Utah re­signed to fact it may not be re­paid for parks

Las Vegas Review-Journal (Sunday) - - WASHINGTON REPORT -

Utah lead­ers are re­signed to the fact that they are likely to never be re­paid the nearly $1 mil­lion the state spent in 2013 to keep its pop­u­lar na­tional parks open dur­ing a gov­ern­ment shut­down.

It would take an act of Con­gress to get re­paid, and Repub­li­can U.S. Rep. Rob Bishop ac­knowl­edges other pri­or­i­ties have largely over­taken the is­sue that was once the sub­ject of se­ri­ous con­ster­na­tion, The Salt Lake Tri­bune re­ported .

“But it’s still un­fair,” Bishop said, adding he might try to re­vive the is­sue be­fore his ten­ure as House Nat­u­ral Re­sources Com­mit­tee chair­man ends when Democrats take con­trol of the U.S. House next year.

Utah wasn’t the only state to re­open the parks on their own dime dur­ing the 16-day shut­down. Oth­ers that sent the fed­eral gov­ern­ment money to keep the lights on in­cluded Colorado, Ari­zona and New York. None was re­im­bursed.

The 2013 clo­sure was largely blamed on Utah’s GOP Sen. Mike Lee of Utah and Ted Cruz of Texas, who were de­ter­mined to block fund­ing for Pres­i­dent Barack Obama’s sig­na­ture health care law.

Rob Bishop

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