October 1, 2013
House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Doc Hastings delivered the following statement (as prepared) on the House floor today in support of H.J.Res. __, Open Our National Parks and Museums Act
“Mr. Speaker, I rise today in strong support of this legislation to fund National Parks.
No one wanted a government shut down and one of the unfortunate consequences is that millions of Americans have been literally barricaded from entering parks, memorials, and monuments.
While it is understandable that services would be limited in some parks, it is unfortunate that the Obama Administration has taken the unnecessary steps of closing off additional monuments and public spaces.
It appears to me the Obama Administration is choosing to make this shut down as painful as possible by unnecessarily preventing public access to open air spaces and monuments that are normally open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, all year long. These are places without doors or gates, and yet the Obama Administration is going out of their way to erect barricades and have people manning them in order to keep people out of the monuments. This is flat-out wrong and terribly wasteful.
Just today, World War II veterans, who bravely fought to defend and protect our country, encountered armed National Park Police and metal barricades when they tried to visit their World War II Memorial. Yet these veterans were undeterred. Short sighted decisions by Interior Department officials couldn't stop them from completing the visit to their memorial.
This targeted bill before us today would allow our National Parks and landmarks to reopen to the public – welcoming back tourists and families to these public lands that are critically important to many local economies.
The House has acted multiple times to fund the government and now it’s time for the Senate to act. I support this legislation and yield back my time.”
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