The House Committee on Natural Resources noted yesterday that the Obama administration has been “selectively erecting barricades” at certain popular monuments around Washington, D.C., including the World War II Memorial and the National Mall. While the administration blames the closures on the government shutdown, committee chairman Rep. Doc Hastings wonders if the inconsistent policy is being applied for political reasons.
“The Obama Administration is not only taking the unnecessary and egregious step of closing off open spaces and monuments – places without doors and gates that are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week – but is selectively choosing where to apply this policy. It appears as though only the highly visible monuments and areas are being closed to the public – further proof that the Obama Administration is only playing politics and purposely choosing to make this shut down as painful as possible. Their actions are shameful and wrong,” Hastings said Wednesday.
In light of the controversy, House Oversight Committee Chairman Rep. Darrell Issa has launched an investigation. NRO’s Jonathan Strong reports:
Issa’s investigation is at its preliminary stages, Frederick Hill, his spokesman, said. But his committee will be exploring whether decisions were made to close monuments and other attractions for political reasons, potentially as a means of worsening the pain of a shutdown to increase political pressure on House Republicans.
Representative Elijah Cummings, the top Democrat on the oversight panel, was angered that Issa has begun investigating the issue. “I know of no evidence” that the closures were for political reasons, he said.