Retreat From Kingsmill

Posted November 19, 2003 at 5:59pm

Democratic Caucus Chairman Bob Menendez (N.J.) announced Wednesday he has changed the venue for the Caucus’ 2004 issues retreat, originally scheduled for Kingsmill Resort in Williamsburg, Va. [IMGCAP(1)]

Menendez said the Caucus had to move the annual gathering to Virginia’s Homestead Resort because Hurricane Isabel damaged Kingsmill earlier this year. House Democrats will still gather Feb. 5-7.

“We look forward to a new location, which Members wanted to see. Hopefully in the future we can look at Kingsmill as a location,” said Menendez.

No Capitol Site, but Museum Moves Ahead. Legislation authorizing the construction of a National Museum of African American History and Culture was approved by the House on Wednesday, closing out months of behind-the-scenes haggling over a potential location.

“I’m very, very pleased,” said Rep. John Lewis (D), who introduced the bill with fellow Georgia Rep. Jack Kingston (R) this week. “It’s been a long and tedious struggle.”

The legislation will likely be “hotlined” by the Senate and passed under unanimous consent as early as today, said a Lewis aide. President Bush is expected to sign the bill into law soon after.

The bill is a revised version of a measure approved by the Senate in June that had included a Capitol site as one of four options for the museum. Lewis said opposition to the Capitol site in part precipitated the new bill.

The legislation includes four sites on or near the Mall, including a Banneker Overlook site, which was not part of the original bill. The Smithsonian board of regents will have a year to designate a site.

— Erin P. Billings and Bree Hocking