Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) said Neugebauer abused his position by attempting to “coerce” the ranger to allow access to the memorial.
“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,” CREW executive director Melanie Sloan said in a statement.
She said blame for the closure rests on the shoulders of members of Congress who refuse to fund the government.
Video surfaced Thursday of Rep. Randy Neugebauer (R-Texas) confronting a ranger by saying “The Park Service should be ashamed of themselves” for denying people access.
The ranger said it was a difficult task, but “I’m not ashamed.”
Neugebauer shot back, “you should be.”
The memorial has become a focal point in the budget debate as the government shutdown enters its fourth day. Both Democrats and Republicans have attempted to align themselves with veterans who entered the memorial earlier this week despite it being blocked off.
Vice President Biden called the ranger Thursday night to tell her he was “proud” of her.
After an uproar about veterans being denied entrance to the site, the National Park Service said they were granted access Wednesday because it was a First Amendment demonstration. However, the memorial remained closed to the public at large.