Ivory Defends Lee’s Part in 2013 Government Shutdown

Utah State Capitol 19Remember October 2013 and the federal government shutdown?

Rep. Ken Ivory does.

His HCR11 formally asks the federal government to pay back the $1 million it still owes Utah when the state government stepped in and spent $1.6 million to open the national parks in our state.

“They paid us back $600,000, but kept all the gate receipts” of folks visiting the parks for those several days, said Ivory, R-West Jordan.

House Minority Whip Rebecca Chavez-Houck, D-Salt Lake, said she was in Washington, D.C. when the federal government shut down.

And she recalled that U.S. Mike Lee, R-Utah, helped shut down the government by participating in a boycott to extend federal spending.

Ivory tried to defend Lee’s actions by saying the Obama administration decided which government programs were kept open – and the National Park Service was not one of them.

Lee is seeking re-election this year – and the shutting down of the federal government is seen as one of his vulnerable points.

In any case, Ivory, who has no love for the federal government, listed a few things the national government has been spending money on recently, instead of paying $1 million to Utah State Government:

  • $738,000 to open a pancake house in Washington, D.C., for the underprivileged.
  • $30 million for Pakistani mango growers.
  • $1.6 million to study the effects of alcohol on Chinese prostitutes.
  • $8 million for a California study on playing video games.
  • $120 million to pay retirement benefits for folks who have already died.

“We suffered $17 million in lost revenue when the federal government shut down,” said Ivory.

At the very least the feds should repay the $1 million still owed Utah, he said.

HCR11 will be sent to congressional leaders asking for action.

Don’t hold your breath, Utah.