US Park Ranger Richard Trott places a closed sign on a barricade in front of the World War II Memorial monument in Washington, DC, October 1, 2013.
Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images

GOP congressman shames park ranger over shutdown


Congressman Randy Neugebauer got into a nasty exchange with a U.S. Park Service Ranger on Wednesday at the closed World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C., that was caught on camera by NBC Washington. The unidentified ranger was told by the Texas Republican, “The Park Service should be ashamed of themselves.”

The Ranger was in a crowd of tourists keeping them out due to the government shutdown. “I’m not ashamed,” she told the congressman.

“Well you should be,” he quipped back.

Another man in the crowd confronted Rep. Neugebauer saying, “This woman is doing her job, just like me. I’m a 30-year federal veteran. I’m out of work.”

The Texas Republican answered, “Well, the reason you are is that Mr. Reid [has] decided to shut down the government.”

Speaking over him, the man shot back, “No! It’s because the government won’t do its job and pass a budget.”

The World War II Memorial has become a point of controversy in the wake of the government shutdown. The National Park Service is allowing WWII veterans to access the site, but the memorial is closed to the general public. On Tuesday, Republican members of Congress moved the barriers to allow veterans access.

Several lawmakers have attempted to use the memorial’s closure in the blame game over the shutdown. Wednesday, Rep. Michele Bachmann told reporters outside the barriers around the site, it was shut “for political purposes.” She went on to say, “President Obama and Harry Reid wanted the government to shut down so they could say, ‘Look at those evil Republicans. They wanted this to happen, and they want to make sure World War II veterans get shut out,’” Rep. Bachmann continued, “We said nuts to that. We aren’t going to let these World War II vets [be] used as political pawns and so that’s why we showed up today–to help them.”

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus and Sen. Ted Cruz have also blamed the President for the memorial’s closure. Priebus went so far as to say that the RNC would pay to keep the site open for the next 30 days.