Republican: Fire officials who closed WWII memorial for government shutdown

Rep. John Mica (R-Fla.) on Wednesday called on the government to either fire or put on leave the officials who decided to barricade the World War II Memorial Tuesday.

"First of all, maybe we need to get a new Interior [secretary] and Parks director and fire those folks or furlough those folks that can't leave public spaces and memorials open to the public," he said on the House floor. "What an offense."

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Mica was reacting to reports that the World War II Memorial was barricaded because of the government shutdown, even though that memorial is not usually guarded and is an open-air part of the National Mall. According to press reports, veterans groups trying to visit that memorial and others were blocked by federal park officials, and some had been threatened with arrest if they tried to enter these areas.

Mica called this development "one of the most appalling things I've seen."

"How offensive could you be? How much more pain do you want to inflict on the American people?" he asked.

Mica said the Obama administration wants to use the shutdown to "inflict pain" in order to make the shutdown as painful as possible. "I've been around here a long time, I've never seen an operation like this."