The Republican National Committee is offering to cover the cost of keeping the World War II Memorial on the National Mall open, a day after a group of veterans broke through a police barricade to visit the site, which had been closed as part of the government shutdown.
RNC Chairman Reince Priebus said Wednesday that the committee would pick up the tab for the next 30 days and blamed the Obama administration for stopping veterans — many having traveled from across the country — from visiting the memorial.
“The Obama administration has decided they want to make the government shutdown as painful as possible, even taking the unnecessary step of keeping the Greatest Generation away from a monument built in their honor,” Mr. Priebus said.
Mo Elleithee, spokesman for the Democratic National Committee, called the move a “silly stunt” and blamed the shutdown on the House Republican insistence that funding of government operations be tied to their efforts to derail or trim back Obamacare.
“We’ve already been working on a plan to open the Memorial — and the entire government — after the GOP caused them to close,” Mr. Elleithee said. “It’s called a clean funding resolution and it sounds like the votes are there if the Speaker would just call for a vote. It would save the economy a lot of money and get the Memorial and government open a whole lot faster.”
Mr. Priebus called on Democrats to support the House Republican plan to pass individual spending bills, including one that would keep the national parks open, ensuring that veterans will have access to the World War II Memorial.
“These brave Americans have sacrificed so much for our country,” Mr. Priebus said. “House Republicans have acted to keep parks and monuments open; Democrats are standing in the way. We want to do what we can, in the face of the intransigence from the White House, to support our veterans.”