As the federal government went into a partial shutdown Monday at midnight, Great Basin National Park closed its doors to the public.
The government shutdown came about as congressional Republicans looked for changes in the health care law as a price for federal funding. President Barack Obama and Democrats refused. On the National Park Service’s website, this statement was posted:
“Because of the federal government shutdown, all national parks are closed and National Park Service web pages are not operating. For more information, go to www.doi.gov.”
All 401 national parks nationwide have closed and all programs, permits issued for special events on park grounds are rescinded. The parks will remain closed until the government reopens.
As the government shutdown is expected to affect hundreds of thousands of employees, Nevada politicians expressed frustration with what transpired earlier this week.
“It is extremely unfortunate that Congress was unable to make the tough decisions necessary to avert a government shutdown,” Sen. Dean Heller said. “This sort of governing by crisis is irresponsible and Washington cannot continue down this reckless path. The only reason we are in this situation is due to Washington’s inability to produce a long-term budget and pass all appropriations bills, which is why I introduced ‘No Budget, No Pay.’ No question, failed leadership and a crippling inability to come to an agreement are shared failures by both parties.”
Sen. Harry Reid spoke on the Senate floor prior to the midnight deadline and was quick to blame House Republicans for the shutdown.
“Albert Einstein defined insanity as, ‘doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results,’” Reid said. “Tonight, we have more proof that House Republicans have lost their minds. Instead of allowing all 435 members of the House of Representatives to vote on the Senate’s bill to keep the government open for business, Speaker Boehner is once again pushing a government shutdown. The House has – once again – attached political policy riders that are dead on arrival in the Senate. I’ve heard this story before, in fact, just six short hours ago. Republicans have once again threatened to shut down the government unless Democrats repeal Obamacare for a year. But once again Democrats will not re-litigate the health care debate or negotiate at the point of a gun. …But there is still a way for Speaker Boehner to get out of this quagmire. Let all 435 members of the House vote on the clean continuing resolution passed by the Senate on Friday, and reaffirmed this afternoon. Stop standing in the way, I say to the Speaker. John Boehner, let the House work its will. If Speaker Boehner prevents the Senate bill from coming to the floor before midnight, the responsibility for this Republican government shutdown will rest squarely on his shoulders, as all America knows.”
Nevada Congressman Steven Horsford, who represents White Pine County, also blamed Republicans for the shutdown.
“Republicans have wasted time, prioritized ideology over responsible governing, and pushed the government to a shutdown. The American people are witnessing the result of Speaker Boehner conceding his gavel to the Tea Party. I do not support delaying the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. In fact, I will be conducting a telephone town hall tonight with my constituents to help inform them about their health benefits that start under the Affordable Care Act tomorrow.
“I voted for an amendment to the continuing resolution tonight because I’m calling for fairness for those Americans who receive their healthcare through self-insured employer plans. In my home state, hundreds of thousands of Nevadans would be penalized because they are not eligible for tax credits as they receive healthcare through insurance plans from gaming, construction, and small-business employers.
These poison-pill games that characterize Washington politics are antithetical to governing like grownups. I will continue to work with House Democratic Leadership and the Administration to ensure that workers and businesses in my district get the same benefits that I, as a member of Congress, would receive under the Affordable Care Act.”