Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
October 31, 2014

Staffer Stunned by John Culberson’s Monumental Rant

A House staffer learned, after sharing what sounds like a terribly uncomfortable elevator ride with Rep. John Culberson, that not everyone in Washington appreciates our museum-rich landscape.

Staffer Stunned by John Culberson’s Monumental Rant

(CQ Roll Call File Photo)

According to our source, the Texas Republican opened up about his disdain for niche memorials, monuments and the like while shuttling from the basement of the Capitol to the second floor for votes.

Rep. Doc Hastings, R-Wash., purportedly sparked the jarring conversation by needling Culberson about always “asking the tough questions” in GOP conference meetings.

Per the tipster, Culberson immediately launched into an anti-expansionist rant during which he questioned the need to carve out additional showplaces for African-Americans and Latinos — arguing that no one is clamoring to immortalize the struggle of the Czech-American immigrants that presumably populate his western Houston district.

The aide said Culberson then pivoted to fellow rider Rep. Candice S. Miller, R-Mich., and mumbled something about being “OK” with a women’s museum because that was “important for little girls.”

“It was just such a striking view into his world,” our spy said of the eye-opening encounter. “I was so profoundly offended. I couldn’t believe this happened in the Capitol.”

For what it’s worth, Culberson appears to be losing this fight.

Construction on the National Museum of African American History and Culture is already under way (projected to open in 2015) along Constitution Avenue Northwest. And the House is taking the incredibly brave step of considering a bill authorizing a commission to study the merits of maybe, one day, green-lighting the construction of a permanent home for the nearly 20-year-old National Women’s History Museum project.

Culberson spokesman Stephen Worley told HOH his boss’ biggest beef with museum creep is the financial commitments involved.

“It’s my understanding that Rep. Culberson is concerned with the cost of building new museums when our current network of museums are in need of updates and repair,” Worley shared, adding that the proposed Women’s History Museum is exempt from his scrutiny because it “won’t come at a cost to taxpayers.”

That must come as a relief to Miller, who our tipster said stood stone-faced throughout Culberson’s spiel.

“Creating a commission, which would be paid for and maintained entirely with private funds, to study a future museum is an important step towards memorializing America’s memory of the deep and enduring contributions women have made. It is especially important to fully explore how such a museum would integrate within our existing Smithsonian Institution,” the House Administration Committee chairwoman said in a release following her panel’s endorsement of enshrining the combined efforts of American womanhood that her staff sent along to HOH.

Hastings did not reply to a request for comment.

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  • Carson

    “Museum Creep” seems like an excellent nickname for Rep. Culberson.

  • Joe Honick

    People whose lives seem bereft of much fun need to gossip like this. Of course, if that is properly gossiped, the guy said what he did, it was not too bright, BUT I would like to interview the “spy” for his or her readily committed opinions on a variety of subjects

  • darthgidget

    well, considering there weren’t too many House staffers that would have been on that elevator, I can see a short career for leaking what are normally considered off-the-record private conversations among colleagues.

  • Yonatan YONATAN

    Those people who think that the unemployed are “lazy”, and prefer collecting unemployment benefits, have no clue of the reality facing these families. Most of these people had long term employment, and had families to support. The majority of them are “older” Americans, who had worked for many years, paying into the system, should they become unemployed, and needed financial assistance. These workers through no fault of their own, found themselves victims of corporate downsizing, and were laid off from their jobs. Given the current economic recession, they have had a particularly difficult time finding employment. Also, many companies are not motivated to hire “older” workers, due in part of the higher cost of health care insurance for older workers. Older workers, just on the basis of their age, would be placed in a “higher risk” group, which would affect the potential employer’s bottom line cost. As we all know, it’s all about profit and “the bottom line”. Since last December, more than 2.6 million workers have been without unemployment benefits. The republican senate has held the extension bill “HOSTAGE”, in the hopes of getting the XL Oil Pipeline passed by the president. This has NEVER been about these unfortunate families, but only about pleasing the lobbyist for whom they truly serve. While the republicans continue playing “party politics”, and using these families for political leverage, and as bargaining chips, these families have had to face evictions, home foreclosures, personal bankruptcy, and homelessness. Most of them have watched their credit being destroyed, because of lack of money to pay their bills on time, or at all. How many more families have to become homeless and destitute before the senate finally PASSES the extension bill? This truly is a national crime against the American family. While the politicians live their affluent and privileged lifestyles, with all the perks of office, these families continue to suffer and struggle to eat and to live.

    • Nan231

      If only you knew what you were talking about.

  • YONATAN C

    THE REPUBLICAN SENATE NEEDS TO PASS THE LONG AWAITED UNEMPLOYMENT EXTENSION BILL, FOR THE 2.6 MILLION OF FAMILIES THAT HAVE BEEN WITHOUT BENEFITS SINCE LAST DECEMBER. SINCE LAST DECEMBER, MILLIONS OF FAMILIES HAVE FACED FINANCIAL RUIN, HAVE FACED EVICTION, HOME FORECLOSURES, PERSONAL BANKRUPTCY, AND HOMELESSNESS, WHILE THE REPUBLICANS CONTINUE PLAYING THEIR “PARTY POLITICS” IN THE SENATE. THE TIME HAS COME FOR THE “ELECTED OFFICIALS” TO START REPRESENTING THE AMERICAN PEOPLE, AND NOT THE XL OIL PIPELINE LOBBY INTEREST. THAT IS THE REASON FOR THIS FIVE MONTH DELAY AND BATTLE IN THE SENATE TO PASS THE EXTENSION BILL. THE REPUBLICANS HAVE BEEN HOLDING THE EXTENSION BILL AS “HOSTAGE” UNTIL THEIR “SPECIAL INTEREST GROUP” GETS THEIR OIL PIPLINE APPROVED. THE REPUBLICANS HAVE ACTUALLY ASSISTED WITH MAKING THESE UNFORTUNATE FAMILIES SUFFER, IN ORDER TO GET THEIR OWN BILL PASSED BY THE PRESIDENT. AS A “FORMER” REPUBLICAN, I CAN HONESTLY SAY THAT I WILL NEVER AGAIN VOTE FOR THEIR PARTY.

    • Tom Servo

      It’s obvious that you also can honestly say that you will never again have a job, and intent to leach off the rest of us for what remains of your miserable life.

  • Seano

    Is this shocking? We have too many museums and monuments to the point that they don’t really have any meaning any more.

  • MVH1

    “Always asking the ‘tough’ questions”, sounds a lot like telling someone they’re always asking the stupid questions.

  • Layla

    I’m with Culberson on this one. Aren’t we all supposed to be Americans?

  • YONATAN C

    ITS NOT A SURPRISED THAT PEOPLE ARE BEGINING TO VOICE THEIR ANGER AT THE REPUBLICAN SENATE, AND AT SENATOR JOHN BOEHNER IN PARTICULAR, FOR THEIR TOTAL FAILURE TO DO THE “RIGHT & MORAL” THING, AND PASS THE UNEMPLOYMENT EXTENSION BILL FOR THESE 2.6 MILLION UNEMPLOYED FAMILIES WITHOUT BENEFITS. SINCE LATE LAST DECEMBER, THE REPUBLICANS HAVE BEEN HOLDING THE EXTENSION BILL “HOSTAGE” IN THE SENATE FOR POLITICAL LEVERAGE. THEY HAVE MADE DELAY AFTER DELAY, DRAGGING THEIR FEET, WHILE FAMILLIES WERE BEING DESTROYED FINANCIALLY, MANY BECOMING HOMELESS IN THE PROCESS. THE REPUBLICANS HAVE USED THESE FAMILIES AS BARGAINING CHIPS, IN ORDER TO GET THE KOCH BROTHER’S OIL PIPE LINE APPROVED IN RETURN. THEY DON’T CARE ABOUT THE AVERAGE AMERICAN WORKER, THEY GIVE THEIR LOYALITY TO THE UPPER ONE PERCENT IN THE COUNTRY, NOT TO THE 99 PERCENT WHO DO MOST OF THE WORKING AND TAX PAYING. I’M SURPTEISED THAT PEOPLE HAVEN’T STARTED PROTESTING IN THE STREET ABOUT THIS. I KNOW THAT THE REPUBLICANS HAVE WASTED ONY CHANCE OF WINNING THE NEXT ELECTIONS BECAUSE OF THIS ISSUE.

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