Today, the House Natural Resources Committee approved H.R. 1126, the Dwight. D. Eisenhower Memorial Completion Act, by voice vote. This legislation, sponsored by Subcommittee on Public Lands and Environmental Regulation Chairman Rob Bishop (UT-01), seeks to build consensus around a new Eisenhower Memorial by implementing a new design competition and providing a three year extension of the memorial site designation, which is set to expire this year.
"In examining the process undertaken by the current Commission to develop the Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial we have discovered some very significant flaws," said Subcommittee Chairman Bishop. "This includes the selection process for the architect and the possible mismanagement of millions of federal dollars. If we don't make some changes and ensure an open, public process, millions of dollars will continue to be wasted without any significant progress being made. A new commission and a new design competition is the right way forward as we work toward developing a fitting tribute to the legacy of one of our nation's greatest leaders."
The current design and competition process has been the subject of repeated scrutiny, including by members of the Eisenhower family who are opposed to the current design. At a Subcommittee hearing last March, Susan Eisenhower, granddaughter of President Eisenhower, expressed concern that the cost, scale, and design of the planned Memorial are not in keeping with President Eisenhower's values and do not enjoy a consensus of support.
Since 1999, Congress has appropriated $63 million in taxpayer funds for the design of the Memorial and operations of the Commission, and the Commission has requested an additional $51 million in Fiscal Year 2014 to begin construction.