The House Natural Resources Committee and the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee will hold a joint oversight hearing on Wednesday, October 16th entitled "As Difficult As Possible: The National Park Service's Implementation of the Government Shutdown." Among the issues to be examined at the hearing include the Obama Administration's arbitrary and unnecessary actions to erect metal barricades around certain national parks, monuments and memorials in order to make the government shutdown as painful as possible.
"Across the country, Americans are deliberately being denied access to open-air memorials and national parks -- places that are open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. These are sites that were not closed by the Clinton Administration during the last government shutdown. However, the Obama Administration appears determined to make their shutdown as difficult and painful as possible. They are forcing private businesses to close and are selectively choosing which high-profile sites to close off and which to keep open. One park ranger even said that they were directed to "make life as difficult for people as we can.' This is shameful and wrong and we intend to hold the Obama Administration accountable for their actions," said Natural Resources Committee Chairman Doc Hastings (WA-04).
"The National Park Service's decision to barricade the normally unattended open air memorials on the National Mall, including the World War II Memorial, is only one example of the many drastic and unprecedented steps the Park Service has taken during the current lapse in appropriations. Their actions suggest a pattern of decision making based on politics rather than prudence. During sequestration and the current government shutdown, Park Service officials reportedly instructed employees to make fiscal cuts both visible and painful. Caught in the crossfire are innocent Americans -- veterans and small business owners -- who have a right to expect that even during tough financial situations, government officials are still acting as trustworthy stewards of their tax dollars," said House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (CA-49).