The Congressional Budget Office confirmed that the plan would not have a significant impact on the federal budget in a report issued in April 2005.
“GSA would like to redevelop the entire Old Post Office area as a whole or in sections, but does not expect to find a private party to lease the site in the next few years,” the report reads. “GSA anticipates that the facility could generate at least $2 million in annual rental receipts if a lessee could be found.”
The report did note, however, that the museum would not be required to pay rent for its first five years in the building.
Wages said she is hopeful Congress will move on the bill this session. Besides saving taxpayer dollars, the plan also makes fiscal sense for the museum, which relies on private donations and sponsorships to survive, Wages said.
Although the site is smaller than initially anticipated — the museum’s private offices would need to be located off-site — it is already equipped with museum-ready features, including an auditorium, Wages said.
“We thought that there would be, comparatively, less cost involved than starting from bare ground,” Wages said.
A slew of historians, curators and anthropologists already have put together a broad umbrella of issues that could be featured in the museum, Wages said. Those issues include women’s political activities, how women impacted communities and the role of women in the home and public sphere, Wages added.
“It was women who lobbied for and campaigned for pasteurization of milk, and city parks and libraries, clean water and sewage systems,” Wages noted.
It is important those accomplishments be featured alongside other institutions honoring American history, Wages added.
“The Mall is the center of attraction for this city, for tourists,” she said. “Tourists come to this city to see museums. ... We want to be among them.”
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., right, hugs Harold Schaitberger, General President of the International Association of Fire Fighters, after the Congressman spoke at the IAFF's Legislative Conference General Session at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, March 9, 2015. The day featured addresses by members of Congress and Vice President Joe Biden.