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National Park Service Operations, Smithsonian Institution, National Gallery of Art, and United States Holocaust Museum, Continuing Appropriations Resolution

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mrs. MILLER of Michigan. I thank the gentleman for yielding.

Mr. Speaker, it seems that every time there's any sort of disagreement with Congress, President Obama does everything he can to make it hurt the American people as much as possible.

Earlier this year, when the sequester took effect, the White House immediately slammed the door on the American people and ended public tours at the White House. And yesterday, the Obama administration even tried to slam the door on the World War II Memorial to the heroes who stormed the beaches of Normandy and Iwo Jima; but just as the Japanese and Germans found out, these men would not be denied, and they pushed past those barriers. What great patriots they are.

It's interesting to note that the World War II Memorial is open 24 hours a day, but it's only staffed part of that time. So instead of actually leaving the memorial open, the Obama administration actually spent extra money to build the barricades to keep our heroes out, and then paid the Park Police to enforce that.

We are, Mr. Speaker, about to vote to fix that problem by passing legislation to open up our parks, to open up our memorials, and to open up the Smithsonian Institution.

Now, I know our Democratic friends are saying that they will vote against this bill because they want an entire clean CR or nothing at all, and yet they are accusing us of being the absolutists. I would just ask this, Mr. Speaker: Who are the absolutists? Really? Is it those of us who want to open the Grand Canyon or Yellowstone Park today, or those of us who want to keep those closed until they get everything they want?

Who are the absolutists? Is it those of us who want to have the Statue of Liberty's light shine bright or those that want to keep that light snuffed out until they get everything that they want?

I would hope that the Senate will join us in allowing those who drove through the barricades put up by the German Army at Normandy the opportunity to visit the World War II Memorial without having to drive through the barricades that have been put in place by the Obama administration.

I hope my friends on the other side of the aisle, Mr. Speaker, put aside their absolutist demands and put the American people at the head of the line. Open up their parks and open up their memorials and let them celebrate this great, great Nation of ours.


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