GAO: Interior broke law in reopening parks during shutdown

WASHINGTON (AP) — A government watchdog says the Trump administration violated federal appropriations law when it used park fees to reopen national parks during last winter’s government shutdown.

The Government Accountability Office reviewed actions by the Interior Department in December and January, when a budget battle between President Donald Trump and Congress shut down most non-critical government offices and furloughed hundreds of thousands of workers.

The Interior Department stirred controversy by using park fees to reopen and partially staff national parks. The GAO report says that violated federal law that prohibits spending not authorized by Congress.

The watchdog called the agency’s move “an abuse of the trust” that lawmakers placed in the agency.

The Interior Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Categories: National & International News