More than a dozen members of the House have proposed legislation that would require the federal government to pay back states for the costs of running national parks during the shutdown.
The Protecting States, Opening National Parks Act, H.R. 3286, would require the government to reimburse states for these costs no more than 90 days after federal appropriations are available again.
The bill, from Rep. Steve Daines (R-Mont.), was introduced one day after the National Park Service said it would let three states reopen certain parks that were closed because of the shutdown. The Interior Department says it is willing to make similar arrangements with other states that are willing to foot the bill for opening the parks.
"While I'm pleased that the Obama administration has finally relented and allowed individual states to get our National Parks open again, it's unacceptable that a state like Montana could be forced to bear even more of a financial burden because of Washington's failures," he said in a statement over the weekend.
"The attitude and actions of the Park Service during this shutdown have again shown that when it comes to managing lands, states can do a better job," Rep. Rob BishopRob BishopRepeal of Obama drilling rule stalls in the Senate Congress should stop trying to diminish public lands The Hill's Whip List: 36 GOP no votes on ObamaCare repeal plan MORE (R-Utah), a cosponsor of the bill, said in the release. "This bill would empower states to make life better for the people of the West when Washington fails."
Fourteen other House members are sponsors of the bill, including one Democrat, Utah Rep. Jim MathesonJim MathesonWork begins on T infrastructure plan New president, new Congress, new opportunity First black GOP woman in Congress wins reelection MORE.
Daines is considering a run for Senate in 2014 as Republicans look to pick up the seat from retiring Sen. Max BaucusMax BaucusGOP hasn’t reached out to centrist Dem senators Five reasons why Tillerson is likely to get through Business groups express support for Branstad nomination MORE (D-Mont.).