Hatch co-sponsors bill to repay states for national park shutdown costs

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Sen. Orrin Hatch, pesident pro tem of the United States Senate and chairman of the Senate Western Caucus’s Public Lands Subcommitee, joined with bipartisan co-sponsors Monday in a bill proposing to enact the National Park Access Act; joining him were Sens. Jeff Flake, R-Arizona, Michael Bennet, D-Colorado, Lamar  Alexander, R-Tennessee, and John McCain, R-Arizona.

The proposed Act would direct the National Park Service to reimburse states that provided funds to reopen national parks temporarily during the 2013 government shutdown.

View the full text of the bill here: 201501 Senate Bill to enact National Park Access Act

“I’m proud that the state of Utah stepped up to keep our national parks open during the government shutdown,” Hatch said. “Now that Congress has retroactively funded the National Park Service it’s time to reimburse Utah the funds it advanced during the shutdown. I look forward to swift congressional action to advance this bill.”

During the government shutdown in October 2013, six states – Arizona, Colorado, New York, South Dakota, Tennessee and Utah – advanced some $2 million to the National Park Service to temporarily reopen iconic national parks, including the Grand Canyon, Mt. Rushmore and the Statue of Liberty. Following the shutdown, Congress retroactively funded the Park Service, which has since retained the $2 million state contribution as a shutdown windfall.

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  • KarenSp January 13, 2015 at 7:20 am

    It’s funny that the senior Senator from Utah (Hatch) is co-sponsoring the bill to repay the states from the shutdown that was caused by the junior Senator from Utah (Mike Lee). Unfortunately, there were plenty of businesses, especially in southern Utah, that will never get repaid because of Mike Lee and his childish rant.

  • Evil Twins Mommy January 13, 2015 at 9:13 am

    Well offers course it’s going to turn out that way. the government takes care of the government and that’s where the buck stops

  • Koolaid January 13, 2015 at 9:52 am

    More debt incurred by the Republican Party. The greatest debt incurred was by the Bush Administration with its 2 wars lasting over 8 years and its $1 Trillion economic recovery stimulus plan which only put money into the pockets of bankers and CEOs. I betcha Hatch and other Utah Republican Party members didn’t complain about the Bush administration’s debts that sunk the country into the biggest recession since the great depression.

    • BunnyRabbit2015 January 13, 2015 at 1:53 pm

      Can’t blame Utahns. They just vote the way the Lord’s church tells them to…

    • Big Guy January 13, 2015 at 3:30 pm

      KOOLAID is inventing his own facts again. The “Troubled Asset Relief Program” (TARP) dispersed $426.4 billion to inject liquidity when our financial system was falling apart in the fall of 2008. There was no “$1 Trillion recovery stimulus plan.” TARP was concluded just last month. These same financial firms that KOOLAID rants about returned $441.7 billion to the Treasury. A few smaller firms defaulted and went bankrupt but the vast majority bought their obligations back, returning a net “profit” of over $15 billion to the taxpayers. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Troubled_Asset_Relief_Program

      KOOLAID, facts are stubborn things that don’t give away easily to uninformed opinions. You might try getting a few just to see how they feel.

  • Bender January 13, 2015 at 3:53 pm

    I’m on board as long as they dock Lee and Cruz’s paychecks $1,000/month until infinity to help fund it.

    • Big Guy January 13, 2015 at 4:09 pm

      I second the motion.

    • One for the road January 13, 2015 at 5:48 pm

      Got that right.!

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