Why Is Trump’s Clock Tower Still Open During the Government Shutdown?

“Area Closed” reads the entrance sign at National Park Service sites across the U.S., including the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall in Philadelphia and Fort McHenry in Baltimore. Other parks remain open, but with facilities like visitor centers and campgrounds closed. And many of them are suffering damage from tourists dropping trash, chopping down trees and leaving human waste on park land.

There has been lots of confusion about which national parks are open during the government shutdown. The official National Parks Service website indicates that 387 out of the 737 parks, national monuments and historic sites that the agency operates have “closure” alerts. If you want to find out if a particular national park is open, check the NPS website and then visit the pages of the individual sites.

At this point, the most popular parks, such as Grand Canyon, Yellowstone and Death Valley remain open to visitors. However, not only are services limited or non-existent, but visitors may also find filthy restrooms, overflowing trash bins and park roads that are not maintained and, therefore, dangerous.

Joshua Tree National Park was slated to close due to damage caused by visitors in unsupervised areas, but the NPS decided to keep it open. 

With all these closures and limited services at parks around the country, why does the Old Post Office Clock Tower in Washington, D.C. remain open? Could it be because the Trump International Hotel is also located there?

Old Post Office Tower

At the 120-year-old Old Post Office building, the clock tower is open and staffed by three National Park Service rangers.

As NPR reminds us

The Old Post Office is owned by the federal government, which leases the building to the Trump International Hotel, itself operated by President Trump’s Trump Organization. And once again, Trump’s stake in that hotel is controversial.

Meanwhile, other NPS sites in Washington, D.C. are closed. These include the Clara Barton National Historic Site, Ford’s Theatre National History Site and the Frederick Douglass Historic Site.

So how come the clock tower is still open?

Incoming chair of a House subcommittee that oversees the National Park Service, Rep. Betty McCollum, D-Minn., told NPR:

Boy, do I have a lot of questions. The fact that it’s a short-term agreement, the fact that it was a scramble to do it during a government shutdown, just has all the makings of, you know, why did this happen? Is it legal? Is it ethical?

And while the D.C. clock tower remains open and in pristine condition, our national parks are getting trashed — all thanks to the government shutdown which has meant that most parks staff are off duty.

Take Action!

Recognizing this threat to public lands, Care2 created a petition, demanding that the U.S. Senate take up the House bill to end the shutdown and get the national parks up and running again.

The petition notes:

An army of volunteers has stepped up to haul garbage, maintain roads, provide assistance, and even rent portable toilets to address bathroom closures.

But volunteers alone can’t and shouldn’t have to replace the vital services of park rangers, who are stuck on unpaid furlough unable to help and wondering how they’ll pay the rent.

And all the while, Trump is reaping the benefits of keeping the 315-foot-high Old Post Office clock tower open with a full staff.

It’s time to say enough is enough. Even while he continues to make money, Trump is endangering the public as the impacts of his shutdown grow more and more serious.

If you agree, please sign this Care2 petition, demanding that the U.S. Senate get to work taking up the House bill and make our government fully operational again.

“And tell them no wall, no deal, because the wall proposal is a human rights atrocity, an environmental disaster waiting to happen, and an affront to all that America should stand for.”

Creating a Care2 petition is easy. If you have an issue you care deeply about, why not start your own petition? Here are some guidelines to help you get started and soon the Care2 community will be signing up to support you.

 

Photo credit: daveynin/Flickr

61 comments

Chad Anderson
Chad A25 days ago

Thank you.

SEND
tammy C
tammy C25 days ago

tyfs

SEND
Susanne R
Susanne R26 days ago

I just read that Fox Infotainment issued an apology for reporting that Ruth Bader Ginsburg died today. I can picture those vultures salivating as they lie in wait for one of the finest Justices to ever grace the Supreme Court to pass and create a vacancy on the Supreme Court. Here's hoping God blesses her (and our country) with another decade or two. She's an extraordinary woman.

SEND
Susanne R
Susanne R26 days ago

David F. - You keep forgetting! Trump took responsibility for the shutdown. And he did it on national television! He finally tells the truth, after having told well over 8,000 lies since taking office, and you don't t believe him. Better take a close look at your own nose.

As far as the clock is concerned, if you had read the article you'd know that:
"At the 120-year-old Old Post Office building, the clock tower is open and staffed by three National Park Service rangers.

"As NPR reminds us: The Old Post Office is owned by the federal government, which leases the building to the Trump International Hotel, itself operated by President Trump's Trump Organization. And once again, Trump's stake in that hotel is controversial. Meanwhile, other NPS sites in Washington, D.C. are closed. These include the Clara Barton National Historic Site, Ford's Theatre National History Site and the Frederick Douglass Historic Site."

And Melania got to fly to Maralago in a military helicopter, while Democrats were denied a planned trip to meet with the military in Afghanistan.

SEND
Joan E
Joan E26 days ago

Everything Trump does to make money for his nasty self, which is against the Emoluments Clause in the Constitution, should be shut down.

SEND
David F
David F26 days ago

These insane liberals have already lost more money keeping the government closed then the cost of the wall.
We'll see today how many Democrat senators are brown nosing Chuck Schumer.

SEND
David F
David F26 days ago

Really funny liberal crisis headline, close the clock tower! LOL

SEND
Lorraine A
Lorraine A26 days ago

If everything else is shut down so that be! Just because it is in a Trump building dosen't mean it should be open and who is paying the 3 rangers???

SEND
Clare O'Beara
Clare O'Beara28 days ago

with other places closed, visitors may have little choice but to visit the one that is open.

SEND
Clare O'Beara
Clare O'Beara28 days ago

odd all right

SEND