October 1, 2013
House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers gave the following statement on the House floor today in support of the Open Our Nation’s Parks and Museums Act, which provides funding for the National Park Service, Smithsonian Museums, and Holocaust Museum until December 15, 2013.
“Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of this legislation, which will reopen the doors of our National Parks and Memorials, the Smithsonian Museums and facilities, and the Holocaust Museum.
“Our capital draws hundreds of thousands of visitors from across the United States – and all over the world – every year. To turn these visitors away from its highlights is unbefitting of a capital city. All over the country, our National Parks preserve our rich national heritage – and serve as a reminder to all of us of the history and vast beauty that makes our nation great.
“This legislation is essentially a portion of the clean continuing resolution I introduced several weeks ago. With that in mind, I can endorse this path forward.
“To keep these programs, parks, memorials and facilities operational, this bill provides funding at the current annual rate of approximately $3 billion. This is $2.1 billion for the National Parks, $775 million for the Smithsonian Museums, and $48 million for the Holocaust Museum.
“While this bill helps to provide stability in this segment of the federal government, our jobs are far from done. We can’t just fund the government in bits and pieces forever.
“Enacting full-year appropriations that reflect current needs should be at the top of our priority list. This bill keeps us on the path toward achieving that goal, but it is not the end of the line.
“I urge my colleagues to support this bill, and support the wishes of this nation that this shutdown come to an end in the very, very near future.