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Congressman cries foul over Capitol Hill duck ramps

Congressman cries foul over Capitol Hill duck ramps (ABC7)

There are plenty of issues Congress can argue about, but most Americans probably don't expect ducks to be one of them. And yet, at least one lawmaker is crying foul over new duck infrastructure on Capitol Hill.

Between pictures of the Capitol and the ducks in the reflecting pool, tourists visiting the area are now also snapping photos of new duck ramps - installed by the Architect of the Capitol after suggestions by the D.C. animal welfare group City Wildlife.

City Wildlife president Anne Lewis said her organization received many calls about ducks in distress. She said the problem at the reflecting pool is that ducklings are not able to climb over the pool's edge.

“And if they can't get out of the water, they can die of starvation or drown from exhaustion. And nobody wants that to happen,” Lewis said.

On Twitter, North Carolina Republican Mark Walker ruffled some feathers, criticizing this infrastructure spending. "If it looks like a duck and walks like a duck, it must be government waste,” he tweeted.

The Congressman’s office did not reply to a request for comment. He might be kidding, but that one tweet generated a lot of quacking.

“Sometimes people just need to lighten up and have fun,” said reflecting pool visitor Jackie Hagans.

Either the ducklings don't understand how the ramps work or they don't want to get close to groups of school children lining the sides of the pool, but either way the ducklings don't seem to be using the new ramps.

So is this the new “Bridge to Nowhere?

To be fair, the ramps are fairly new. And video proves the ducklings have used them at least once.

“It takes wildlife a bit of time to get used to new things,” Lewis said.

It is unclear how much the ramps cost. A spokesperson for the Architect of the Capitol ducked that question today. Still, many visitors at Capitol Hill don't seem to care about the price tag.

“Leave the ducks alone. You've got bigger things to do,” said Jerome Blackwell.

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