Congressman Jason Smith greets a Missouri World War II Veteran at the National World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C. Smith and other Members of Congress personally escorted veterans into the memorial after the government shutdown closed the memorial.

WASHINGTON – Congressman Jason Smith voted in favor of HJR 70 – the Open Our Nation’s Parks and Museums Act – to provide immediate funding for national parks and museums. Included in this bill was a funding measure supported by Smith to ensure that visitors would no longer be turned away in the Ozark National Scenic Riverways in Missouri’s Eighth District and would also ensure World War II Honor Flight Veterans can tour the National World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C.

“Yesterday I went to the World War II Memorial to greet Missouri Honor Flight Veterans who were in Washington to tour the memorial. I was appalled to see the memorial barricaded and closed. I joined other members of Congress, Republicans and Democrats, to personally escort the veterans into the memorial,” said Smith. “I supported HJR 70, the Open Our Nation’s Parks and Museums Act, that will open the National World War II Memorial and other national parks. It is completely unnecessary for President Obama to close the memorial. Heroes from our greatest generation should not be used as political pawns.”

Smith said his office has received calls throughout the day from small business owners who rely on tourism from the Ozark National Scenic Riverways. These businesses are feeling the financial pain of the government shutdown.

“Small businesses across our district rely on visitors to the Ozark National Scenic Riverways. We have families who rent canoes to visitors, folks who have restaurants and gas stations who serve visitors and numerous other small businesses who rely on tourism dollars,” said Smith. “The House of Representatives has acted to open the Ozark National Scenic Riverways and other national parks. Now it’s time for the Senate and President Obama to stop playing political games and start working with the House to end the government shutdown.”

After being passed by the House, HJR 70 will now move to the Senate for consideration.

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