CREDIT: Sean Spicer, @seanspicer
The Republican National Committee plans to score political points by funding the World War II memorial in Washington, DC in order to keep it open during the government shutdown. The move is a reaction to WWII veterans forcing open the memorial on the first day of the shutdown.
Wednesday afternoon, Preibus announced the RNC will fund the WWII memorial for the next 30 days. He blamed the Obama administration for making the shutdown as painful as possible. A protester reportedly interrupted Preibus, saying “Go do your job, idiot!”
By the time Preibus spoke, the National Park Service had already announced that the memorial will remain open to “conduct First Amendment activities.”
There is no word yet from the RNC on whether sick children, low-income moms and infants, or other war veterans’ memorials deserve the same attention. The government shutdown has other across-the-board consequences, including limited airline safety inspection, toxic cleanup, FEMA aid, and food assistance.
Of course, if the House GOP agreed to a “clean” budget all government operations could continue normally.
Although the veterans want their memorial open, the group Honor Flight Network also expressed a wish that it not become politicized. “We know this isn’t the park service’s fault, but we also know no one is going to arrest a World War II vet for visiting his memorial,” co-founder of Honor Flight Network Jeff Miller said. “We don’t want this to become politicized. But we’ve made a habit of not letting our veterans down.”
Republican concern for veterans’ welfare extends only so far. The House Republican budget would in fact slash funding for veteran programs.