Senators to probe shutdown’s effect on national parks

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Sen. Lisa Murkowski (Alaska), the panel’s top Republican, on Tuesday pressed the Obama administration to send high-level witnesses at the “top of the chain”  to the hearing who are able to “actually speak to some of these decisions” on closing access to public lands during the shutdown.

“I would like to think we will be able to reach an accommodation, reach an understanding so that we wouldn’t have to have a hearing on the effects of a shutdown because we would be on the other side of that,” she said. “But if we are still in this place next week, I think it would be important to put out in the record what so many of us are hearing.”

Wyden took to the Senate floor Monday to lament the shutdown’s effect on energy projects and permitting, and noted Tuesday that it is also preventing logging in some areas.

While Republicans are accusing the Interior Department of intentionally trying to make the shutdown more painful for the public, Wyden on Monday called on Republicans to pass a "clean" funding bill that would reopen the government.

The Energy committee on Tuesday discussed the shutdown and the planned hearing after it approved Elizabeth Robinson to be undersecretary of Energy and Michael Connor to be deputy secretary of the Interior.

Both sailed through on voice votes.