Saturday, April 9, 2011

Government Shutdown Avoided - Congressional Requests For Exceptions

As I wrote on April 7th, should there be a Government Shutdown individual Congressional Representatives would start to seek exceptions for their constituents once economic impacts were felt in their voting districts.

Even thought the Shutdown has now been avoided, some Congressional Leaders were looking ahead to prevent negative impacts on the economies at home.  One example was Representative Heath Shuler from North Carolina who wrote a letter to National Park Service Director John Jarvis to keep the Blue Ridge Parkway open.

Here is the body of Representative Shuler's letter as released to the media by his office:

Given the likelihood of a federal shutdown in the coming days, I have great concern about the potential closure of the Blue Ridge Parkway. I understand that each agency will need to make difficult decisions during this period. However, I am hopeful that the National Park Service will be able to keep the Parkway open as a thruway despite the closure of concessions and other offerings along the road.
Guidance issued by the Department of Interior today indicates that the Park Service may keep roads in Park units open if they are “necessary” as thruways. As you are aware, this road is commonly used by hundreds of thousands of visitors and local residents each year, both for tourism and transit purposes. As such, I am hopeful that the Blue Ridge Parkway will meet the guidelines that exempt it from closure during a federal government shutdown.
In addition, I urge you to take into account the tremendous economic impact that the closure of this road will have on local communities in North Carolina and Virginia. Businesses in these communities have struggled to keep their doors open through the economic recession, and are relying heavily on the surge of tourism dollars that the warmer weather we are currently enjoying will bring to the area. The closure of the Parkway, even for a single weekend, will have an enormous affect on these local firms and the regional economy.
Again, I understand the limitations place upon the Park Service by the inability of Congress to maintain government operations. I am hopeful that my colleagues and I will quickly arrive at a compromise to avoid this shutdown. However, if a shutdown occurs, I ask that you do all that you can to allow the Parkway to be used as a thruway wherever it is safe and logical to do so.
Thank you for your consideration of this request. Should you wish to discuss this further, please contact Ryan Fitzpatrick in my Washington office.
Heath Shuler
Member of Congress
I do not find fault with Representative Shuler's looking ahead to provide for the safety and economic well being of communities located near the Blue Ridge Parkway.  I would not be surprised if there were not numerous such requests made of the National Park Service leading up to this latest possible Government Shutdown.  If not, many would have appeared on Director Jarvis' desk within days.


  1. Shuler is a better congressman than quarter back, eh?

  2. Nice information. Thanks for shared about it. This is really surprising for me.

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