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Tentative Budget Compromise Would Mean Some Relief For National Park Service


A tentative budget compromise reached by congressional negotiators would, if approved by the full Congress and the White House, mean some relief for the National Park Service.

Craig Obey, senior vice president of government affairs for the National Parks Conservation Association, said the tentative deal as crafted "helps reduce the damage that the broken budgeting process has been inflicting on our national parks."

"...The budget deal opens the door for congressional appropriators to do a better job for America’s national parks, their visitors, and local economies, than has been the case in recent times, though this is not guaranteed," Mr. Obey went on in a prepared statement.

“The budget agreement, though far from perfect, is much better than maintaining the full sequester levels this year and next, and likely will result in reinstating some rangers who were cut due to the sequester."

The compromise to be put before the full House and Senate would do away with $63 billion in pending across-the-board cuts to domestic and military budgets. If approved, the deal also would remove the threat of a government shutdown in mid-January.

Still, Mr. Obey said Congress still needs to restore to the Park Service funding lost through the sequestration cuts early this year.

"...our parks likely will continue to lack the ability to restore all the rangers they lost to the sequester and other cuts, and closed signs are likely to remain at park facilities—part and parcel of a slow motion shutdown for our national parks that cannot be sustained without irreparable damage," he said. "The imposed sequester cuts left 2,000 fewer rangers to protect and manage park resources, abruptly impacting the visitor experience by closing campgrounds, visitor centers and roads.

"The budget deal restores most of sequester cuts, but does not guarantee that the congressional appropriations committees will provide the resources the parks need to put needed rangers back in our parks and begin to address the maintenance backlog."


Some have suggested a biennial budgeting cycle for the federal government would make it easier to set spending levels, allocate resources, and conduct budgetary oversight before repeating the process again. Seems like a practical idea, but there are many drawbacks. I think Congress would still find a way to mangle the process, no matter how much time is given.

Ec, you weren't one of the 'blatant partisan trollers' that immediately came to my (admittedly partisan) mind. :)

I want individual appropriation bills by Department with vigorous debate in Congress. Like we had for 200 years...

At the risk of being charged with "blatant partisan trolling", I agree with you 100% on this point.

Countryman, Thanks for your post. Like you, I support the deal developed by Ryan/Murray.

While I hate to see reductions (the sequester) decline in the short term, our system is about compromise between parties in support of the national interests. I want to see regular order restored.

I am not in support of an omnibus bill for the budget. The Patriot Act was a giant omnibus bill. The Stimulus was a giant omnibus bill. Obamacare was a giant omnibus bill. No one read any of them. None of them have been successful. All have created at least as many problems as they have addressed.

I want individual appropriation bills by Department with vigorous debate in Congress. Like we had for 200 years...

Like you, I decry the blatant partisan trolling. There's a lot of it here. You'd think adults could present their arguments without it. Evidently not everyone can...

Ron - In respect to the cite I won't pen a long piece on our current "free market" or lack there of. But, I implore you to do some research on your own. Study the role of Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and FHA which controlled 95% of the mortgages in 2008. Investigate the Community Reinvestment Act and the pressures it created on banks to grant loans to unqualified buyers. Study the actions of Janet Reno and the Justice Department who were suing lenders because they weren't lending to enough low income borrowers. If you educate yourself on these (and related) issues you will understand how far way we are from a true "free market" and that the crash and debacle since has nothing to do with free market policies.

I can easily discern the different political and economic philosophies among the regulars here, and it's probably too much to sort out by trading comments back and forth.

I'm just glad that Congress finally stopped acting like our commenters here, and actually moved the ball down the road in some small ways. Agree to disagree, right? Let the American people and the elections hopefully sort out those bigger questions over time.

Countryman, thank you for your post. I think it is a good summary of my own less than expert opinion on the the current proposed deal between the House and the Senate. I also felt that the press conference with Congressman Ryan and Senator Murray was quite good, the mutual respect they showed to each other impressed me. We may disagree on my own disappointment of the deal, and my own opinion of our "free market economy" as currently practiced, but that is an issue that maybe not appropriate for this excellent website.

After 30 years of failed "free market" economic policy, you would think we could do better than this. But lets hope for the best.

Don't know what world you have been living in. Please do tell, what "free market" policy failed?

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