While President Obama and Republican leaders tried Thursday to span the political chasm between them, top lawmakers from Arizona sounded the alarm over the “devastating effects” of the government shutdown on the people who live and work near the Grand Canyon.
Republican Sens. John McCain and Jeff Flake said the National Park Service should be working to mitigate the impact of the shutdown on local economies or allow private funds to open the Grand Canyon National Park.
A town near the canyon’s South Rim reported its businesses are losing $200,000 per day during the standoff, according to the senators.
“About 18,000 visitors are being turned away from the Grand Canyon each day and those spotted in the Park are being issued citations and ordered to appear before a federal court,” they said. “Food banks in Arizona are rushing food to the 2,200 government and tourism employees stranded inside the Park as restaurants and resorts close and lay off hundreds of workers.”
The senators’ grievances are a home-state version of complaints heard around the country, as fed-up Americans break barricades to visit parks and monuments that have been placed off-limits by the impasse in Washington.