House Republicans are expressing concern after testimony from National Park Service (NPS) Director Chuck Sams, which revealed that President Joe Biden’s Department of the Interior had ordered him to transfer $200 million in federal funding to a park in Rep. Nancy Pelosi’s (D-CA) district.
During the testimony last week, Sams stated that Interior Department Fish and Wildlife and Parks Assistant Secretary Shannon Estenoz had ordered him to transfer $200 million to the Presidio Trust.
According to Breitbart News, the Presidio Trust is “a federal agency that operates the Presidio, a 1,500-acre former military installation used as a public recreation area in Pelosi’s district near the Golden Gate Bridge.”
While acknowledging that the transfer had violated several of the Interior Department’s norms, Sams said that the department had concluded that the transfer was Congress’ intent — even though the law did not say that.
Rep. Thomas Tiffany (R-WI) blasted the move during a House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Federal Lands oversight hearing — noting that he was concerned that the NPS is becoming “Nancy’s Park Service.”
“NPS to us stands for the National Park Service. We’re very concerned that this has become Nancy’s Park Service,” the Republican congressman told Interior Secretary Deb Haaland.
The National Park Service shouldn't be Nancy's Park Service.
Yet, the Biden admin has given 24% of NPS's deferred maintenance backlog funding to @SpeakerPelosi's district.
This #NationalParkWeek, I am demanding answers on this partisan funding.https://t.co/MpKTWZggHr
— Rep. Tom Tiffany (@RepTiffany) April 25, 2023
This wasn’t the first funding transferred to Pelosi’s district from the NPS — as the district also received $63.6 million for Alcatraz and $102.3 million for the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park.
The total of $365.9 million that NPS has transferred to Pelosi’s district makes up a shocking almost one-quarter of the $1.5 billion allocated to the NPS for fiscal year 2023.
In a letter to Estenoz, Reps. Bruce Westerman (R-AR) and Tiffany demanded additional information about the transfer of $200 million.
“As you are aware, the National Park System currently reports approximately $22.3 billion in deferred maintenance and repairs,” the letter read. “In addition to other discretionary and mandatory funding sources, the NPS was provided with approximately $1.53 billion this fiscal year, including $1.33 billion through the Great American Outdoors Act (GAOA) and $200 million in the IRA, to address priority deferred maintenance projects across the nation.”
“Concerningly, nearly 24 percent of that funding went to one Congressional district, represented by former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, including the entire $200 million provided for deferred maintenance in the IRA,” the letter continued.
Westernman and Tiffany also pointed out that Sams’ testimony “raised numerous questions about whether the hundreds of millions of dollars in taxpayer funding transferred to the Presidio in San Francisco will be appropriately utilized for deferred maintenance and repairs.”
$365M for Park House Committee on Natural Resources in Nancy Pelosi’s district leaves deferred backlog in 37 States unaddressed.
I wonder what is Nancy’s cut. pic.twitter.com/5V7lDmxsrK
— I Meme Therefore I Am 🇺🇸 (@ImMeme0) April 24, 2023