CREW Calls on OCE to Investigate Rep. Neugebauer for Berating Park Ranger
Washington, D.C. — Today, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) filed a complaint with the Office of Congressional Ethics against Rep. Randy Neugebauer (R-TX) for conduct that reflects discreditably upon the House.
Footage captured by NBC Washington on October 2, 2013, a day after the government shutdown began, shows Rep. Neugebauer nastily confronting a park ranger outside the National World War II Memorial. The congressman was angry the memorial had been closed, apparently oblivious to the consequences of his and his colleagues’ refusal to fund government operations.
Rep. Neugebauer demanded of the ranger, “How do you look at them and say — how do you deny them access? I don’t get that.” “It’s difficult,” the ranger replied. Rep. Neugebauer continued to berate her, stating, “Park Service should be ashamed of themselves.”
“Rep. Neugebauer’s mistreatment of a federal employee who was doing her job is disgraceful,” said CREW Executive Director Melanie Sloan. “The blame for the government shutdown and the resulting closure of the memorials lies squarely on the shoulders of lawmakers like Rep. Neugebauer who refuse to fund our government.”
Rep. Neugebauer’s conduct violates House Rule 23, which requires all members of the House to conduct themselves “at all times in a manner that reflects creditably on the House.” By publicly assailing a federal employee who was acting in accordance with the will of the House and attempting to coerce the ranger to allow access to the memorial — despite the fact that federal law requires its closure — Rep. Neugebauer abused his position.
“Rep. Neugebauer’s demeaning treatment of the ranger reinforces the commonly held belief that members of Congress are arrogant and have an over-inflated sense of superiority,” continued Sloan. “The House cannot permit its members to berate federal employees for a government shutdown for which Congress is responsible. Rep. Neugebauer needs to be held accountable for his reprehensible conduct.”