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Public Statements

Department of Defense, Military Construction and Veterans Affairs, and Full-Year Continuing Appropriations Act, 2013

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. REED. Mr. President, I would like to speak on the amendment, but I see the sponsor is here. If he has no objection, I will speak, then ask for a vote.

The Coburn amendment proposes to reduce funding for 49 national heritage areas by $8 million and redirect $6 million to park operations. It also strikes the reauthorization of 12 areas located across the country, including one in my State of Rhode Island but also in Tennessee, South Carolina, and Georgia, among other States.

The amendment doesn't provide a real fix for the problems with respect to national park funding. Moving $6 million is not going to make up for the $134 million cut we have had to impose upon the Park Service.

In addition, there has been some suggestion this would help restore White House tours. Those tours are governed by the Secret Service budget, which is not part of this amendment. So that would not be affected.

These heritage areas are private-public partnerships. They are not national parks. They provide huge economic development. They are located across the country. It is something we should restore, maintain, and not cut.

With that, I would simply add the National Park Conservation Association opposes the amendment, and I ask my colleagues to oppose the amendment.


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