600 Pennsylvania,  near where the Newseum is today.

Since the museum was founded in 1996, the same year as the Martin Luther King Jr Memorial Foundation, the NWHM's day may be upon us.  In the meantime, go invent the cell phone, like Hedy Lamar did, or just send cash.  We hope to see you at the ribbon cutting.

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