A Republican senator is accusing the Biden administration of trying to make a potential government shutdown as painful as possible for American families.
The National Park Service announced Friday that many of its parks will close in the event of a government shutdown, which could happen on Sunday at midnight.
“In the event of a lapse in annual government appropriations, National Park Service (NPS) sites will be closed. This means that the majority of national parks will be closed completely to public access. Areas that, by their nature, are physically accessible to the public will face significantly reduced visitor services,” NPS said in a statement.
“At NPS sites across the country, gates will be locked, visitor centers will be closed, and thousands of park rangers will be furloughed. Accordingly, the public will be encouraged not to visit sites during the period of lapse in appropriations out of consideration for protection of natural and cultural resources, as well as visitor safety,” it added.
Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., harshly criticized the decision in a statement on Friday after the NPS announced it would close the majority of its parks.
“Secretary Haaland is choosing to put politics ahead of people. The Biden administration has the ability to keep our nation’s parks open and accessible. Instead, they’re deliberately trying to make a government shutdown as painful as possible for American families and visitors alike. This outrageous decision will only hurt Wyoming’s gateway communities and the people who depend on the parks for their livelihood,” Barrasso said.
Notably, over 48% of Wyoming is considered federal land, with 96% of Yellowstone National Park being in the state.
Members of the House of Representatives failed to advance a bill on Friday which could have prevented a government shutdown.
A procedural vote on the bill failed on its final passage with a 198-232 vote.
21 Republicans voted against the bill, including Reps. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., and Nancy Mace, R-S.C., and others.
Fox News’ Elizabeth Elkind contributed to this report.
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