No Answers from Reid Why Private Parks Ordered Closed During Shutdown
The Senate's Democratic leaders held a press conference on Friday to discuss the effects of the government shutdown. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) claimed Democrats "negotiated their hearts out" with House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and made a number of claims to ways in which the shutdown has harmed national security and the economy.
However, Reid told Breitbart News he was unaware of the hundreds of privately funded parks, some of which are non-profits, that were shut down by order of the federal government as a result of the political conflict in Washington.
"We believe all government should be open. I don’t know anything about non-profits. I’ll have to go check it out," Reid claimed. "But we believe that all government should be open."
"You know one of the things in this request that they propounded on with national parks is the state of Nevada is 87 percent owned by the national government," said Reid. "The vast majority of that is Bureau Land Management. They didn’t include that. It includes conservation areas all up and down the state. You can’t pick and choose. It doesn’t work."
Hundreds of privately funded parks were forced to close, many for the first time, during the government shutdown in Washington. :
“We do not know why CMCF was barricaded from public access or why NPS police escorted staff and volunteers off the property right before a fundraising event on Monday. The National Park Service does not pay CMCFs employees, for its operations, maintenance, events or programs,” Claude Moore Colonial Farm Operations Manager Heather Bodin wrote in an email to FOX Business. "In our 32-year history of running the farm, through other government shutdowns, we have never had to close our doors before.”
A spokeswoman for the National Parks Service told Fox DC that as long as any structure (privately funded or not) sits on federal land, "the rule is that if there's no Congressional appropriation, no visitors are allowed." A Washington Park Service Ranger told The Washington Times on Thursday that he and his staff were given specific instructions by the federal government. "It’s a cheap way to deal with the situation,” he explained. “We’ve been told to make life as difficult for people as we can. It’s disgusting.”
Reid blew off the Park Ranger's remarks on Friday:
The fact is, we are doing the very best we can. Every federal agency is doing the very best they can to follow guidelines they’ve been given by the office of management and budget (OMB). And that includes Senator Durbin who is Chair of the Appropriations sub committee on defense. He’s talked endlessly about the many of hundreds of thousands of federal employees that work for the defense department—half of them, I don’t know the exact percentage—are veterans 25 percent of them are disabled. They’re not being paid now. So, I don’t know what some Park Ranger said, but I do know that this is a tremendous hurt to people throughout America, because of the intransigence of Speaker Boehner and he’s trapped because of Obamacare-- by the way a law that is four years old.
Senator Reid has made it clear he will continue to block further piecemeal measures to fund the federal government from House Republicans. In the meantime, the White House is asking the American public for sob stories regarding how the government shutdown has adversely affected them.