Topics: Barack Obama

Obama favors monument closures to 'pressure' Republicans

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Beltway Confidential,Congress,Joel Gehrke,Barack Obama,Obamacare,Veterans Affairs,Republican Party,Democratic Party,Budgets and Deficits,FEMA,Small Business Administration,National Parks

President Obama told reporters he opposes passage of limited funding measures in order to keep "political pressure" on Republicans as he pushes for approval of a bill to fund Obamacare and the rest of the federal government.

"What you've seen are bills that come up where wherever Republicans are feeling political pressure, they put a bill forward," Obama replied when CBS's Mark Knoller asked why he opposes funding for programs such as Head Start, FEMA and the Department of Veterans Affairs.

"If we do some sort of shotgun approach like that, then you'll have some programs that are highly visible get funded and reopened, like national monuments, but things that don't get a lot of attention like those [Small Business Administration] loans not get funded," Obama said.

The National Park Service has taken extraordinary steps to ensure that the public cannot reach "highly visible" monuments, such as the World War II Memorial or the Lincoln Memorial, even though these open-air venues require no staffing. They have not barricaded lesser-known sites.

"It appears as though only the highly visible monuments and areas are being closed to the public — further proof that the Obama administration is only playing politics and purposely choosing to make this shutdown as painful as possible," House Natural Resources Committee chairman Doc Hastings, R-Wash., said on Oct. 2.

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