As Difficult as Possible
Rep. DeFazio uses a mirror to show House Republicans who is responsible for shutdown
Republicans in the House Natural Resources Committee and the Oversight and Government Reform Committee today held a joint hearing bemoaning national park closures being made as "As Difficult As Possible," while ignoring the cause of the closures -- the Republican government shutdown.
But the numbers show where the difficulty of the Republican shutdown really lies.
$76 Million Daily economic losses for local communities near national parks
$4.5 million Daily sales lost from closed wildlife refuges
750,000 National park visitors turned away daily
21,328 Park Service employees furloughed
$14,000 Monthly salary House members continue to collect
But the shutdown is only the latest difficulty facing our public lands. Over the past few years, House Republican leadership has unquestionably made things for our nation's parks, monuments, forests, and other public lands as difficult as possible.
$11.5 Billion Maintenance backlog for the national parks, half of which is for roads and bridges -- essential for public safety
$315 million Funding slashed from parks and public lands by House appropriations this year
3.3 million Acres of public land House Republicans are trying to sell off during the shutdown
0 New acres of land protected by this Congress or the last
The fact is that outside of Washington, D.C., the shutdown is having real effects on real people. Though a few parks have been reopened, most of our lands remain closed, making people's lives unnecessarily difficult.
If House Republicans are now truly concerned with reopening our wild places, they should pass routine legislation to fully fund the government.