Government Bytes


Latest Taxpayer's Tab: Eisenhower Memorial, Department of Peace

by Michael Tasselmyer / /

Plans for a memorial in honor of President Dwight D. "Ike" Eisenhower have garnered a mixed response from legislators, architects, and even the Eisenhower family themselves. In this week's edition of the Taxpayer's Tab, NTUF analyzed the possible impact a bill to stop the memorial's construction could have on the federal budget.

In 1999, President Clinton signed a law to establish the Eisenhower Memorial Commission. The Commission was tasked with finding a site & designer for a Presidential memorial dedicated to the 34th Chief Executive. They chose Frank Gehry, a renowned architect known for his cutting edge work on the Guggenheim Museum in Spain and the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles. His design for the memorial has received mixed reviews: some architects support Gehry's unique avant-garde approach; others, including the Eisenhower family, worry about the structure's durability and extravagant design.

In response, Congressman Rob Bishop (R-UT) introduced H.R. 1126, the Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial Completion Act, which would stop the current project, review new submissions, and terminate all future financing for construction of Gehry's design. NTUF determined it would reduce federal outlays by about $93 million over 3 years, or $31 million per year.

Also in this week's edition of the Tab:

  • Most Expensive: Congressman John Conyers introduced H.R. 870, the Humphrey-Hawkins 21st Century Full Employment and Training Act of 2013. It would use revenue from a new tax on stock & bond transactions to fund grants for employment & training programs at the state and local level. It would increase federal outlays by $502.5 billion over 5 years, or $100.5 billion each year.
  • Most Friended: Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA) introduced H.R. 1124, the TIGER Grants for Job Creation Act. It would extend the TIGER grant program for another two years at a cost of $500 million per year, or $1 billion over two years.
  • The Wildcard: Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-CA) has introduced a bill that builds upon legislation championed by former Rep. Dennis Kucinich. H.R. 808, the Department of Peacebuilding Act of 2013, would establish a federal Department of Peacebuilding. It would be tasked with promoting peace globally and domestically and funding programs to advance those goals. NTUF scored Rep. Lee's legislation based on a similar bill introduced by Rep. Kucinich in the 112th Congress, which would have authorized $50 billion over 5 years, or $10 billion per year.

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