While Congress remains incapable of finding a suitable solution to our looming debt ceiling problem, some states have figured out how to keep their national monuments open in spite of the government shutdown. States are stepping up and providing the funds currently withheld by the National Park Service to reopen the Statue of Liberty, the Grand Canyon and Mount Rushmore. “Every day that Liberty Island is closed means we are losing visitors who would otherwise be spending at our local businesses,” said New York Governor Andrew Cuomo in a statement announcing the state’s agreement to carve out $61,600 a day from its tourism budget to keep Lady Liberty open to the public while lawmakers and the president sort out their differences. More than 20,000 National Park Service employees have been furloughed since the government shut down 12 days ago, halting the average flow of about 715,000 visitors per day to the country’s 401 national park sites.
STATES TO THE RESCUE Mike Segar/ Reuters