WASHINGTON — The Republican National Committee says it is prepared to shoulder the cost to keep the World War II memorial open for the next 30 days.
Appearing before the memorial, hours after World War II veterans passed through the Park Service’s barricade, RNC Chairman Reince Priebus announced that the committee has put aside enough money to hire 5 full-time security personnel for the next 30 days to keep the memorial open.
“Make no mistake, it was the Obama administration’s choice to barricade this memorial and it was their choice to lock out veterans across this country,” Preibus said. (RELATED: Privately-funded WWII memorial barricaded at taxpayers’ expense)
“The administration decided they wanted to make this government shutdown as painful as possible for everyone, including depriving our veterans the chance to visit this landmark,” he added. “That’s not right, we all know that’s just not fair.”
Preibus said that the committee ideally would like to hire furloughed government personnel to serve as security guards and further called on the RNC’s counterpart, the Democratic National Committee, to join in the effort to keep the memorial open.
“There are those in the White House that will say it isn’t legal to accept our offer. But they had no problem acting unilaterally to delay Obamacare for big businesses and their political supporters,” Priebus added. “If they are willing to take such actions for political reasons, then they should be able to take such action to support our veterans so that they can see this memorial.”
Preibus said the RNC will be discussing its offer with the Park Service and Office of Management and Budget and added that they estimate the cost to be about $150,000 to keep the memorial open for the full 30 days.
“We’re willing to pay the bill, now it’s up to the president to let them in,” he said.