News you might have missed: House votes to create American Latino Museum


Also: Michelle Obama debuts a new podcast, and the House honors the late Rep. John Lewis by naming voting rights legislation after him.

This week, Congress moves closer to creating a museum honoring American Latinos, a poll shows most Americans support anti-racism protests, and President Barack Obama eulogizes the late Rep. John Lewis.

Read on to see what else you might have missed this week in the news.

House approves bill to create a National Museum of the American Latino

The House of Representatives took the first step toward building a museum on the National Mall devoted to the history and culture of American Latinos.

On Monday, the House passed the National Museum of the American Latino Act in a bipartisan voice vote.

The legislation "represents a historic step towards securing a new home for the Latino story to be told," Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-TX), chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, said in a statement. Castro said the caucus "eagerly welcomes the creation of a new Smithsonian museum on the National Mall to showcase Latino history, art, and culture."

A bill to create such a museum was first introduced in Congress in 2011.

"Our community has been used as scapegoats for the problems that America faces," Rep. Tony Cárdenas (D-CA) said on the floor of the House. "The American people deserve to learn the truth of our history and our heritage."

House renames voting rights bill after John Lewis

The House of Representatives voted unanimously on Monday to rename a key voting rights bill after the late Rep. John Lewis (D-GA), an icon of the civil rights movement.

"John dedicated his entire life to ensuring all Americans can exercise this sacred right," Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-SC) said. "Enacting the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Act is the best thing we can do to honor this American hero."

The legislation, which would restore and extend provisions of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 that were struck down by the Supreme Court in its decision in Shelby County v. Holder in 2013, passed the House in December by a 228-187 vote. Senate Majority Mitch McConnell has refused to bring the bill up for a vote in the Senate.

Americans overwhelmingly support anti-racism protests

The majority of Americans, or approximately 2 in 3, support nationwide anti-racism protests, according to a Gallup poll released on Tuesday.

Support was highest among Black adults (92%), and a majority of Asian, Hispanic, and white adults were in favor. A majority of every age group also supported the protests, as well as a majority of Democrats and independents. Only 22% of Republicans approved of the protests.

Americans began taking to the streets shortly after George Floyd, an unarmed Black man, died when a white police officer knelt on his neck for more than eight minutes.

Record number of women run for Congress this year

A record number of women filed paperwork to run for Congress this year, according to data compiled by the Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers University.

In total, 584 women filed to run for House seats, including 357 Democratic women and 227 Republican women.

On the Senate side, 60 women filed to run, with Democrats outnumbering Republicans by a 37 to 23 margin.

The record numbers represent an "encouraging sign that we could be entering a new era of women's political participation," Debbie Walsh, the director of the center, said in a statement on Wednesday. "But electoral progress for women should be the norm, not the exception, in a political system where women remain significantly underrepresented as officeholders."

DEFUND THE WALL to be painted on Laredo street

Visitors to the federal courthouse in downtown Laredo, Texas, will soon be greeted by a large street mural reading DEFUND THE WALL.

The Laredo City Council voted unanimously on Monday to paint the mural in large block letters in cooperation with the No Border Wall Coalition. The Laredo mural would be similar to the Black Lives Matter street mural near the White House in Washington, D.C.

"Laredo needs jobs. Laredo needs better infrastructure. Laredo needs adequate and safe housing. Laredo needs funding to restore the river. Laredo needs investment in our healthcare system, and our colleges and students. Laredo does not need a border wall," Sister Rosemary Welsh, a nun and founding member of the No Border Wall Coalition, said in a written statement to the city council.

Michelle Obama launches podcast

Former first lady Michelle Obama debuted "The Michelle Obama Podcast" on Wednesday. The podcast will feature conversations with Obama's friends and loved ones about "the relationships in our lives that make us who we are," according to the description on Spotify.

Obama's first guest was former President Barack Obama, and the two spoke at length about social justice and political activism in the light of protests following the death of George Floyd.

Hallmark Christmas movies will soon include LGBTQ stories

Hallmark on Thursday said that it will announce "projects featuring LGBTQ storylines, characters and actors" in the next few months.

The announcement came in response to criticism of the cable channel's lack of diversity, including the fact that there are no LGBTQ storylines in the 40 Christmas-themed movies the network will broadcast in 2020.

"Diversity and inclusion is a top priority for us," the company said in a statement. "We are committed to creating a Hallmark experience where everyone feels welcome."

Watch: President Obama gives moving eulogy honoring John Lewis

President Barack Obama honored the work and life of the late Rep. John Lewis on Thursday with a eulogy that called for building on the civil rights icon's legacy.

"Naming it the John Lewis Voting Rights Act — that is a fine tribute, but John wouldn't want us to stop there," Obama said at Lewis' funeral. "Once we pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Act, we should keep marching to make it even better."

Obama called for automatic voter registration; making Election Day a national holiday; granting statehood to Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C.; and ending partisan gerrymandering "so that all voters have the power to choose their politicians, not the other way around."

Americans should treat voting "as the most important action we can take on behalf of democracy," Obama said. "Like John, we have to give it all we have."