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Updated: Democratic, Republican Budget Proposals Take Decidedly Different Tacks On National Parks


Editor's note: This corrects details on continuing resolution in penultimate graph to show measure does not restore sequestration cuts.

Federal budget proposals released this week by the Republicans and Democrats take decidedly different tacks when it comes to national parks, with the GOP plan continuing cuts to the National Park Service while the Democratic version would stablize funding, according to onlookers.

The GOP proposal put forth by U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., is very similar to the one he offered a year ago. Under that proposal, the Park Service would have to close "hundreds of national parks ... for parts of the year" beginning in 2014, the Office of Management Budget said at the time.

Scott Slesinger, legislative director for the Natural Resources Defense Council, said the congressman's new proposal should be rejected because "it solidifies drastic sequestration cuts to initiatives that protect our air, water, food, wildlife, national parks, and transportation infrastructure. Cutting these services that every American relies on won’t dent the deficit, but it will harm our economy and our future."

Under the Democratic proposal offered by U.S. Sen. Patty Murray, D-Washington, cuts ordered by the budget sequestration would be restored through a mix of spending cuts and new revenues. It would not immediately balance the budget, though, something Rep. Ryan said his proposal would do in a decade.

At the National Parks Conservation Association, Craig Obey, senior vice president for government affairs, called the Democratic budget proposal a "refreshing budget blueprint that values investments in our national treasures, not reflexive, mindless cuts."

Sen. Murray, he added, "recognizes that our communities, businesses, and futures all benefit from protecting our heritage, keeping our national parks and their visitor facilities open, and confronting the challenges posed by climate change. As Congress and the Obama administration debate the chasm that separates the approaches in the Murray and Ryan budgets, we hope the values and aspirations Senator Murray’s proposal promotes will find their way into the actual funding Congress provides for our national treasures and our environment."

Parks won't likely get financial relief any time soon, as continuing resolutions in both the House and Senate continue the sequestration.

Of course, with the House and Senate needing to reconcile their differences in both the budget proposals as well as the continuing resolutions, the likelihood of those fiscal landscapes changing is great.


Why waste time and calories on a Ryan 'budget', which presupposes repeal of Health Care Reform to 'work'. Some people are absolutely tone deaf to overwhelming election results.

Probably not a good idea to respond to your comment but what the heck. In refering to "elections," Rick B, have you any interest or opinions into the administration's nominee for Labor Tom Perez and Holder's DOJ's approach to voter intimidation (Black Panthers) and voter suppression (military vote to name one instance)? Elections have taken on quite a different reality to the many I've participated in over the years. Using the "overwhelming" term just seems unrealistic but certainly is how the holders of the WH and Senate like to think. Yes, elections have consequences but it'd be nice if we had an Admin that worked for all the people rather than just those on the "friends" list. Some serious stuff going down, I believe.

Rick B. " overwhelming election results"? You are aware that a diference of 330,000 votes would have lead to a different outcome - aren't you?

You are aware that a diference of 330,000 votes would have lead to a different outcome - aren't you?

Sure. Obama would have carried North Carolina and Arizona as well, winning by 178 electoral votes instead of 126, essentially beating Romney 2 to 1.

Leave out the Holder DOJ, voter fraud, personal destruction on a level never before seen, immigration issues, food stamps, class envy, the pathetic press not doing their job? The Democratic Party as constitued now truly sucks. I don't like the thought that our Parks are associated in any way with them. Just not good. My roots and NPS run deep in my family so don't even try to pitch any snark on me or my history. Things aren't as they seem with this bunch. You are being played.

Well, you go, Patty. I knew there was a reason I voted for you (lots of them, actually, but this is certainly in the top five).

Right, TA, and Glenn Beck is emotionally balanced & Karl Rove called the election right. Right.

My original point above, before you started invoking black helicopters again, is that it is ridiculous to consider seriously the Ryan budget proposals, as he based his budget on the faulty premise that Health Care Reform would be revoked. It has been upheld by the Supreme Court. He still can't accept the fact that his lack of compassion was rejected by well over half of both the Electoral College as well as well over half of the popular vote.

"This bunch" indeed. Get more tin foil.

Compassion as defined by who, Rick B? OK, the Candy Man reins with elections is what I'm hearing. No spending problem.

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