The National Park Service has closed privately run marinas, restaurants and inns throughout the country and in some cases even posted guards to keep people from using them during the government shutdown, arguing that it doesn’t have the money, manpower or authority to let them operate.
But the moves, which likely have thrown thousands of people out of work, are drawing scrutiny from Congress and don’t rest well with many voters who believe the administration is making the effects of the shutdown worse than necessary.
On Friday, the Pisgah Inn on the Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina decided it would buck the Park Service’s order and remain open — only to find park rangers come and block the driveway to the inn to prevent anyone from entering. The parkway itself remained open, but the administration said all concessions in national parks must shut.
“I’m questioning their authority to shut me,” Pisgah Inn owner Bruce O’Connell told The Washington Times on Friday as he fought to stay open.
Several congressional committees have said they would look into the Park Service’s decisions, accusing the Obama administration of trying to make the shutdown as painful as possible for Americans.
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