New U.S. Capitol Visitors Center: Overpriced, Godless, Less Smelly

Sounds like most big-box retail establishments, eh? 😉

Yes, the make-over of the U.S. Capitor Visitor’s Center (CVC) is complete!  It’s only 3 years late, and $550 million over budget (original budget was $71 million).

Original plans called for more than half of the CVC space to be left as unfinished “shell space”, available to be outfitted for future needs. Instead, in 2001 Congress began implementing its wish list for the unfinished spaces. The House side got a two-story hearing room and the Senate grafted on a collection of small hearing rooms and a television and radio studio with adjoining makeup facilities so that senators could cut spots for their constituents back home. Those two efforts alone added $85 million to the cost of the CVC. The CVC will also have a 450-seat dining area, two orientation theaters (one for each chamber), a large auditorium, and an exhibition hall.

In addition, it lacks any mention of faith as a part of our heritage. These excerpts are from a statement from Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) issued today:

The Capitol Visitor Center is designed to tell the history and purpose of our nation’s Capitol, but it fails to appropriately honor our religious heritage that has been critical to America’s success. While the Architect of the Capitol has pledged to include some references to faith, more needs to be done. You cannot accurately tell the history of America or its Capitol by ignoring the religious heritage of our Founders and the generations since who relied on their faith for strength and guidance.

The current CVC displays are left-leaning and in some cases distort our true history. Exhibits portray the federal government as the fulfillment of human ambition and the answer to all of society’s problems. This is a clear departure from acknowledging that Americans’ rights ‘are endowed by their Creator’ and stem from ‘a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence.’

That’s all right, though, because, according to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, at least the visiting proles won’t be stinking up the place anymore:

“My staff tells me not to say this, but I’m going to say it anyway,” said Reid in his remarks. “In the summer because of the heat and high humidity, you could literally smell the tourists coming into the Capitol. It may be descriptive but it’s true.”

He’s complained about it before, too… as recently as this year!

Mr. President, someone wanting to visit the Capitol today, there is no place for them to gather. They gather -it used to be out on the East Front – now they gather on the West Front. And the people who work here joke about you can always tell when it’s summertime because you can smell the visitors. And what we mean by that Mr. President – they stand out there in the high humidity, heat, sweating, and it’s really – there’s no place for them to go. The bathrooms in this facility are almost nonexistent. There is one on this side, one on the other side, both very small.


UPDATED (12/3)

Argh. Dash it all, DeMint

Changes were still taking place even as the opening approached. Sen. Jim DeMint, a South Carolina Republican, balked at the budget because he said the center’s exhibits ignored the nation’s religious heritage.

To avoid further delays, Senate Rules Committee Chairman Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., and top Republican Robert Bennett of Utah agreed in principle to several changes, including engraving “In God We Trust” in stone in a prominent place. The cost: an additional $150,000.

So, as I stated before, it was wrong of them to disclude our hertiage of faith (in God, not government).  I have to ask then: why could that $150,000 not have been swapped for some of the other overpriced jazz they opted for?  However, as federal budgets usually go, things are seldom swapped because every one of our greedy representatives want something in there.  And, naturally, the costs are just stacked up in the name of compromise.

And you want this government in charge of our your healthcare?  As the old saying goes, I would trust few of them with the office of “dog catcher”.


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