Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
July 4, 2015

Posts in "Eisenhower Memorial"

June 24, 2015

Frank Gehry’s Ike Memorial Plan Adds to Interior Spending Discord

Rep. Mike Simpson, R-Idaho, leaves a meeting of House republicans, June 11, 2014, the day House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., announced he will be stepping down from the position effective July 31st. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Simpson said Eisenhower family doesn’t have to have “veto power” on memorial design “but they can’t oppose it.” (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Ask Rep. Mike Simpson, R-Idaho, about the fate of architect Frank Gehry’s design for the Dwight D. Eisenhower memorial and he’ll tell you it’s time to wipe the slate clean and start over.

“There’s been some real conflict between the staff, the Eisenhower family and, to some degree, Congress,” said Simpson, vice chairman of the House Appropriations Committee panel that is urging a “reset” on memorial plans. Full story

June 17, 2015

House Appropriators Call for ‘Reset’ on Eisenhower Memorial Plans

(CQ Roll Call File Photo)

(CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Dwight D. Eisenhower once declared that, “in preparing for battle, plans are useless, but planning is indispensable.”

Posing the biggest threat yet to architect Frank Gehry’s plans for a memorial to to the 34th president, five-star general and supreme allied commander, the House Appropriations Committee on Tuesday approved a bill, 30-21, that would cut all funding for the Eisenhower Memorial Commission, and advanced non-binding language calling for a “reset” on the project, which has not received any construction funds from Congress since fiscal 2012. Full story

June 12, 2015

It’s Time for the Circulator — on the National Mall

D.C. officials launch a new Circulator route. (Bridget Bowman/CQ Roll Call)

Officials launch a new D.C. Circulator route Friday. (Bridget Bowman/CQ Roll Call)

As the sun beat down on the National Mall late Friday morning, District of Columbia officials cut a ribbon in front of a bus parked by the Lincoln Memorial, launching the sixth DC Circulator bus route.

DC Circulator has operated bus routes around the District for the past 10 years, providing $1 rides to residents and visitors. The new route along the National Mall, which originates at Union Station, begins Sunday with 15 stops at the various monuments and museums, with a final stop at the West Front of the Capitol. Full story

April 29, 2015

Pat Roberts: ‘Nothing Less Than Full Victory’ on Ike Memorial

Roberts, left, was elected chairman of the Eisenhower Memorial Commission. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Roberts, left, praised the Kansas elements of the controversial plan for the Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The senator who made headlines for quoting a Disney movie earlier this month adopted on Wednesday the words of Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower on Wednesday, declaring he would “accept nothing less than full victory” in the long slog to build a memorial to the 34th president. Full story

For Eisenhower Memorial, It’s 16 Years and Counting

Kastenmeier memorial service

Roberts is taking over the troubled commission. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

It took Dwight D. Eisenhower a little more than a year to plan and execute Operation Overlord, the largest military invasion in history and the turning point of World War II. The Eisenhower Memorial Commission, Congress, architect Frank Gehry and the Eisenhower family have been planning the memorial to the 34th president and supreme allied commander since 1999, and it’s still on the drawing board.

Passing the gavel to Sen. Pat Roberts might help the commission win federal approvals needed to shift the long-stalled project out of neutral. But even as the commission is set to install the Kansas Republican as its chairman at a meeting Wednesday in the Capitol, Congress remains a hard sell. Full story

January 15, 2015

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser to Attend State of the Union

Norton will bring Bowser to the State of the Union address. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Norton will bring Bowser to the State of the Union address. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

District of Columbia Mayor Muriel Bowser will attend the State of the Union Tuesday as a guest of Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, D-D.C.

Bowser confirmed Thursday afternoon she will be attending the president’s annual address, a spokesman for Norton’s office told CQ Roll Call. In 2011, then-Mayor Vincent Gray attended the address as Norton’s guest. But when Gray was invited again in 2012, he reportedly skipped the event to attend his girlfriend’s birthday party. Full story

November 26, 2014

Eisenhower Memorial Plan Still Faces Skepticism, Despite Approvals

Simpson, left, and Calvert both want consensus from the Eisenhower family. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Simpson, left, and Calvert both want consensus from the Eisenhower family. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Capitol Hill’s representatives on the Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial Commission remain skeptical the monument to the 34th president will break ground next year, despite rosy projections from commission staff.

“Ultimately, what I think you’ve got to have is a buy-in from the Eisenhower family,” said Rep. Mike Simpson, R-Idaho, one of six members of Congress on the bipartisan commission. Anne and Susan Eisenhower have requested a simpler design, although the current plan has gained traction with two of the federal entities that must sign off on final plans for the Southwest Washington memorial park.

“I don’t think you can do a memorial when you’ve got the family opposed to it,” Simpson said. He declined to give his own opinion of architect Frank Gehry’s plan for statues of Ike as a young boy in Kansas, World War II commander and president, set against a massive stainless steel tapestry depicting prairie scenery. Gehry’s plan originally called for two additional tapestries. But those were scrapped, leaving two freestanding 80-foot columns that have continued to draw criticism. Full story

October 3, 2014

Second Senator Quits Eisenhower Memorial Commission

Reed served on the Eisenhower Memorial Commission from 2001 until this week. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Reed served on the Eisenhower Memorial Commission from 2001 until this week. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

A second senator has quietly cut ties with the Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial Commission.

Two weeks after Kansas Republican Jerry Moran submitted his resignation, the EMC received a letter from Rhode Island Democrat Jack Reed notifying them of his exit. By law, the commission is composed of four presidential appointees and four members of each chamber, appointed by leadership. Reed’s resignation leaves the 12-member panel with 10 commissioners.

In a statement to CQ Roll Call, the senator’s office indicated he decided to pull out after Moran stepped down on Sept. 17. The move is aimed at introducing some fresh viewpoints on the long-delayed project. “Senator Reed has been honored to serve on the commission for over a decade,” Chip Unruh, press secretary for the senator, said in an email.

“Now is a good time to give someone else a chance and bring in new perspectives,” he continued. “And with the departures of both Senators Moran and Reed, it restores parity. Senator Reed has the utmost respect for all parties involved. He believes the commission will continue working to build a fitting monument to President Eisenhower.”

Reed abstained from a Wednesday vote that sent architect Frank Gehry’s revised design to the National Capital Planning Commission for preliminary design approval. The NCPC advanced the design during its Thursday meeting, by a 10-1 vote.

Moran, who was appointed to the commission as a member of the House in 2001, came to the conclusion that his staunch advocacy for making Kansas part of the design was blocking the memorial from completion. He was a fan of the tapestries depicting scenes from the Kansas prairie. Gehry revised the design this summer by cutting two of three tapestries.

Rocco Siciliano, chairman of the EMC, announced Reed’s resignation in a statement issued Friday.

“As one of our founding commissioners, Senator Reed has selflessly served on the Commission with great energy and attention since its inception in 2001,” he said. “As a military veteran and graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point, he provided keen insight into the importance of President and General Eisenhower’s military experience and leadership to the fundamental core of Eisenhower’s roots and legacy. I and the other Commissioners appreciate his long, dedicated service, and his counsel will be sorely missed as we press forward with this important project.”

Related Stories:

They Like Ike on a 10-1 Vote

Members of Congress Skip Confusing Eisenhower Memorial Meeting

It’s Time to Finish Ike’s Memorial | Letter to the Editor

It’s Time to Bury Frank Gehry’s Eisenhower Memorial | Commentary

Roll Call Election Map: Race Ratings for Every Seat

Get breaking news alerts and more from Roll Call in your inbox or on your iPhone.

They Like Ike in 10-1 Vote

Simpson still has qualms about the Gehry design. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Simpson still has qualms about the Gehry design. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The National Capital Planning Commission gave preliminary design approval, 10-1, to architect Frank Gehry’s latest plan for a memorial to Dwight D. Eisenhower Thursday, with a nudge toward more modifications.

While no members of Congress attended the downtown Washington meeting, Capitol Hill’s influence was apparent.

Two congressional staffers voted in support of the action, on behalf of House Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., and Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Chairman Thomas R. Carper, D-Del., reflecting a desire to move forward with the long-delayed memorial. Issa has been trying to bring disparate camps together to get the project, now 15 years in the making, back on track. Full story

September 24, 2014

Jerry Moran Quits Eisenhower Memorial Commission

Moran quietly resigned last week. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Moran quietly resigned last week. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Despite criticism, the Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial Commission plans to seek preliminary approval of architect Frank Gehry’s latest design during an Oct. 2 meeting of the National Capital Planning Commission.

The fight surrounding Gehry’s plan led Sen. Jerry Moran to quietly slip his resignation into the Congressional Record last week, leaving the embattled, 12-member panel with one less supporter of architect Gehry’s contentious design. The Kansas Republican’s resignation could have cleared the way for an alternative, but a majority of commissioners rejected that idea.

Moran and six other members of Congress who sit on the commission — including fellow Kansas Republican Pat Roberts — skipped the most recent briefing on the memorial. Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., abstained from the most recent round of votes. Full story

Sign In

Forgot password?



Receive daily coverage of the people, politics and personality of Capitol Hill.

Subscription | Free Trial

Logging you in. One moment, please...