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Maloney Gaining Traction in Fight for Women's History Museum on National Mall

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A New York Democrat is gaining traction in her fight to build a women's history museum on the National Mall, and help from a leading Republican could push the bill over the finish line. Washington bureau reporter Michael Scotto filed the following report for NY1.

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The National Mall is home to nearly a dozen museums paying tribute to a variety of groups, but there is one notable absence, and that is a museum dedicated to the achievements of women.

For 15 years, Carolyn Maloney says her push to change that has been met with one answer.

"Pretty much no," she said.

This year could be different. The Manhattan Democrat has teamed up with Tennessee Republican Marsha Blackburn.

"Sisterhood trumps partisanship," Maloney said.

Both are confident that they will pass legislation in the House and the Senate this year that would establish a commission to study where a permanent home for the National Women's History Museum should be built. Previous efforts have never made it all the way through Congress.

"This is an opportunity to honor the accomplishments of women," Blackburn said. "It's not a partisan issue."

Backers of the project know exactly where they want it constructed, and that is on the National Mall, in the shadow of the Washington Monument.

The National Women's History Museum, which currently operates out of a nondescript office building in Virginia, says it wouldn't cost taxpayers a dime.

"We have offered to do all of the fundraising for this museum," said Joan Wages of the National Women's History Museum.

It's estimated to cost about $400 million.

For Maloney, the long struggle to get this done is hardly a surprise.

"It shows how difficult it is for women. We're still 77 cents to the dollar. I can't understand it," Maloney said. "It's like voting against your mother to vote against the creation of a commission to honor the achievements of women. It seems to me, it's a goal that is long past due and should have happened before."

From the way things look, it may finally happen this year.

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