Geoscience Policy Monthly Review
october 2013

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government shutdown

Smithsonian T-Rex reveal delayed by shutdown

The government shutdown from October 1 through October 17 caused a delay in the delivery of a Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton scheduled to be revealed at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History on National Fossil Day,  October 16, 2013. The fossil, discovered in Montana, is one of the most complete T. rex skeletons ever recovered and was meant to be the main attraction at the annual Earth Science Week event. The Army Corps of Engineers was unable to transport the nearly 80% complete fossil  because key staff were furloughed. Additionally, the National Mall and Smithsonian Museums were closed during the scheduled time of the event. Consequently, the T. Rex revealing has been postponed until the spring.

Sources: Smithsonian, National Park Service

Hearing on The National Park Service's Implementation of the shutdown

On October 16, the House Natural Resources Committee and the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee held a joint oversight hearing entitled As Difficult As Possible: The National Park Service’s (NPS) Implementation of the Government Shutdown. The hearing examined the actions taken by the NPS following the government shutdown, which began on October 1 due to a lapse in fiscal year (FY) 2014 appropriations. The hearing, called by the Republican-controlled committee, called into question the necessity for turning away millions of visitors at National Parks, especially a group of WWII veterans who were refused access to the World War II Memorial on October 1. Director of the National Park Service, Jonathan Jarvis, defended actions taken by NPS and said they were complying with the Antideficiency Act, a law that forbids federal use of any funds that have not been authorized by Congress. For more information, you may read the hearing summary posted on the AGI website.

Sources: U.S. Government Accountability Office, House Oversight and Government Reform Committee

Hearings postponed due to government shutdown

The House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology postponed all hearings during the government shutdown. Additionally, other committees were unable to hold hearings because so many furloughed federal employees were unable to testify during the partial shutdown.

Due to a lapse in fiscal year (FY) 2014 appropriations, the government underwent a partial shutdown from October 1 to October 16 until Democrats and Republicans were finally able to pass bipartisan legislation to temporarily reopen the government.

Sources: U.S. House of Representatives