Rumor: George W. Bush's childhood home may become national park

Turning the boyhood home into a park draws some howls from critics.

CONFIRMED:  Survey is planned to explore turning George W. Bush’s boyhood home into a national park

Someday vacationers may fly into George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston and rent a car to travel to a new national park named for the younger Bush — George W. Bush National Park. Rep. Mike Conaway, R-Texas, wants to turn the boyhood home of the 43rd president into a national park, reports the Abilene Reporter-News and Texas Monthly.

Conaway is pursuing the park "on behalf of proud Texans who wish to see the home of two American presidents elevated to national status and become part of the National Park System," he said in a letter to now-outgoing Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, according to the Abilene Reporter-News.

He asked that a “reconnaissance survey” be done to see whether the childhood home at 1412 W. Ohio Ave. in Midland, where the family lived from 1951 to 1955, is worthy of becoming a unit of the National Park Service. It already is a nonprofit museum and, according to its website, remains largely unchanged since 1956.

The survey may cost up to $25,000, which draws howls from the liberal website ThinkProgress and others that note the Republican congressman normally calls for cuts to wasteful spending. “Spending must be reduced. Our growing deficit and debt cannot be ignored any longer,” Conaway wrote in a recent blog post.

Mother Jones blasts the idea of creating a national park for a president who “gutted environmental standards,” but concedes “it's not as ridiculous as it sounds,” because President Bill Clinton's birthplace in Hope, Ark., is now a national park. A spokesman for George W. Bush told the Abilene newspaper that it’s clear that it’s all preliminary, and Bush is “grateful that they would consider it.”

Victim of sequestration?

Plans to survey the home are on hold for now because of the federal government’s automatic spending cuts that have kicked in, aka the sequestration, National Park Service official Greg Kendrick told the Abilene newspaper: “We’ll reconsider once we see what our budget is at the end of the month.”

Full coverage of George Bush and Jeb Bush’s possible run for president



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