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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)

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.”  

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