GOP Refuses To Pay Government Shutdown Costs

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Zion National park

Well, Utah is unhappy with the Obama Administration, the department of the Interior specifically. So are the states of  Arizona, Utah, Colorado, South Dakota, New York and Tennessee.

But their anger is actually misplaced. Their problem is actually with the GOP and the House of Representatives. They're the ones who voted to defund the government, not the Department of the Interior.

Each of these states makes millions every year from revenues derived directly or indirectly (tourism related) from their federally maintained national parks. Parks like the Grand Canyon and Zion National park.

In the past shutdowns, these states were actually rewarded with money paid post-shutdown, to make up for their losses. Well, it seems the Republicans on the Hill this year have decided not to do that this time

So the next place the states took their demand was the Department of Interior. And they're saying no dice. Due to the sequester, they don't have the funds. They had gone to Secretary of the Interior, Sally Jewell who had told them in the past her department had been authorized to make that repayment for direct lost revenues. But that money came as part of "post shutdown funding bills" voted on by the Congress. She herself could not guarantee that money, but suggested that if past history was any indication, the state should lend their parks the money to stay open. When the shutdown was over, Congress would authorize funding for them to be repaid.

Seems the GOP  turned their backs on these states, once again.

Grand Canyon

Well, when Utah and the other states DEMANDED the repayment of the money they loaned their own parks, it fell on deaf GOP-led Congressional ears. The Representatives voted to repay furloughed workers but not the parks.

So, now it's up to the Republicans to clean up their spilled milk. Two GOP bills have been proposed, one to repay the states for this past government shutdown and another to force them to pay in case of another closure. According to the Hill:

Rep. Chris Stewart (R-Utah) is pushing a bill aimed at ensuring national parks remain open in the event that the government someday closes down again.

Rep. Steve Daines (R-Mont.) has another bill that would require states to be repaid for expenses within 90 days after a shutdown ends. The House committee will consider it on Wednesday as well, and there is a companion bill in the Senate.

Sadly for the states, it doesn't seem that the congressional leadership is in any hurry to see these bills happen.

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) does not yet have plans to bring either bill to the floor, his office said.

So much for the Republicans caring about the damage they've done. They're trying to put the blame on the Department of Interior as if they have extra money sitting around since the sequester. This is just another example of the Republican passing the buck tactics and their true lack of compassion. They're bulls in a china shop and they refuse to pay for what they've broken. Let's see how long these Red states take to become purple -- with rage, now that they've been stiffed.

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  • jonathan

    they don't deserve anything. their reps voted for and thought the shutdown was a good idea. they are all about limited government so they deserve limited money, and when i say limited money i mean none. let the rnc write a check they were willing to give for opening those parks and museums. choices have consequences and they chose to shut this government down. deal with the consequences.

  • shivabeach

    I am looking forward to the bill that says if they close it again the military goes down