Chris Cimko, a spokesperson for the Eisenhower Memorial Commission, did not characterize that provision as a major setback. Landscape and design plans still need to be tinkered with to meet concerns from the U.S. Commission on Fine Arts, and materials testing required by the National Capitol Planning Commission are ongoing. Cimko also indicated the $1 million operating costs would be manageable and that the commission will be happy to provide a fundraising report to Congress. The bill would require the commission a table of private fundraising to date, which was still in its nascent phase as of late 2013, as well as the total obligations and expenditures of those funds.
Rep. Rob Bishop, R-Utah, who has proposed a bill to overhaul Gehry’s design and eliminate congressional funding for the commission, believes the Eisenhower Memorial Commission’s failure to clear the hurdles of the design phase should be a lesson to stakeholders.
“The handwriting is on the wall, and the commission should realize that what they have been trying to do so far is not working,” he said. “It’s not just Congress that’s objecting, it’s everyone else that has a say in the process.”