tv U.S. House of Representatives CSPAN October 16, 2013 6:00pm-8:01pm EDT
in fact, many of your lieutenants found that they were almost punished for thinking in advance and preparing for possibility of that lower amount under sequestration. during the occupied program, you came before one of our committees and made it very clear that you were going to re-interpret the first amendment to include basically people sleeping in the parks, deficient indicating on the lawn, creating a health hazard for the people of the district of columbia. you likened it to previous events rather than it liking it to people simply sleeping in the park. we disagreed with you then and we disagree with you now. . i hope today we will have a healthy dialogue so you can tell me how you have performed and the park leadership has performed less well during this shutdown than the one we had more than a decade ago.
with that i recognize the ranking member. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman. i will start today by asking a very obvious question. what in the world are we doing here? today is the 16th day since house speaker john boehner shut down the united states government. he could end this shutdown this morning, right now, by simply allowing the house of representatives to vote on legislation to reopen the government. this bill has already passed the senate and has more than enough votes to pass the house. but speaker boehner refuses to bring it to the house floor without the support of a majority of his own political party. in other words, if speaker boehner brought this bill to the house floor today, it would pass with about two dozen republicans and most if not all democrats.
since he does not have 51% of the republican party, speaker boehner refuses to allow any vote on this bill. that is why we are still in this government shutdown. this is why people say speaker boehner is holding our country hostage. and that is why the american people correctly blame house republicans for shutting down the government. their approach puts the ideology cal party ahead of the interests of our entire nation. even worse, if this issue is not resolved, in the next few hours, we will begin defaulting on our debts. something our nation has never done before. as house republicans drive our nation toward the fiscal cliff, credit rating agencies are warning that the full faith and credit of our nation is now at risk. and investors are dumping treasury bills.
my colleagues on the other side of the aisle are truly concerned about the shutdown, allow us to end it. stop this madness right now. let us bring a clean senate bill to the house floor and let us pass it. you can still vote against it, but don't bring down our entire government just because you do not want to allow a vote. rather than allowing us to take this reasonable course of action, house republicans today want to focus on restricted access to the world war ii memorial in washington, d.c. so let me address this issue directly. the world war ii memorial is a stunning and beautiful monument. but it is made of marble and fountains. do you know what a more significant tribute to our veterans is? do you know what really honors our nation's heroes for their service and for their sacrifice?
providing them with the benefits they earned after suffering injuries in combat. paying them the pensions they need to cover their rent, their utility bills, their food. and guaranteeing the assistance they rely on to stay off the streets and in some cases to simply stay alive. that's how we make good on our promises -- promises to veterans. we take care of them like they took care of us. they gave their blood, their sweat and their tears, in some instances all they had. yesterday a nonpartisan coalition of 33 veterans groups held a rally at the world war ii memorial and gary augustine, the director of the disabled american veterans, explained the importance of these benefits to veterans across the country. this is what he said. for many, those payments may be the primary and only source of
income. also yesterday john salts, an army veteran who started votevets.org, after serving two tours in iraq, said this, and i quote, if you lost both your legs in vietnam and you're on prosthetics and you're 100% disabled, you don't get a disability check because the republicans have hijacked the government over obamacare, end of quote. i will conclude by reading from a statement issued on october 3 by two of the most distinguished world war ii veterans ever to serve in congress. republican bob dole, senator bob dole, and democratic representative john dingell, who were both instrumental in creating the world war ii memorial. this is what they said and i quote -- as two proud world war ii veterans, blessed also to serve this great nation in congress, we consider it our
bipartisan work together in helping to create a national world war ii memorial to be among our greatest accomplishments and a true honor to our brothers in arms. if this congress truly wishes to recognize the sacrifice and bravery of our world war ii veterans and all who come after, it will end this shutdown and reopen our government now. the current shutdown has slowed the rate at which the government can process veterans' disability claims and as the v.a. has stated, it is negatively impacting other services to our nation's veterans. piecemeal or partial spending plans do not adequately ensure that our veterans, indeed all americans, have access to the system of self-government established to serve and protect them, end of quote. mr. chairman, we are out of time. i understand that the senate will make one more attempt this morning to resolve this issue on
a bipartisan basis. i just hope and i pray that speaker boehner will finally put our nation first. that he will put this bill on the floor and allow us to vote so we can avert default and reopen our government before it is too late. with that i yield back. >> i thank the gentleman. we now go to the chairman of the full committee on resources, mr. hastings. >> thank you, mr. chairman. and i want to thank you and your staff for the cooperation as we put together this joint hearing. now, back to the issue at hand. the issue at hand is the park service of the government shutdown. to anyone trying to follow or make sense of the national park service's policies during this unfortunate government shutdown, i would say, good luck. the policies have been arbitrary, inconsistent and
ever-changing. their actions appear to be motivated by two things. one, an attempt to make the shutdown as painful and as visible as possible. and, two, because of one and the backlash, an attempt to squash the ensuing bad p.r. there is no way to run a government agency and no way to treat the american people across the country who visit, live or work on our national park land. the actions of the obama administration have sollied our great national park system. in their most egregious acts, the national park service erected barricades around open-air parks and memorials, areas that are open 24/7, 365 days a year. this is in direct contradiction to what happened during the last government shutdown 17 years ago. the obama administration's barricading of these sites is not something that they are required to do, it is something that they are choosing to do.
furthermore, they appear to only be barricading the highly visible sites. for example, the lincoln memorial and the world war ii memorial are barricaded. but people are currently free to walk around the washington, d.c., world war i memorial and the japanese american memorial. both open sites. thus far, we've heard excuses from the obama administration ranging from trash collection and maintenance to security concerns. yet one by one it's been confirmed that these excuses are excuses. the mayor of washington, d.c., declared that they will collect trash in the national parks around the city. as for security, it's been reported that there are just as many national park police working along the national mall now as before the shutdown. so from my perspective, there's no reason for these barricades. to add to that, the national
park service's selected reversal of policies has been even more confusing. for example, the administration realized its mistake only after public pressure built. as a result, they agreed to allow world war ii veterans with the honor flight programs to visit their memorial and exercise their first amendment right. now, while this is very good news for these veterans, it is not appropriate for the national park service to be denying these same rights to others who want to visit these open-air parks and memorials. this administration has also forced privately operated sites and businesses to close just because they happen to be located on public lands. these are businesses that don't receive a dime of taxpayer dollars to operate. but once again, after intense public and legal pressure, the park service has suddenly allowed some of these sites to reopen while others, with no
explanation, remain closed. i hope to hear from our witnesses today about why this was allowed to happen in the first place and what changed to prompt the park service's sudden reversal. in addition, the obama administration first refused to allow states to pay to keep national parks in their respective states open. what is now becoming a recurring theme, the park service suddenly changed their mind after more than a week, again, of public backlash. i do want to point out that during the last government shutdown, in 1995-1996, states were allowed to pay to keep the national parks open and were later reimbursed by the federal government. there is absolutely no reason why it should be any different this time under this administration. erroneous claims by the interior department that they can't pay and may not be able to reimburse states simply defy history. at today's hearing we expect to get answers, not excuses, and to get to the bottom of when and
how all these arbitrary decisions were made and by whom. the past 2 1/2 weeks have also raised broader questions about how the national park service is run. this shouldn't be the only time we take a look at the park -- how the park service operates and interacts with all states, counties, private businesses and private property owners. the committee on natural resources expects to continue its oversight of the park service's actions as we have with other federal land management agencies. and with that i'll yield back the balance of my time. >> i thank the gentleman. we now go to the ranking member, mr. defazio. >> i thank the chairman. you know, normally i begin these hearings by thanking my republican colleagues for holding a hearing, inviting witnesses to testify on important issues before the congress. but, you know, that's not appropriate today. the republican majority closed down the federal government in a
vein attempt to repeal -- vain attempt to repeal or delay the affordable care act, observe cair, as they call it. well, we're 15 days into a republican-initiated government shutdown and now the republicans want investigate why the national parks are shut down. our nation is already threatened with a credit downgrade, close to the point of default, because republicans have linked their shutdown now to the debt limit. and could trigger the first default in our nation's history. and here we are holding a hearing on why the republican government shutdown led to a shutdown of our national parks. instead of trying to prevent economic hardship, potential financial catastrophe, we're having a hearing that is at best nonsensical. i'm going to spend my time talking about how this seinfeld shutdown or the shutdown about nothing has kept hunters out of refugees, crappers out of the fishing season, loggers off our timber lands and citizens out of our national parks. when you decided to shut down the government over two weeks ago, did you forget the national
park system, which includes memorials, is part of the federal government? no, you knew that. but you apparently forgot the economic impact our iconic parks have in gateway communities and you forgot that the american people value their public lands and the solemn tribute of the world war ii and other war memorials. the title of this so-called hearing is laughable. as difficult as possible, the national park service's implementation of the government shutdown. if you want to spend your time here dissecting individual decisions about what monuments are open, which are closed, let me save you some time. our national park system is surprisingly part of our national government which you shut down and i'm going to demonstrate, if the republican side would look at me, i will show you who's responsible. right here. here they are. this is who is responsible for shutting down the national park and memorials. guess what? the republican caused government
shutdown's irresponsible cost and economic hardship for the public servant us have put out of work and it's painful for every single american and that's why we don't shut the government down on a year-to-year basis. this hearing's a side show, it's political theater. are we meeting here today to amplify the efforts of senator cruz? senator lee and sarah palin last sunday on the network? do we really need to give a platform for a group of people cheering when their leader said, quote, american nonviolent revolution to use civil disobedience to demand that this president leave town, to come out with his hands up while others went to the white house waving con federate flags. maybe the majority wants to give a megaphone to groups like the competitive enterprise institute, they're here today. they once called expanding our federalist state rural cleansing. our parks, our monuments, that was rural cleansing. you take them away, you give them back, you'd sell them. well, you can continue to engage
in your irresponsible talk. and try and make the park service and our park rangers the target of your own ineptitude and intransigence but we're not going to play that game. i would yield the balance of my time to representative grijalva. >> thank you, mr. defazio. let me just concur that we seem to be here at this hearing functioning in an alternative universe. we have the republican majority and their leadership that created the shutdown. we have the republican majority and their leadership that can't manage the shutdown. and we have the republican majority and their leadership that can't get us out of the shutdown. so what do we do? we have a hearing. today the majority holds this feeble hearing to scapegoat director jarvis and blame him for the fact that they can't cope with reality. the national parks, as mr. defazio said, are part of our government, people love them, they depend on them, the
economies depend on them. but -- and to avoid reality of the shutdown or the responsibility for that is to neglect the jobs that we have as members of congress and thus far this majority has neglected it consistently. nd with that i yield back. >> the gentleman from washington. >> i want to recognize the chairman of the national park subcommittee on natural resources, the gentleman from utah, mr. bishop. >> the gentleman is recognized. >> thank you, mr. chairman. mr. jarvis and our witnesses. i don't know whether it was on purpose or whether it just happens to appear that way, but it seems to be our policy towards our public lands has been vindictive and petty and politicized. i wonder why the cooperation of the 1990's does not exist. but what is very clear is that there is a better way. what we have seen are that the
states are willing to step up and help people when washington fails. not just when congress fails, but when the agencies fail at the same time. i'm very proud that when your department ordered the national park -- the federal lands that are administered and run by the state of wisconsin to close down, the governor basically said no. that he would run those regardless. i'm proud of the governors in arizona and utah and south dakota and colorado who stepped up to pay to have those parks functioning. what we have simply found is that when the states and local governments are involved in the management of our public lands it is a better process. if you look in the state of utah, the sand flats, which is a wonderful recreation area, this time via land property, that the b.l.m. couldn't manage, didn't have the resources to manage, nor the desire. and when a near riot broke out one time in the recreation area, they decided to work with the unty to come up with a
county-managed plan that now provides opportunity for people to recreate but is done without a cost to the taxpayer at the same time. the coral pink sand dunes in southern utah is land that has been given back to the state of utah, even though there is some federal land there. and it's managed as one newspaper reported one of the 10 wonders, 10 parts in the nation. it's a great opportunity. simply because local government was given the opportunity to be involved in the management process. and our hearings, we've already shown how the forests in idaho and washington, on state land, are far more productive, have far less wildfires and are much healthier than the federal land that is right next door. the same thing happens on park service land and b.l.m. land and what we need to realize is that this shutdown has illustrated there is a better way and that better way is the involvement of state and local governments in the management of our public
lands. so that this kind of situation does not necessarily have to happen. and what we need is to look forward in that. what i find so frustrating though in due respect is that this situation in which we find ourselves is not necessarily unique to the shutdown. this has been happening for those of us who live in the intermountain west for years. when the park service harms outfitters and guides by insisting that their insurance payments have to go up from a $1 million to $5 million policy, prohibiting them from doing issue, when a park in washington bans an annual church picnic and concert for veterans because the noise that would be established would be too loud for the cultural and historic aspects of the rest of the park, when park service personnel says a murder victim in nevada cannot be found and the family wants to hire somebody to go in and look and it takes them 15 months to raise the money to pay for the special
use permit and then when they go in and find that body within two hours after the park service said it was impossible, or an air force staff sergeant who is drowned at that same park and the park service refuses to allow a private company that is an expert in underwater recovery to go in and find the body, it takes 10 months for the family to finally get a lawyer and go to court and then when it's allowed, that body is found within a matter of days. when on a wild and scenic recreation river the park service decides to ban all sorts andaddling and ores -- oars electronic mote source the only thing you can do for recreation i guess is fish watching. when the park service writes a statement about the keystone pipeline being an endanger to its park land, and the closest land is 30 miles away, what we have found is there is a pattern, not just in this shtdown, but a pattern that -- shutdown, but a pattern that has occurred year after year and has
been compassioner baited in the last few. i find that -- exasser batesed in the last few. i find that disheartening. there is a better way. the states have stood up and shown that they can be better managers of the land and if we really want to have a long-range policy for public lands in the future, we have to incorporate cooperation with states and local governments and allow them to have a greater say in the management of our public lands. federalism is the solution to our problems and it may be the salvation of this country. i yield back. >> we now go to the gentlelady from the district of columbia, an area very much affected by this shutdown. for five minutes. >> indeed. the district of columbia is a double whammy victim of this shutdown and blaming the national park service is like voting for capital punishment and then blaming the hangman as executions proceed. locally the district cannot meet the payment coming up for its charter schools.
we cannot pay for disabled children and group homes because our local funds are held here and this in addition to the national parks which fund our tourist economy, that has collapsed. so the district of columbia's local funds shouldn't even be here and certainly, certainly our local economy dependent on the opening of all of our monuments should not now be collapsed because republicans have shut down the federal government and i yield the remainder of my time to mr. holden from new jersey. >> i thank the gentlelady. early this morning i spoke with my 100-year-old mother and she asked what we would be doing today in congress and i said, i was going to hope to find that the republican side found some backbone and got their act together to get the government operating. and she said it sounds like you're going to have a long day. well, over the last two weeks,
the republicans seem surprised to find out that the federal government actually does things to help people. but they can't agree on what to do about it. see today they found something they can agree on which is blaming someone else for what they've done. , so the federal government does perform very tangible functions. and when it's disrupted in a disrupting way, an app rupt way, -- an abrupt way, you find people affected in ways that weren't predicted. the solution is quite simple. they could bring a vote to the house this morning, it would pass, everything would be fixed, the barricades would be down, the hardworking members would be back to work. with that i yield time to mr. con i thank the gentleman -- mr.
connolly. >> i thank the gentleman. the federal government shutdown, we're on the brink of the first default and the credit worthiness, sovereign debt of the united states, and we're going to have a hearing to pillry director jarvis because he shut down national parks. after the republican majority shut down the government. imagine their shock that there would be consequences, that their favorite place to picnic is closed and that the national park service is in fact enforcing it. and we saw that shameful moment where a member of the republican caucus actually berated a national park service ranger for doing her job. this is a -- [inaudible] moment.
and the solution isn't to have a hearing to pillary somebody for doing their job, the solution is to reopen this government without condition, to avoid default without condition, and get on with the business of governance before we destroy all confidence in this legislative body. and with that i yield to my colleague, ms. bordallo. >> thank you very much. i wonder how many republicans really thought about the far-reaching effects of this shutdown. nationwide this shutdown is more than 20,000 national park service employees, 21 of them of which work for the war and the pacific national historic park on guam. that small island in the pacific. i wonder how many thought about that. so only two employees remain on duty there to provide security and emergency services and we have 600 visitors daily. the shutdown has negatively impacted guam's tourism economy
for something that could have been avoided entirely by passing a clean c.r. we have failed in this congress, our national park service employees and our nation. i have made this point repeatedly at house armed services and will continue to do so until this republican-led shutdown is completed. and i'll add my remarks with saying, let's shut down the shutdown and i yield my time to representative tsongas. >> thank you, director jarvis, for appearing before the committee today. as you know, my district is home to two great national parks and i know firsthand how devastating this shutdown has been for our local economy, for hundreds of school children who haven't had access to the parks and for our dedicated park employees who have been furloughed. overall, millions of americans -- >> the gentlelady's time has expired. would you please conclude? >> well, i think that if you really care about opening the national parks, putting our government workers back to work, that we could have a vote today
on a clean c.r. that would fund government and avoid a default for the first time. >> all members may have seven days in which to submit opening statements for the record and as i recognize the panel, i would admonish all members that house rules prohibit questioning the intent or the character of another member of the house or the senate. so, as we go through this hearing, you may quote from statements made but the intent of a member or adverse intent is not admissible. additionally, i now ask unanimous consent that the "u.s.a. today" article from last ght, g.o.p. asks where the national parks -- why were the narc national parks be shut down anyway, be entered into the record. without objection, so ordered. we now welcome our panel of witnesses.
ms. ann ebb early is the director of the claudemore colonial farm. mr. jonathan jarvis is director of the national park service. ms. lisa simon is the president of the national tourist myron ebel is director of energy and global warming policy at the competitive enterprise institute. and mr. dennis galvin is a member of the board of trustees of the national parks conservation association. pursuant to the rules of the oversight committee, i would ask that all members rise, raise heir right hands and be sworn. do you solemnly swear or affirm that the testimony you are about to give will be the truth, the whole truth and knot nothing but the truth? please be seated let the record
reflect that all witnesses answered in the affirmative. we have a large panel today and -- on both sides of the dice, and in order to allow time i would ask that you limit your opening statements to five minutes. your entire opening record, plus any other submissions you think pertinent to your testimony, . ll be placed in the record and with that i now recognize mayor brian. >> thank you, chairman, issa. chairman hastings, ranking members cummings and defazio, and congressman gosar for his assistance in many ways as well. i come before you today wearing two hats. i'm both the mayor of our small town of 558 people. three years old, arizona's newest community. and also that of a general manager of a rather nice 250-room hotel.hat park open, we basically are shut
down. we have a good relationship with our park, we appreciate superintendent and his team. we recognize that those workers, those rangers are there because they choose to serve and share this beautiful, wonderful resource and we know that this shutdown has impacted them in many ways as well as our community. we recognize that relationship and want to protect that relationship. at the same time, we feel like we have sincerely been significantly been impacted by the decisions to close down the government. and our national park. the month of october is a very wonderful month, it's a beautiful month to be in grand canyon. we started out, it was 90-plus percent occupancy at the end of september. reservations on the books, ready to come. our river outfitters had i believe seven or eight trips
worth $900,000 ready to go down the colorado river. today i'll tell that you at least in one hotel, we're in the low 40% and dropping. we've lost over $400,000 in one place alone. the impact to our community has been in the millions of dollars. in a very short time. all this because elected members of congress and the president can't come to grips with passing and getting a budget going. in the meantime, we on the front line feel kind of line cannon fodder. we feel like we're the ball bouncing back and forth and we're the ones who are paying the bill. suddenly our source of business, our source of income for our little community, is closed october 1. we immediately began to ask questions with regard to how we can do it. how question get our park back open. in 1995 the same thing happened
and within a reasonably short period of time, there was an agreement worked out between the national park service department of interior and our governor. that application, that policy could have been easily put into place. we don't understand why it wasn't. it would to could have been pulled out, dusted off, changed to apply to today and then applied. we went out and asked and we offered to put up funds within a very short time. our little town of 558 people put up $200,000 out of our coffers as a community. within a few more days we had well over $200,000 committed from the business communities in our area and across the state. we were willing to put up and fund the expenses that no -- at no cost to the national park service to keep portions of the park open. we weren't asking for a full opening, we were asking for partial. we were asking that highway 64,
a primary conduit to the national park, comes up from i-40, a connection between albuquerque and los angeles, heavily traveled, tour buses, r.v.'s, our connection to highway 64 runs through our up to, goes into the park and turns east to connect to a highway 89. which then goes into many other national parks and monuments. the first couple of days it was left open and we thank the superintendent for that. but the plan that was used was failed -- was doomed to fail from the beginning. we were allowing people to traverse through the park, everything else was closed, but the parking spaces alongside the road were barricaded. it's kind of like offering a piece of candy to somebody and say, you can't open. it you can't open it. they're going to find a way. their frustration was there. therefore the tour buses, r.v.'s and personal cars were parking either on the shoulders or in the road to take a look at this great magnificent world heritage
site. we understand that. and we agree with the superintendent when he closed it because it was unsafe. we feel that -- and we'd offered , the sheriff's department said they would assist and they have concurrent jurisdiction inside the park, offered to help patrol and keep it safe. open up the parking spaces, allow people to at least view. offered to put up port-a-potties to keep things reasonably clean. we were told no. we asked why, we couldn't apply the agreement in 1995, it's against national park service or department of interior administration's policy. we never got it quite clear. we were told that either all the parks open or none of the parks open. we have concerns about that. and we believe that when a national park is closed, that the individuals and the community, if they come forward and are offering to help and support, ought to be able to open that. we really appreciate the work of
governor brewer and her efforts to reopen the park and we were very ecstatic last saturday morning to open up with the superintendent's help, grand canyon national park for business again. we look forward to having some changes after this shutdown is done and come back to you and request some options with regard to clarifying a policy that says , we'd be able to, the community could stand up, take responsibility and be accountable when the government won't and pay the bills. we think the policy ought to be claarified to allow that to take place. i can tell from you being on the front lines, when you have a family come in from south africa or australia or brazil or china in many cases planning for 10 years to bring their children and experience that, and you got to tell them at 7:00 at night after they've driven all that way that they can't go in the national park, they can't see it , well, why not? with tears streaming down the
children's face. you have to tell them because our government has shut it down. we need to find a different way to do this. and we would really appreciate the time afterward to talk about a potential for the future of creating a clarity of the policy that would allow a national park to be run -- not run but assisted and expenses covered by a local community. thank you. >> thank you. ms. ebberly. >> thank you, mr. chairman. members of the committee for your invitation. i'm really honored to be here. i'm the managing director of the claudemore colonial farm in mcclain. i'm representing a staff of volunteers and visitors here. the farm is a living history site that shows the life of a poor family in 1771, struggling to survive while the fight for freedom is growing around them. the farm is also a privately operated national park unit of the george washington memorial parkway. i've been involved with the farm since 1972. first as a volunteer, then as an
employee of the park service, helping to establish the farm which opened to the public in 973. the farm became privately operated by the nonprofit organization friends of the farm. at the same time i resigned my park service position to manage the farm for the friends and have been there ever since. i came here today because i thought it might not only help the farm but maybe even help other groups like us. along with many other national park partners, with we've been severely affected by the recent closing of our site as part of the continuing government shutdown. fortunately we were allowed to reopen on wednesday of last week. but most others have not been so lucky. we still don't know why we were closed, nor do we know why we were allowed to open a week later. the farm has never been included in government shutdowns as there are no park service employees at the farm, nor have there been since 1981.
during the previous shutdown, almost 20 years ago, it made sense that the personnel couldn't be paid to staff the park, the parks couldn't open. no one was happy about that but people understood. this time they chose to close areas to the public that don't depend on n.p.s. personnel. locally that included us, a ball field at the end of our road that leads to fairfax county and rented to children's sports groups, the scenic overlooks at the north end of the parkway and of course the closing down of the veterans memorial on the national mall. i realize that in the pra verbial heat of battle someone could make decisions that have unintended consequences. but wasn't anyone watching the news? couldn't someone have come forward and admitted they had made a huge mistake? as a managing director of the fample, i've had to deal with people that are unhappy. fortunately not very often. and i have a choice. i can be defensive or i can immediately reach out and say, i am soer sorry that your experience at the farm wasn't perfect. how can we make this right and
how can we make sure we never do it again? within a few emails or phone calls that person has now become a friend of ours, not an enemy. and if i can't bring myself to do that, then i shouldn't be the director of the farm. i don't know who is responsible for the national park service actions this time. maybe it was the white house, the department of interior, maybe the park service acted entirely on their own or maybe no one is in charge there. but the results of the national park service looks foolish and inept and not worthy of managing the immense national and cultural resources entrusted to them. as a life-long virginian, my big park is shan dougha which is a wonderful place, one of the very few unspoiled national areas close to lots of people. out of the entire year, october is the month everybody goes there to look at the leaves. the people who work for the concessions in the park and the businesses that depend on visitors of that area are in terrible trouble. their season is basically over
by the end of this weekend. virginia acquired much of that land and then gave it to the federal government to become part of the national park system. i'm sure there are people in richmond now just like in the western park saying, well, if you can't open it, maybe we can. for the claude moore colonial farm, being treated with disdain and contempt by the national park service is nothing new and the details are in my written testimony and if you're interested i have all the documents to back up everything i wrote. the volunteer staff and public who care about the farm just want to get on with running the farm and doing the very best job that we can. what we do is hard enough and we are just asking for fairness, honesty and a partner that doesn't stab us in the back at every opportunity. i don't know what the future holds for the farm. as the original agreement is up for renewal in 2016. i have been told the process now of developing a new agreement will take at least three years and agreements now only last for five years.
that means almost as soon as we sign a new agreement, we will have to start negotiating the next one. in addition, the loss of the n.p.s. maintenance contribution to the farm this year will have to come from somewhere. and of course we will have to make up the revenue that was lost because of the recent closure of the farm. but we are hopeful that we can find a way through these latest difficulties and that the farm will emerge stronger and more committed than ever. we have only turned to our congressman wolf and congressman moran a few times over the years to help us in working with the national park service. the opportunity to come before so many of you was just too good a chance to pass up. and i'm happy to do anything i can to help fix it. thank you. >> thank you. and thank you for your service, both public and private. director jarvis. >> thank you, mr. chairman. on october 1, the national park service began to implement a shutdown of our activities due to the laps in appropriations. under the closure discrimination notice that i issued that day,
we closed and secured all 401 national parks across the country and furloughed more than 20,000 of our employees consistent with the antideficiency act. approximately 3,000 employees were excepted from this furlough to respond to threats to the safety of human life and the protection of property. absent appropriations of the national park service will continue to implement the approved contingency plan that was made public on september 27. the closure has had far-reaching impacts across the country on families with planned visits, businesses, gateway communities and employees. the national park system welcomes more than 282 million people per year and more than 700,000 people per day in october. the parks are loved not only because they are beautiful and historic, but because they are well managed, protected and interpreted and maintained by a professional work force, a work force that is now largely on furlough. the national parks are incredible economic drivers,
visitors spending generates an estimated $32 million per day in communities near national parks and contributes $76 million each day to the national economy. in response to the economic impacts of the closures, secretary jewel announced on october 10, that interior would consider agreements with governors who indicated an interest in the ability to fully fund the national park service personnel to reopen narc parks in their states. this is a practical and temporary solution that will lessen the pain for some businesses and communities. turning away visitors is not our culture nor our nadarkhani. we look forward to reopening -- d.n.a. we look forward to reopening all the parks. the closure did not apply to through-roads in parks that provided primary access to points located outside of parks. it also did not affect first amendment activities on the national mall and memorial parks and at independence national historic park in philadelphia
due to regulations and court cases specific to these areas. because these two areas are long-standing venues for hundreds of first amendment activities each year, we anticipated that they would be a potential for such activities during the shutdown. the national park service has maintained law enforcement services provided by the u.s. park police and rangers for emergency and disaster assistance. we also have maintained our fire fighting programs, border and coastal protection and surveillance activities. projects that were funded with nonlapsing appropriations have also continued. there have been a lot of attention on the monuments, memorials on the national mall. they are among the many places that the national park service cares for that honor for those that have fought and died for our nation. we are proud of the special relationship we share with america's veterans and we know that there will be -- we will be here to protect these memorials now and in -- for future generations. on a normal day, there are over 300 national mall and memorial
park employees on duty. the rangers provide the eyes and ears of the u.s. park police. they enhance the visitor experience by sharing the history of the war, keeping the grounds and the restrooms clean, maintaining the landscape and fountains and overseeing special events. all but a dozens of these 300 employees have been furloughed. even though the u.s. park police commissioned officers have been excepted from the furlough, given the limited staff resources, prudent and practical steps were taken to secure the property of these national icons. we know that the visits to our world war ii veterans, to the memorials, are pilgrimages and many of them will make them only once. throughout the shutdown, we have worked diligently to try to ensure that no honor flight group, veteran or their family, has been turned away from visiting the veterans memorials. likewise, those also engaging in first amendment activities are welcome to visit the war memorials.
congress has charged the national park service with the preservation and protection of the park's natural, historic and cultural resources for the benefit of future generations. in law exists whether the parks are open or shut down. with very few employees available, we are endeavoring to fulfill our mission the best we can. we look forward to the end of the shutdown so we can reopen all of our national parks with the education, inspiration and enjoyment of the american people. i'd be glad to answer any questions. >> thank you. ms. simon. >> thank you, chairman issa, chairman hastings, ranking members cummings and defazio, and members of the committees. i appreciate the opportunity to testify today on behalf of our members and the tourism industry. the national tour association membership includes 700 tour operators who package tours to, from and within north america. they collectively move 10 million travelers annually and represent $6 billion in annual sales.
74% work domestically and 36% are bringing international visitors into the united states. they serve both groups of individuals, travelers of all ages and various special interest groups and the majority of our members are small businesses. the balance of our 3,000 members are suppliers of travel components like hotels, attractions, restaurants, transportation companies, and destination marketers such as national, state and local tourism organizations. tour operators and their customers plan their trips six to 18 months in advance. so an abrupt shutdown of 401 park units cannot come without significant disruptions and costs. since october 1, tour operators and their supplier partners have been scrambling to reroute itineraries and find alternative destinations and activities on a daily basis. n.t.a. has had a long standing relationship with the national park service and then generally recognize the planning cycle needed in the package travel industry. yet with this shutdown, neither
n.t.a. nor its cooperator members were advised about what park units would be closed during the shutdown. it's been difficult to locate information on what's closed, including roads through and around federal lands. in many cases our members and their customers discovered closures upon arrival or had to send colleagues in advance to find out what the situation was. our association and members incorrectly speculated that some of the units would remain open, particularly those that had no limited hours, no admission desks, no security checkpoints and generally speaking no specific point of entry. as a result, our tour operators have spent the last two weeks constantly dealing with a myriad of challenges and finding alternative activities and lodging. we surveyed our members one week into the shutdown and 82% across the board reported an impact. specifically 85% of the tour operators reported rerouting and changing itineraries, 46% reported cancellations and 57% reported having to refund deposits and fees.
initial estimates of the financial loss totaled $114 million just in the first week. some of our members are also the suppliers and destinations that are dependent on the national parks in their areas and they reported on an immediate decline in business, 91% reporting canceled or postponed tours, 56% in the first week were already seeing fewer visiters in their area. in addition to the immediate losses, the shutdown will have lasting effects on both the domestic travel industry and international visitation. the u.s. travel association estimates that we are losing $152 million a day. and the closure of the national parks is a big part of the reason that we've seen countries like the u.k., germany and australia have issued travel warnings for the united states. another illustration is the burgeoning china market, n.t.a. helps facilitate the m.o.u. between the u.s. department of commerce and the china national tourism administration by certifying the u.s. tour operators who are able to handle that business. from china. the beginning of october was
golden week which in china is a major vacation week. n.t.a. tour operators reported not only disappointed customers but angry visitors. who were unable to visit the national parks during their once in a lifetime visit to the united states. many of these inbound china operators were also not familiar with what was federal parks vs. state parks and thus had an even greater challenge finding information about their planned tours. we recognize that it's impossible to predict whether or not there will be a government shutdown and the coordinating immediate closures of hundreds of parks is an enormous task. however, we recommend that there be a better plan that would avoid this situation in the future and enable the most significant park destinations at a minimum remain open. and that there be a communications plan that pushes out information to the travel trade and to the public. with today's technology capabilities, it should provide ample opportunities to better communicate whereas happening. tour operators depend on advanced planning and we're seeing the consequences of the
disruption caused by these closures with no specific notice. thank you for allowing know testify today. i look forward to your questions. >> thank you. >> chairman issa and chairman hastings, thank you for inviting me to testify here today at this important hearing on the way the national park service is implementing the federal shutdown. my name is myron ebel and i'm director for the center of energy and environment, a group that has been already recognized here today. c.e.i. is a nonprofit and nonpartisan free market public policy institute that specializes in regulations. a large part of our work is devoted to environmental issues, including management of the federal lands by the four federal land agencies. 20 years ago i spent four or five years as the washington
representative of the american land rates association, which s started in 1978 by chuck curbman as the national park inholders association. so i have some firsthand experience of these issues. later i worked for a former member of the natural resources committee from arizona and dealt with a wide array of federal lands issues including all the national park problems in arizona. now, clearly a federal shutdown is going to cause many federal facilities to have to close. including parks. director jarvis explained how rational and well thought out their program for doing that was. but that isn't the issue. the issue is aum of these petty -- all of these petty, malicious ts, how can you close down a parking lot at mount vernon that you leased the mount vernon
lady's association and have nothing to do with? you're spending extra money to come and close it down. does that comply with the antideficiency act? to close down glen echo park along the clara barton parkway which is funded and operated by montgomery county. to close the claude moore colonial farm as ann has explained. to close langry for sports park in fairfax county, which was -- which is leased to fairfax county and operated and maintained by them. andake cones and barricades close off turnoffs on state highways so people can't stop to take photos and look at mount rush more. where does the personnel and the money for that come from? these are questions that i think need to be answered.
now, i think that the publicity for some of these small-minded and almost unbelievable, unbelievably low actions by the national park service -- the public is starting to notice those and i think they are figuring out an important point. and this is really what i want to concentrate on. americans love their national parks and the national park service has spent decades hiding behind that affection that americans rightly have for those great natural wonders and historic sites. the national park service, for anybody who has followed its history, is a terrible steward of many of its parks, of the environmental conditions in those parks. they are also not visitor friendly in many cases. they are not people friendly, they are not good neighbors, they mistreat their inholders and they act like they own everything and that everybody
else can just lump it. so, i hope that this starts a process, this public awareness, this opening to understanding that the national park service is not the samed a our great national parks, to investigate the problems in the national park service and to initiate much-needed reforms. i was somewhat -- my anger about what's been going on was somewhat relieved by this weekend when the veterans went to the world war ii memorial and picked up the barricades and put them in front of the white house. as president obama often says, we're americans, we can do that. thank you. >> thank you. mr. galvin. >> mr. chairman, my name is dennis galvin.
today i represent the national parks and conservation association. 's 800,000 members and supporters. npca has advocated support for our national park system since 1919. perhaps more pertinent to today's hear something the nearly 40 years i spent with the national park service. the last 16 years in washington. nine of those were as deputy director. i held that post under presidents reagan, clinton and bush. i am informed that there have been 17 shutdowns since 1976 ranging from one to 21 days. during my tenure, there were five, including the long shutdown, 21 days of 1995-1996. i have been struck by the similarities between that 1995-1996 event and today's. let me say a little bit about preparing shutdown plans. they are by force of circumstance hastily prepared by
people who hope that they will not have to be used. for highly decentralized agency like the national park service, which literally stretches across the international date line and today comprises 401 units, it simply is not possible to cover every eventuality. because most closures have not been more than a few days, their shortcomings don't service -- surface but as closures lengthen, questions arise due to circumstances unforeseen or difficult to predict. nevertheless the trajectory of this closure parallels 1995-1996 to a remarkable degree. did we barricade monuments and memorials then? yes. lincoln and jefferson were barricaded. it was at the holiday season so we had the festival of lights going on. that was closed and a chain link fence was put around it.
the much-discussed world war ii memorial did not exist then. but if it had, i think we would have barricaded it. were state and local economies devastated? yes. the counties around yosemite petitioned for disaster assistance. grand canyon and mount rushmore were flashpoints. governor sometimington threatened to send the national guard to grand canyon. it is not true that grand canyon was opened without conflict in 1995-1996. i negotiated many of the agreements that we have reached in 1995-1996 and one thing i'll say about the unintended consequences of a shutdown, there are only two lawyers to work with in the interior building to america those agreements so there's more than there just aren't any park service employees around, there aren't any support employees around either. when it all had concluded, it ad been when it all concluded, it had
been a bad idea. so bad that 17 years elapsed before it happened again. there's a question why parks moved to the center of this. they're 1/15th of 1% of federal expenditures. n 1991, they were 1/8 of one percent. we spend about 50% of what we spent in terms of proportions on national park bus they are an easily accessible symbol. closure may be hard to understand in less visible agencies but a closed campground or a child crying because she can't visit the statue of liberty are convenient and graphic metaphors of a much larger failure. as we discuss the parks today, our other public lands are inaccess to believe varying degrees. agencies such as the veterans administration, c.d.c., public health service, national institute of health, nasa work with skeleton staffs.
they too deserve attention and support. it is time to reopen the government and get back to doing the nation's business. the parks have been in the spotlight during the closure and we hope they remain there when they reopen. the sequester has already resulted in curtailment ofer is vesses. the reductions are the equivalent of about 7,000 seasonal employees or 1,750 permanent. this comes on top of the long-range decline in park funding. some years ago, i made a presentation that traced the national park idea back to the founding documents of this country. in the constitution, it is found in the preamble. to secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity. open the government, open the parks, let park rangers go back to doing the work they love and let the rest of us enjoy again america's best idea. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you.
although it would seem irresist to believe ask director jarvis first, whose land is it? is it the government's or the american people's in your mind, i'm going to waive my going fers and recognize the gentleman from south carolina, mr. gowdy, to ask the first ound of questions. inaudible] >> mr. chairman, that is perfect. please restart the clock. >> some may disagreement -- disagree with this. i thank the gentleman for giving me his meek phone. mr. jarvis, in 2011, occupiers descended on pearson square and decided to stay. de-- on mcpherson square.
park.amped on mcfearson for 100 days they camped in violation of the law and you id not make a single, solitary rrest for camping. you told us then you had a great deal of discretion in how and when to enforce the law and you told us you were after 100 days of not enforcing the plain language of the statute working with protesters to, quote, gain compliance, whatever the hell that means. with the law. and what you called, quote, a measured and reasoned approach. by the way, mr. jarvis, those were your words, not mine. so the law says no camping. but the protesters camped anyway. and you didn't do anything in terms of arrests or citations for over 100 days.
so mr. jarvis, i want you to fast forward two years. parks are closing, access to monuments is restricted, even access for those who helped build the monument in the first place you didn't wait 100 days to enforce the law, mr. jarvis, with veterans who wanted to see their monument. you didn't work to gain compliance. veterans weren't greeted with a measured and reasoned response, mr. jarvis. they were greeted with barricades on the very first day. furthermore they could not exercise their first amendment rights to walk to a monument that they helped build, but yet some of our colleagues were allowed to exercise their first amendment right to protest whatever it was they were protesting on the national mall. so i'm going to read something to you, mr. jarvis, and i want you to say if you recognize who said this. because of the lapse in funding you are having to deliver
difficult news to visitors and partners. the functions we must perform during a shutdown are not the easons we join the parker is vess, but they are what we are required to do by law. >> i said that. >> can you tell me why would would not enforce the law at mcfearson square yet greeted veterans with barricades on the very first day? what regulation can you cite to me that requires you by law to erect barricades? >> the contingency plan that was approved on september 27 for the national park system is in compliance with the anti-the efficiency act. i -- >> i'm looking for a statute, mr. jarvis. i am looking for a citation to the code of federal regulation or the u.s. code for why you
erected barricades. we've established you did not enforce the law for 100 days for protesters, agreed? you agree with me you did not issue a single citation for camping, right? >> i believe that is correct. >> either it is or it isn't. is it? not one single citation for camping. >> i do not remember exactly. >> well your previous testimony issued a ou had not single cite eags for camping. >> that was two years ago. >> well i can cite you the regulation that you did not follow two years ago. can you cite me the regular leags that required you to erect barricades to prevent veterans from accessing a monument that they built. >> i can cite the anti-deficiency act. >> can you cite a regular leags that requires you to erect barricades, mr. jarvis? that is not a complex question. >> the anti-deficiency act requires that i reduce all employees down to only those necessary for life and
property. that required the closure of all 401 national parks. >> mr. jarvis why did you fail to enforce the plain language of a statute for 100 days for protesters. and yet on the very first day you denied access to a monument that veterans helped build. >> on the very first day of the closure i implemented a closure order for all 401 national parks in compliance with the anti-deficiency act and immediately, immediately that day, also included as a part of that order that first amendment activities would be permitted on the national mall. >> do you consider a first amendment activity to walk to a monument you help build? or is it only smoking pot at mcfearson square. >> the first amendment activities we are content neutral on first amendment and on the national mall. >> that wasn't my question. do you consider it to be an
exercise of the first amendment right to walk to a monument that you helped build? >> if an individual declares they are there for their -- to exercise their first amendment act. >> who were they to declare it to. >> the gentleman's time has expire. >> who were they to declare it too. zone national mall any group under 25 does not need a permit to exercise their per met. we set up the policy to allow our veterans in, including the honor flights under first amendment so they were not denied access. >> mr. chairman, i want the record to reflect that no statute or code of the federal regulation was cited to justify the erection -- >> the record will indicate that. director jarvis, pursuant to his question, ms. ebber lee looked like she wanted an provided for her
to be closed. if it's anti-deficiency, say it to her. >> it's anti-deficiency. in the case of the farm along with many similar situations we had to investigate whether or not we were providing direct services that would be in violation of the anti-deficiency act. utilities, trash pickup any of the things not related to life and property. in the case of the claud moore farm we have been providing funding to them to the tune of $100,000 a year every year. so we were not going to give it in 2014 and ms. ebbele know it is that, it's a concern for both of us because of our decline in funding. i had to make a determination whether or not i was in violation of the anti-deficiency act which i cannot violate, it is a law passed by this body that i cannot violate, there are criminal penalties to my agency to violate that law so as we shut down, immediately, we began to work toward figuring out how to get a work-around
that would allow claud moore, a whole variety of these partnership facilities opened and we've opened a dozen or more already because we've determined that there is no violation of the anti-deficiency act. >> ok. i appreciate that. i appreciate the fact that you discovered you were wrong on day one. i now ask unanimous consent that the -- this historic news article -- archive from the -- from 1996 period be placed in the record in which it says, in realtime, in 1995, december 16, 1995, tourists were free to wander the halls of the capitol, touch the walls of the vietnam memorial and climb the steps of the lincoln memorial to read the gettysburg address. without objection, so ordered. additionally i now ask that your document from the united states department of interior which is your declaration,
national park service closure determination and notice be placed in the record in which in line seven it says the closure determination and notice does not apply to private owners of interest in real property located within the exterior boundaries and units of the national park service, etc. and line eight which says the closure determination and notice does not apply to roads that pass through units of the national park systems and provide access. without objection, ordered. the gentleman from maryland is recognized. jarvis, let me ask you this. how many employees does park service have? >> about 24,000. >> and you had to furlough how many? >> 21,328. >> and what percentage is that of employees? about 87%? >> somewhere in that
neighborhood, 80%, 85%. >> so those folks, they were -- it was basically mandated they couldn't come to work is that right, pretty much? >> right. >> what impact did that have on your decisions and what you did with regard to the matter that mr. gowdy was just asking about? >> the monuments and memorials on the national mall do not take care of themselves. every day, i have employees there that clean the restrooms, clean up the messes behind the public, pick up trash. ensure that the elevateors are -- elevators are available for those that need to access the chambers of the jefferson or lincoln. they provide the eyes and ears for the u.s. park police who are not duty stationed to stand and watch over monuments. they are there to respond. my u.s. park police responded to the incident at the navy yard they responded to the incident with the capitol police recently. they are a response agency. our rangers are there to
prevent vandalism and impact to the monuments and memorials. all those rangers have been furloughed the consequences are that as much as there's a lot of talk about open air monuments and memorials that are unmanned, they are not unoccupied. my responchesability is to ebb shire -- ensure they are protected 24 hers -- hours a day, not just with somebody that might come at a late response, we have staff there are there at all of those. out of 300 that would normally be on the mall, i have 12. so therefore, -- >> so therefore, there are consequences, as mr. connolly says, to all of this. in other words, when you've got to furlough people, you have some consequences. >> yes, sir. >> and so you cannot cover everything you'd like to cover, is that right? >> i cannot protect these monuments and memorials to the standard that this country expects me to do so. >> now one of the things that
you said going back to the hearing that mr. gowdy was talking about that impressed me quite a bit is you talked about how important it is to you personally, and you said it again today, that when people come to visit our parks, our monuments, that you took it as a personal type of thing, you wanted them to be able to enjoy that. that it was very significant, just as significant to you for your -- you would want the same thing for your family that you want for them. do you still feel that way? >> yes, sir, if i may, in 2016, the national park service will be 100 years old and i will have worked for this agency for 40 of those years. i have been a law enforcement ranger, i have been search and rescue, firefighters, superintendent, regional director and now director under many presidents, many secretaries of the interior. what -- and i think i represent the agency of public servants
that are dedicated to providing these places to the american public. it pains us to not be able to invite the american public into their national parks. this is painful for the employees that take great pride in providing these 401 placers in enjoyment of the american people. >> somebody on the other side said earlier that folks are treated badly at the parks. i've got to say, even before i became a congress and people didn't know me in these parks, i never had a bad experience with regard to employees. i want to say to the employees that are watching us right no, we thank you for your service, we thank you for dedicating your lives to making life better and bringing life to so many people. let me ask you something else, i talked about some of the impact the shutdown is having on veterans. i ask unanimous consent to insert in the hearing record a
letter, the military officers association of america sent to me yesterday. this letter states in part, and i quote, veterans and their family taos are experiencing reductions in certain services. even though v.a., health care -- v.a. health care continues uninterrupted under the advanced appropriations, other services have been suspended or severely cut back including veteran outreach programs, counseling for wounded warriors and student vets on campus among others, end of quote. >> without objection, that will be part of the record. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i would also leek to insert into the record a written statement from the student veterans of america this statement says, and i quote, the current government shutdown has created an overwhelming sense of uncertainty for student veterans. with the department of veterans' affairs' re-- affairs' resources like the g.i. bill unavailable, many veterans are wondering whether or not they'll be able to pay next month's rent or even have
g.i. bill benefits to remain enrolled in school, end of quote. >> that will be part of the record also, without objection. time of the gentleman has expired. >> let me say this -- in our committee, what we had just now as a total between mr. gowdy and mr. issa nine minutes. >> in my quhe we go the five minute route but i'll give the gentleman a leeway. >> thank you very much, i don't have much more, mr. chairman, i appreciate the courtesy. i also would like to insert in the record a letter from the officers reserve association of the united states of america. the impact on veterans is just one example of the toll the shutdown is taking on americans. as a result of the shutdown, seven head start programs were forced to close, leaving 7,000 preschoolchildren locked out of the classroom and their parents scrambling to find child care. private donation has helped bridge the funding gap but head start programs across the
country are facing closures as the shutdown continues, the national transportation safety board has suspended an investigation of a train derailment in baltimore county, maryland, as well as train derailment in el kin city, maryland, that resulted in the release of 20,000 gallons of vital -- vinyl chloride. i could go on and on with specific examples such as these but let's talk about the impact of the republicans' governing tactics on the economy. the peterson foundation released a report titled, quote, the cost of the crisis-driven fiscal policy, the report find that the arbitrary and short sighted approach to govern big crisis hurting the economy and concludes the poolcies have, quote, saddled a still struggling economy with a fiscal drag of contradiction of discretionary spending, created general uncertainty about fiscal policy that though its impact on financial markets has undermined economic growth and finally forced the first prolonged shutdown of the
federal government since the first term of the clinton administration and failed to raise the federal debt ceiling in a timely manner, conjuring the specter of a sovereign default with all its financial and economic fallout. the report finds that the result is that the -- >> would the gentleman wrap up. >> i'm wrapping up right now, mr. chairman. just taking my same thing that mr. issa did, the report finds that the result is that the growth of the gross domestic product has slowed by as much as 1 percentage point since 2010, director jarvis, you are responsible for running an agency charged with protecting our national parks which contribute to the national economy and we thank you for your service. with that, i yield back. >> i don't have to remind the gentleman that his time had expired two and a half minutes ago but -- i just want to -- i'll recognize myself and i am
going to try to adhere to the five minutes. when you have government shutdowns there's obviously going to be some displacement. that happens. but let's understand that these are decisions that the political class has difficulty sometimes reconciling. our founders devised a system that was supposed to be hard. government of the people is hard. if you want efficiency you go to a dictatorship but if you want freedom and liberty, you have our form of government. so now we're caught in this situation right now and we have to do our best to get through that. ms. ebberle made an observation in her response about, i don't know who is responsible but we ought to find out. there's -- that struck me and reminded me of the saving that a government is big enough to give you something is big enough to take it away. what's frightening about what we're going through right now,
we have had 17 shutdowns since 1980, i believe is what the figure is. but this is the first time, this is the first time that access has been denied to open air malls. open air monuments. now that frankly should be a little bit frightening, it seems to me, that if a government will go to that much effort to make it difficult for the american people to see their national treasures, that ought to be a red flag for everybody. i think that's what this hearing is all about. now what i would like to -- i'd like to ask director jarvis and thank you for being here, you and i spoke briefly before hand and you said you've had better weeks, i suppose we've all had better weeks. but i want to refer to the issue of the first amendment activities because the first amendment is a constitutional activity. we all know that.
and your directive on number nine, you canceled all previously issued permits with the exception of those here on the national mall and you put that out, national mall, i think the white house and philadelphia and so forth. but what's -- what got the american -- what got america's attention was when the world war i vets could not access -- or world war ii vets could not access their monument. because of those barricades. it's been well documented system of my question, were there permits, were there permits not acknowledged -- were their permits not acknowledged? what happened with the honor flights? >> prior to the shutdown, the honor flights were not a permitted -- >> they were not permitted. >> no. >> ok. but now you are changing -- you change course and said, ok, these honor flights can have at world dment rights
war ii mall. but i thought i heard you say n testimony that others less than a size of 25 don't have those same rights, did i hear you correctly? >> no, the regulations for the national mall, because we host about 600 first amendment activities here each year, if it's a group under 25, they can exercise their first amendment activities without a permit. >> ok. that's the interesting part then. you had barricades for world war ii veterans, obviously they are over 25, but individuals, individuals, you know, someone from, say, my hometown came here they would be denied access and yet you said they're exempt. i see an inconsistency in how this is aplayed. >> no, if your friends came and walked up to the ranger and said, i'm exercising my first amendment activities and i have a group under 25, then they
could do that. >> see, and due respect, i'm going to have to pursue that. you have an agency within the park service that the fine what is first amendment rights are and people have to go up and outwardly ask to have their first amendment rights exercised by an ok from the park service, is that what i'm hearing? >> there has been many, many cases of first amendment -- >> just answer the question. >> i'm sorry but there is a body of law associated with first amendment activities on the mall. for instance, the chamber of the lincoln memorial is not available for first amendment activities. so that's in statute. or in regulation. nor is the chamber of the jefferson. but the plaza is and the case of the world war ii memorial, the entire world war ii memorial is open to first amendment activities. >> except in this case when the barricades were put up because f -- well -- i don't know.
last question, i'm over time and i try not to do that. i really try to adhere to that in my committee. i guess the obvious question is, is all of this decision that was made regarding restricting activity, was that your decision. >> yes, sir, it was. >> totally your decision. >> yes, sir. >> ok, thank you. i want to recognize now mr. defazio. >> thank you, mr. chairman. mr. chairman, i regret the committee chairman from idaho isn't here at the moment but this is a photograph from the 1995 shutdown. and that is the lincoln memorial. and the closure begins at the base of the steps. people were not allowed to go into the lincoln memorial. i would say we get a lot more loose tools running around this country doing things now than in 1995678 we had someone attack the monument recently so to say we shouldn't need staff
there to protect the memorials is absurd. in this day and age. i also have a letter here i'd like to enter into the record rom the national park ranger lodge of the fraternaled or over police. i'll quote two things from this letter. without any contrary court find organization changes in the law derek spite what the gentleman on the other side said, we will carry on with this miserable, thankless, payless task, denying public access to parks during the government shutdown. although our actions make sensational news stories and fodder for the pundits, they are supported by precedent, legal guidance, from lawyers, that we are sworn to enforce. the park service rangers want to be working and regularly admitting people to memorials and parks and guarding those people and the memorials an the parks against destructive activity but because of the republican government shutdown
they cannot do that. plain and simple. you can't create something and then pretend you're outraged by the results which is what i'm hearing from the other side of the aisle. director jarvis, i do have a question. they seem to love our parks today but i haven't seen that love much recently since the republicans took over congress in 2010. 2010, your total budget was $2,750 million. in 2013, $2,400 million. which would be less than the fwathe spending levels. since 2008 -- less than the 2008 spending levels. since 2008 have you caught up on your capital back log? >> no, our maintenance backlog exceeds $11 billion. $11 billion back log on the parks which are so loved by the republicans. have you had to cut back earlier this year before the
closures? >> yes, sir. particularly with the sequestration, we had to cut back significantly on the program -- on both programs and hours. we currently have for the last summer 1,000 less seasonals and 900 permanent positions unfilled. >> 1,000 less seasonals, 900 less permanent and the republicans are saying the sequestration, which they created which has cut your budget back to below 2008 year levels is politically motivated the things you're doing there. is it politically motivated when you noticed those people that they weren't going to be working this sum her >> no, sir. there's no politics involved here. this is just our responsibility to take kear of the national parks with what resources we have. >> i thank the gentleman. i'd note further there are some other perverse impacts on our federal lands. wildlife refuges have closed and those on the other side of the aisle who day in, day out,
are there to defend the second amendment aren't doing much to defend those who want to hunt on those lands during this hunting season. and the losses being caused there. they aren't doing anything by keeping the government closed to help those in rural areas who want to work. i've got timber industry folks who have been noticed that their contracts are going to be suspended. now they're going to have a right to sue the government and get money back for suspending their contracts. unfortunately, we won't have those log this is winter to tide the mills over to the spring in areas where you can't get into the mountains in the wintertime. yet that's because of the government shutdown. they might think, well, they should let them go forward. they can't because they have a fiduciary responsibility to monitor timber steals. there have been instances where people have out cut trees they weren't supposed to cut. timber theft. those things happen. the government needs to have official there is to monitor this. they can't do it under your
shutdown, we're losing money, we're losing jobs. now you pretend you care about rural america, you care about our parks which you slashed the budget for. this is absolutely the height of hypocrisy. the fact that we're here today trying to figure out why the parks are closed because of a government shutdown and what bizarre things have -- >> mr. chairman, i would like to make an inquiry for a point of personal privilege. >> i think the gentleman is probably asking for a parliamentary inquiry, i recognize film him for that. >> when the gentleman says that you pretend that you care about the parks, are you speaking about anybody on this dais, so i will know whether to have the gentleman's words taken down or not? >> any member has the right to ask a -- another member's words to be taken down but i think what this discussion is here, the gentleman was addressing it in the proper way that we
address those sort of things. >> we will break away from this hearing. you'll see it overnight following the senate tonight on c-span2. we'll take you to the comments of majority leader harry reid now beginning his speech on the senate floor with two votes head on the floor. >> the bill is meant to be read a third time and proceed on vote on passage of the bill as amended. if the bill is passed the entitlement is agreed to. action the bill will be returned to the calendar. >> is there objection? without objection. so ordered. consideration of h.r. 2775, hich the clerk will >> under the previous order the senate will proceed to consideration of h.r. 2775. nd cost-sharing subsidies under the
patient protection and affordable care act, and so forth and for other purposes. the presiding officer: under the previous order, amendment number 2004 is agreed to. under the previous order, the clerk will report the motion to invoke cloture. the clerk: we the undersigned senators in accordance with provisions of rule 22 of the standing rules of the senate hereby move to bring to a close debate on h.r. 2775 as amended, signed by 16 senators as follows -- reid of nevada, durbin, murray, boxer, leahy, whitehouse, stabenow, bennet, rockefeller, tester, reed of rhode island, warner, kaine, cardin, schumer and coons. the president pro tempore: by unanimous consent, the mandatory quorum call has been waived. the question is is it the sense of the senate the debate on h.r. 2775 as amended shall be brought
senate floor, this is the vote on cloture which would -- on the bill that would reopen the government through january 15 and extend the debt ceiling thru february 7. s the plan agreed to by senate negotiators and announced on the senate floor earlier today by majority leader harry reid and commented upon by the republican leader, senator mitch mcconnell. doing something different here on c-span, carrying live coverage of the senate while hearing from you as the vote gets under way. if you'd just like to watch the vote itself and hear the call of the role, that is on our companion network c-span2. we expect the house to come in this evening to also take up the measure and a vote is expected in the house tonight. to join the conversation, 202-585-3885 for republicans. for democrats it's 202-585-3886. and for all others, 202-585-3887. we expect during this vote to
be able to show you, too, the tally as it comes up and let you hear the call of the vote once it wraps up. this is the closure -- cloture vote, to end debate, need 60 to invoke cloture. the second vote will be the fenal vote on passage that needs 51 to pass. let's hear from carl. >> i'm watching and i have been for some time. i've been a republican for 40 years and anyway, i'm really nonpartisan. the bottom line is our country is going to hell in a hand basket. -- i'm a 0-year-old 30-year veteran of two wars, 67-year-old. there's no reason our country should be going what we're going through. i strongly believe obama is here to take america down from within because of this debt
ceiling and we is -- and he is actually doing it and if we don't do something about it on both sides of the house this country is going to fall. we're the oldest living -- this to ever should never happen. ve never seen such monkeying around from both parties. they're both wrong. i think we need to look at the president. i think the man is there to take this country down and if both sides of the house don't wake up and look at what he's doing, i don't think this country is going to last very much longer and i wouldn't be a bit surprised if he doesn't order ammunition against his own people. >> two votes on the senate floor. s the cloture vote on what's being tchailed continuing appropriations act of 2014. this is the cloture vote they need 60 to invoke cloture and
the final passage vote is next. you're watching c-span, the house will be in later. we'll have that live here on c-span. you can watch the vet and more on our companion network and where we carry the senate all the time, c-span2. let's hear from pallette in southeastern massachusetts. >> yes, i just have one comment to make. has anybody heard the expression critical thinking? tell them to look it up a and start practicing it, ok? thank you. here's a tweet from a fox reporter who covers the congress. when the house brings up the bill, it is expected to bring one on suspension with hour of debate. >> look what he's doing to us.
we're downhill. but these people, depends on that check. you know. he said if we don't get that money, we may have to wait until the second day of the month or the third day of the month, who is going to pay, when you've got to pay that late fee on the bills? that's not just money. >> the text of the bill was released earlier this evening, we posted it at c-span.org. it does address the issue of furloughed employees, saying they shall be compensated at their standard rate of compensation for the period of such lapse in premises as soon as practicable. after such lapse in appropriations ends. meaning the end of the government shutdown. next up, we -- by the way, also, mark noeller of are cbs is commenting, looking at some of the things in the measure, this 35-page measure that continues federal spending, opening the federal government
at least through january 15, he tweets that the bill requires the health and human services secretary inspector general to report to congress by july on the effectiveness of verification procedures for the obamacare tax credits. let's go to davis who is calling on our republican line from maryland. >> hello. >> hi, go ahead with your comment. >> hi, how you doing? >> doing fine, thank you. >> i don't know how these people get along, it's like the government should not be shut down osmba ma need to step up and be what the senate is saying. it's got people now homeless. obama ain't doning nothing for the homeless. and the senate don't care about the hemless. -- homeless people. i'm homeless myself. hello. >> you're homeless, davis?
>> yeah, i'm homeless. i'm living in the woods in a cabin. >> somewhere in maryland? >> yeah in the mountains. >> how long have you been homeless? >> almost maybe about two years. >> appreciate you calling in this evening. sandy is next up in hilliard, ohio, on the democrats line. >> hello. >> hi, sandy. >> hi, how are you doning. >> fine, thanks. >> i have a couple of things to say. i'm 71 years old, worked since i was 16 years of age. first of all, we're not dumb people. it takes more than one person to ruin our country. whether you blame obama or bush or whoever you want to blame, it's all of them. it takes more than one person. secondly, i lost my job, i worked 50 1/2 years for one company, i'm depending on my social security now. i can't believe that these people don't think about themselves. they have money they don't worry about us.
us people that are trying to find an apartment to live or whatever. and i just think it's a shame what they're doing. it's a shame that two people, two parties can't get together and work something out. we teach our kids to share and share alike and not be bullies and all that, and what are they coning? they're the biggest bullies of all, bullying all of us. i'm sorry. as far as boehner go, he's disgusting. he can cry all he want he may be from ohio, but i don't want to know anything about him. he's disgusting. i don't have anything else to say, i'm sorry, bye-bye. >> republican martha roby of alabama tweeted a short while ago, i think a majority of r's and d's could have reached a reasonable agreement but the shutdown strategy severely damaged our bargaining power. that's from martha roby, republican of alabama. there's a vote under way on the senate floor, we're watching it live,s the cloture vote moving to end debate on the measure that would reopen the government and extend the debt ceiling and this is a vote that
requires 60 to invoke cloture and move on to final passage vote. that's next. that would take a simple majority of 50 senators. brooklyn, karen, on our others line. >> hi. >> hello. >> good evening. you see this debt ceiling and all of this shutting down of the government, to me the heritage foundation, the tea party, ted cruz, boehner, all of them should be arrested for trying to -- this is a coup. in any other country, the four of them would be arrested. under house arrest. their need to go. people need to vote them out because you cannot hold this country hostage because of -- because you don't like president obama. he's the president. and get over it. thank you. >> thank you. she mentioned the heritage
foundation, the heritage action, the political action committee of the heritage foundation, said earlier, tweeted earlier, that the senate deal fixes nothing. their comment on the measure. announced earlier today by the democrat exleader, a measure that would reopen the government through january 15, it would extend the treasury's borrowing authority through february 7. it would allow the treasury secretary to continue to take measures to avoid default. also in terms of the health care law it would require those getting subsidies to provide income verification. lastly it would set up a bicameral committee to work out a longer term budget deal. the budget committees from the house and senate would work on that deal, due by early january. next is karen, she's -- michael, he's in california on a republican line. >> hello. >> hi, michael. >> oim a registered republican and always have been.
a lifetime in the military, honorably. and i'm going to stay a republican but i'm ashamed. but i will tell all my epublican friends, i'm going to vote democrat and they're not going to like it but i'm really ashamed of the republican party. and the tea party. it seems like they have their own agenda and they don't put the united states above -- and that's the way i feel. thank you. >> pensacola, florida, mary on the democrat's line. >> hello. >> hi, mary. make sure you mute your television or radio and go ahead with your comment. >> got it. yes, i'm 84 years old. >> yes. >> i have voted in many elections. and seen washington a lot with these congress sessions going on. i don't know who some of these
people are calling up there to discuss. we have one president. of course he's got age -- aides, he's got people who are supposed to take care of these committees but these congressmen have all keends of aides, they are aseened to all kinds of committees. why do they use the entire term for the election to take over against the president and try to destroy the nation? but the president can only do it, he's only one person. we've got three branches of government up there. looks like that, when we sent our professionals up there, that they would try to do something for the united states. >> we're also reading some of your tweets. the hash tag is #cspanchat. renee says obama is a man of his words, he said he would defend the a.c.a. and he did. peggy sue said maybe the house republicans won't vote for the deal, maybe they can't get 117
republican votes and it stalls. first the senate has to pass it. that vote will be next if they invoke cloture here with this quote. let's go to washington state. jack on our others line. >> hi. 'm calling in reference to the shutdown. i don't think the house should vote for that -- for it. i think they ought to request parity with the taxpayers so there would be a delay for another year. and the constitution, i think -- i consider myself an independent, i kind of lean conservative. i think article 1, section 8 states that it has to be uniform throughout the united states. and that isn't. so i think we ought to hold out for that. >> sounds leek they're going to take it up this evening and expedite it, they can take it up apparently under unanimous consent agreement and bypass
having to have a rules committee meeting so that's ahead in the house, we'll have that live of course here once the house gavels in. james from tennessee, a republican. >> hello. >> hi, james. >> the speaker of the house is doing what he's supposed to. he represents republicans that put him in there and as far as the other side, the president was born a muslim, he was raised a muslim and he is leading us into socialism because he's catering to the immigrants and helps people who think they're going to get something for nothing and that's what gives him his power. >> you're feeding back a little bit on us james, make sure when you call in, when you get through, mute your television or radio. jessie is in massachusetts. democratic caller.
>> hello. >> hi, jessie. >> how are you. i'm a life-long democrat, i was born and raised here in boston. i was part of the national, i guess you could call it, national acceptance of barack obama when we first elected him president and again when we elected him president the second time. i just for quite some time, not just because of what's going on now, and our ludicrous congress, but i have been saying for a long, long time, for many years, there needs to be term limits. the nation needs to grip the idea of term limits. the president can only serve two terms. you've got senators and congressmen who have been up there in washington so long they forget why we send them there. and we continue to keep sending them. the nation needs to grab hold of the concept, embrace it and let -- let's ep act term
limits. if we keep our senate and congress fresh with new people, not people who were there for 30 or 40 years and who brag about it and 99% of them are all millionaires. so they're out of touch with the average american. term limits, it's the only way to go. thank you. >> one of the reporters watching the vote in the senate is russell berman of "the hill." he tweets that senate republican number two, john cornyn of texas, votes against mcconnell's deal. s the senate proposal which would reopen the federal government through january 15 and extend the treasury's borrowing authority through february 7. rick mays of military times on that tweets that the debt ceiling agreement doesn't raise the $16.7 debt limit but suspend the debt limit through february 7. it also allows the treasury secretary to take extraordinary measures to prevent the u.s. from going into default.
marion, ohio, is next, justin, on our others line. >> my name is justin, i'm 22 and i watch a lot of c-span and other programs on the tv and my main thing that i see that's wrong with a lot of the senate and congress and house is that we have too much of a separation, and as i've said -- as they've said before, a house divided cannot stand. we have all this accept reags, and people get elected strictly because they're a republican in a republican state or a democrat in a democrat state and i think what i'd like to see no more majority, no more of the president being one, either democrat or republican and then you have congress that's either criminaled by the opposite faction, it's just too much arguing. there's not much agreement and just too much separation. >> do you think we'd be served -- better served by having additional parties? >> united party. so that's all i'd like to say.
thank you. >> all right, here's another justin this justin in laurel, maryland, republican caller. >> is it me? >> that's you, justin, hello. >> um, yes, i wanted to call, i do want to address something that someone else said about term limits. >> yeah. >> i have gone back and forth about that. i do want to say, i do not agree with it because we are the people sending them back there. the responsibility is on us. but i did call because i wanted to talk about what's going on right now. >> yes. >> i think that the house should not pass what the senate gives them. i think that what they need to do is they need to say, we are going to give you obamacare. fully funded. but no exemses. you can't exempt anyone or say you're going to get special exemptions, special treatment, you can't do any of that. and i think that if they put
that to the senate, they'd have a hard time passing that. make them fully implement the law as it was written and let the administration, excuse me, take away from the administration their ability to rewrite the law as it goes on or implement certain parts and not implement certain parts because it's not -- it's not the law that they wrote. give them the full funding for it, if they're going to cave, give them the full funding and say, implement the entire law as it was written, no exemptions, no delays and put that in the senate's hands. >> there is some language in the senate measure that deals with the health care law, certainly not defunding it or delaying it but it does require the secretary of health and human services to certify to congress that the health exchanges are -- those applying for those exchanges are eligible. so the income verification is part of it.
another part of it is, too, it requires that the that the h.h.s. inspector genre port to congress no lat later than july 1 of 2014 regarding the effectiveness of the procedures and safe gards provided around the affordable care act. two stipulations in this senate measure. senate democrat staff on the democratic staff on the floor of the senate are tweeting about the vote that you're watching on the senate floor. they say so far this tweet was about a minute ago or so, so far 25 republicans have voted in favor of the debt limit bill. let's hear from veto in spring hill, florida. he's on the democrats' line. >> good evening. i'm always amazed at the lack of knowledge many of your callers have concerning three branches of government and how they operate. and what has gone on here with the shutdown of government and the debt ceiling, this is all political play. it has nothing to do with legislating for the people of
this country. a lot of your callers, i just don't understand, president obama is like any other president that this country has ever had. he was elected by the popular vote and the electoral college and why they continue to believe that this man is not an american citizen. it's just totally amazing that the ignorance in this country continues to go on. media s based upon the and what they do and what they publicize. there's a left, the right, the center, they publicize many of the things that are untrue. and the talking points are just political. and one more comment, it's concerning the supreme court. when they approve citizens united, they opened up the flood gates for money to control our congress. and that's what is going on right now. with 60 members --
>> let's listen, thank you. >> on this vote, the yeas are 83. the nays are 16. three fifths of the senators duly sworn voting in the affirmative, the motion is agreed to. , der the previous order cloture having been invoked, all time is yielded back. the clerk will read the title of the bill for the third time. n the provision of premium and cost sharing subsidies and so forth and for other purposes. the president pro tempore: the question occurs on the passage of h.r. 2775 as amended. is there a sufficient second? there is a sufficient second. the clerk will call the roll.
>> the final passage vote on the measure that would reopen the federal government through january 15 and extend the debt ceiling through february 7. we're going to continue taking calls on c-span if you'd like to continue watching that vote live and unfettered, it's on our companion network c-span2. we expect the house to gavel in this evening, we'll have that c-span. you on we also expect to hear from harry reid and other democratic leaders from the senate right after this vote. let's hear from randolph in