Hill Leaders to Unveil Reagan Statue

Posted May 29, 2009 at 1:25pm

Former first lady Nancy Reagan on Wednesday will join Congressional leaders in unveiling a statue of former President Ronald Reagan in the Capitol Rotunda.Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) will take part in the ceremony to dedicate the Reagan statue as part of the National Statuary Hall Collection.The collection includes statues donated by states to honor notable figures in their histories. Others on hand will include California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) and former Treasury Secretary and Reagan White House Chief of Staff James A. Baker III.The unveiling comes just two weeks after Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wis.) lifted his opposition to legislation to create a commission to honor Reagan on the 100th anniversary of his birth.Feingold had blocked the Reagan bill to try to get a vote on his amendment to create a commission to investigate U.S. treatment of immigrant communities in the 1930s and 1940s. Once Feingold lifted his opposition, Congress approved the bill and sent it to President Barack Obama’s desk, where it awaits his signature. Rep. Elton Gallegly (R-Calif.), the bill’s lead sponsor in the House, had urged passage of his bill in time for the unveiling of Reagan’s statue since the former first lady will be in attendance.It would be a shame “to have her here and not to be able to do these things concurrently [because] of folly about what should be simple,— Gallegly said.