Open to Visitors? Assessing the Federal Effort to Minimize the Sequester’s Impact on Access to Our Nation’s Capital and National Treasures
However, there is an inconsistency in what Director Jarvis has said publicly and what the Park Service has told us when they briefed Committee staff last week. A budget office representative from the Park Service told both Democratic and Republican Committee staff that 99 percent of visitors will not even notice any of the adjustments. That’s a far departure from Director Jarvis’ public statements.
It is important that we not confuse the issue here today. No one disputes that sequester cuts are real. The questions and concerns are about whether or not this Administration is doing everything it can to minimize the impact of the sequester. Earlier this year, this Committee sent a letter to the Department of the Interior asking just this question: how can Congress help change the most difficult sequester cuts facing agencies like the Park Service to instead focus or more sensible areas?
To date, we have not received any response from the Department.
It’s worth noting that in 2008, the Park Service’s budget was actually 13.5% smaller than it was in 2012, but Director Jarvis was not then making the warnings he is today.
At the end of the day, this hearing is about how we can best work together to ensure the American people are not adversely impacted by outcomes that can be avoided by planning, coordinating and managing.