What’s happened to cement at the U.S. Capitol?
As construction continues on the $1.3 billion reconstruction of the Capitol, some residents are concerned that cement may not be able to be replaced in time for the 2018 midterm elections.
(Sarah Parnass/The Washington Post)”We don’t know yet,” said Paul Rieckhoff, who has lived in the Capitol for 23 years.
“There are many concerns and questions.”
Cement cracking repair was originally slated to be finished by the end of 2018, but it has been delayed several times, delaying the repairs.
The project has been in the works since 2017.
In the meantime, lawmakers are hoping to get a bill to replace the cement to the House floor by the summer.
But as the work continues, it is clear that a major piece of the reconstruction effort has not yet been done, said Rep. James Lankford (R-Okla.), chairman of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce.
As the construction continues, some lawmakers are concerned about cement cracking.
“It’s really frustrating because the contractors are working on this project, they’ve been working on it for years, and they’re going to get to the end,” Lankford said.
“And then, suddenly, they get hit with the fact that there is no concrete, no cement.
I mean, it’s kind of disheartening.
We don, we can’t do anything to change that.”
Rep. Mike Conaway (R) of Texas, a member of the Appropriations Committee, said he was frustrated that no concrete has been found, saying that it would take years to find enough.
“There’s a long way to go.
We’ve had some very, very long years and we haven’t gotten a concrete,” Conaway said.
Congresswoman Debbie Dingell (D-Mich.) has been working with her House colleagues to get the bill to the floor.
She said she hopes to get enough concrete to finish the project in time to the 2018 election.
“The fact that we are getting nothing concrete at the moment is disappointing,” Dingell said.
“I think it’s a very, really frustrating situation, because we really need concrete.”
Ed Whitfield (R), who represents the Capitol Hill district of the U, and Ted Yoho (R, Fla.), who represents nearby Washington, D.C., said they are frustrated.
“We are still trying to figure out what’s happening, and we’ve got a long, long road ahead of us,” Whitfield said.
Dingell said she’s also worried about the cost.
“I am really concerned about the costs,” Dingel said.
The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee will hold a hearing next week on the cement issue.
Rep. Elijah Cummings (D), the ranking member of that committee, said the cement was a major issue, and the committee is working to get it resolved.
“At the end, I think this is just another instance where we need to get concrete in place,” Cummings said.
Reps Paul Broun (R., Ga.) and John Mica (R.
Fla.), both of whom represent the Capitol District of the Georgia, are also working on the issue.
“We want to get as much concrete as we can,” Broune said.
But the cementing process could take weeks to complete, so Congress is unlikely to get much concrete before the midterm elections, according to Mica.
He said that while Congress may be able, with some help, to complete the cement work, that could not last for years.
“Even if you get it done and you have a concrete wall, it takes years to make a wall,” Mica said.