The stumbling block was Rep. Charles Taylor (R-N.C.), chairman of the Appropriations subcommittee that oversees the Interior Department. What finally swayed him? Says WaPo:
Taylor maintained that the planned memorial was overly grandiose and that private fundraising efforts could fall short of their targets, leaving federal taxpayers with too much of the responsibility.
His position grew increasingly untenable when the issue appeared on the front page of The Washington Post last week, the same day a major motion picture about Flight 93’s ordeal was premiering in New York. Universal Pictures, which made the film, “United 93,” said Wednesday that it would donate $1.15 million — 10 percent of the movie’s opening-weekend gross — toward the memorial. That brought to about $9 million the private donations raised, nearly a third of the target.
More from the Charlotte Observer. He was holding out over a $5 million expenditure. A Republican finally draws the line on profligate spending — and the issue he chooses to make his stand is a monument to American heroes. Perfect.
The right thing to do would be to go through this guy’s voting record and list all the crappy projects he’s supported over the years that didn’t spike his pork-o-meter. But since it’s Friday and I’m tired, I’ll let the Democrats do it for me. Here’s the memorial’s webpage, by the way. It’s not quite a crescent anymore.
Construction on the Freedom Tower and a 9/11 memorial is finally under way in New York City, too. They’ve already proposed a, ahem, spending cap. At 1,776 feet, the Tower will be the tallest building in the world — for a few years, until a skyscraper being planned for Bahrain blows past it with a height of 3,000 feet.
Three. Thousand. Feet.
The Bahraini tower will be part of a complex of five buildings, each of which represents one of the five pillars of Islam. And the firm that’s set to design it … is Danish.
World’s tallest building. In a Muslim country. Built by a company from the same country that produced the Mohammed cartoons, whose embassies in the Middle East have been burned as a result.
What could go wrong?
Update: So much for the spending cap.