Another federal employee has come forward to claim the Obama administration resisted efforts to ease the impact of sequester.
A U.S. park ranger, who did not wish to be identified, told FoxNews.com that supervisors within the National Park Service overruled plans to deal with the budget cuts in a way that would have had minimal impact on the public. Instead, the source said, park staff were told to cancel special events and cut “interpretation services” — the talks, tours and other education services provided by local park rangers.
“Apparently, they want the public to feel the pain,” the ranger said.
The National Park Service is among many federal agencies warning of a major impact from the sequester cuts, which took effect last Friday. The agency has warned of delayed access to portions of Yellowstone and Yosemite national parks, closed campgrounds at Great Smoky Mountains National Park, reduced hours at the Grand Canyon visitor center and other ramifications.
The Obama administration says these cuts must be made in order to make the $85 billion in cuts from Congress’ failure to avert the sequester. At the NPS, the agency was dealing with an across-the-board 5 percent cut.
Republicans have claimed the administration is making some cuts in order to exaggerate the impact. Lawmakers this past week revealed a leaked email from the Agriculture Department in which a field officer appeared to tell his team that he was instructed not to contradict the bosses’ warnings about the cuts.
At the Park Service, the alleged incident occurred in one region and it’s unclear whether other divisions were given similar guidance.