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McCollum Calls For Official Oversight Opinion on Administration Actions During Shutdown

February 6, 2019
Press Release
Decision comes after hearing on the Power of the Purse: A Review of Agency Spending Restrictions During a Shutdown

Congresswoman Betty McCollum (D-Minn.), Chair of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies, held a public hearing today to conduct oversight of the Trump administration’s actions during the 35-day partial government shutdown. Chair McCollum released the following statement:

“After hearing testimony from expert witnesses, my concerns about the administration’s use of Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act (FLREA) fees for day-to-day parks operations during the government shutdown have not been allayed – and in fact, today’s hearing raises further questions. These funds are meant for long-term capital improvement projects for our parks, and are not to be used as a slush fund for the administration to use to circumvent Congress’ power of the purse.

“Our most fundamental responsibility as appropriators is to exercise Congress’ power of the purse, as entrusted by the U.S. Constitution. I take this role seriously to ensure taxpayer dollars are handled properly. Accountability matters – that’s why, along with my authorizing counterpart Rep. Raúl Grijalva, we are requesting the Government Accountability Office issue a formal opinion on the use of FLREA fees to pay for national parks operations during the shutdown. If this administration misused these funds and violated appropriations law, the American public deserve to know.”

Background: The formal request can be found here.