Press Room

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – U.S. Senator Tom Coburn, M.D. (R-OK) released the following statement today on his amendment #93 to the Continuing Resolution (H.R. 933) that would protect and restore tours and public access to places like the White House, the Flight 93 Memorial, the Washington Monument, the Statue of Liberty, Yellowstone, and more by shifting money from a Heritage Area account the administration has targeted for spending reductions. 

 “President Obama has called on Congress to take action to avoid the harmful effects of sequestration.  This amendment uses the administration’s own recommendations to reduce funding for lower-priority Heritage Areas and shifts those funds to protect and restore access to the White House and our national parks and monuments.  It would be unconscionable for the federal government to prioritize wine trains, Elvis cruises and Ukrainian Easter Egg Workshops promoted by Heritage Areas ahead of restoring and protecting public access to places like the White House, the Flight 93 Memorial, the Washington Monument, Yellowstone, Gettysburg, the Statue of Liberty, the Grand Canyon and dozens of other historically significant destinations,” Dr. Coburn said. 

 “For many Americans, trips to these landmarks are once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.  Collectively punishing American families for our refusal to make choices is reprehensible,” Dr. Coburn continued.  “I call on the administration to issue an official Statement of Administration Policy (SAP) endorsing this amendment, and I call on the administration to persuade Majority Leader Reid to agree to hold a straight up-or-down vote on this amendment at his earliest convenience.”

 Coburn Amendment 93 specifically funds the resumption of public tours of the White House and visitor services and maintenance at national parks and monuments.  For instance, funds from the amendment could be used for the Flight 93 National Memorial visitors’ center, which currently needs an additional $5 million.

 Additional background on low-priority Heritage Area activities is here.

 Additional background on Coburn Amendment 93 is here.

 List of 398 National Park System designations is here