NOTE: The location of the hearing has been changed to 2167 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, D.C. 20515. As of Sunday morning, the witness list had not been set.
How the National Park Service (NPS) is handling the government shutdown will be discussed at a joint congressional oversight hearing on Wednesday, Oct. 16. The hearing was announced on Wednesday, Oct. 9. For details, see http://naturalresources.house.gov/calendar/eventsingle.aspx?EventID=353410.
House Republicans – who forced the shutdown – plan to use the hearing to slam the administration for the way it is implementing it.
No witness list has been set as of Thursday morning. The committees on Natural Resources and Oversight & Government Reform (OGR) are conducting the hearing, which they titled "As Difficult As Possible: The National Park Service’s Implementation of the Government Shutdown."
The hearing, open to the public, takes place at 9:30 am in the House Visitor Center, Room 210, Washington, DC, 20515.
The Natural Resources Committee issued a statement saying “(a)mong the issues to be examined at the hearing include the Obama Administration’s arbitrary and unnecessary actions to erect metal barricades around certain national parks, monuments and memorials in order to make the government shutdown as painful as possible.”
OGR Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA) issued a statement saying NPS' “decision to barricade the normally unattended open air memorials on the National Mall, including the World War II Memorial, is only one example of the many drastic and unprecedented steps the park service has taken during the current lapse in appropriations. Their actions suggest a pattern of decision making based on politics rather than prudence. During sequestration and the current government shutdown, park service officials reportedly instructed employees to make fiscal cuts both visible and painful. Caught in the crossfire are innocent Americans – veterans and small business owners – who have a right to expect that even during tough financial situations, government officials are still acting as trustworthy stewards of their tax dollars,