The federal government has shut down, and is affecting local federal employees- including rangers at the Scotts Bluff National Monument.
Signage went up Saturday morning alerting patrons that due to the lapse in federal appropriations, the National Park Service is unable to fully staff properties under its management. In this case, the eight staff members at the Monument are furloughed until further notice.
This is the fourth government shutdown in the last 25 years, halting all but the most essential government operations.
Scotts Bluff National Monument Superintendent Dan Morford told KNEB News earlier this week that a shutdown would be disruptive, and the ongoing threats of government shutdowns are getting old.
He added that the shutdown could now push back the timeline for finishing the renovations at the visitor center.
On Friday night, last-minute negotiations crumbled when Senate Democrats blocked a four-week extension. Leading Republicans and Democrats are now trying to work out a compromise to
avert a lengthy shutdown.
On Saturday, Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan says the partial government shutdown is “utter madness” and he is blaming it all on Senate Democrats.
Ryan says Democrats are “deliberately holding our government
hostage” to win protections for younger immigrants brought to the country illegally as children.
He blasted Democrats for a filibuster on a House-passed stopgap funding bill that would keep the government open through Feb. 16 and reauthorize a health care program for 9 million children from low-income families. He accused them of “opposing a bill they don’t even oppose.”
Ryan says, “We do some crazy things in Washington, but this is utter
Democrats are blaming the shutdown on Republicans, who control Congress and the White House.