AZ senators can't understand Grand Canyon shutdown - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

UPDATE

AZ senators can't understand Grand Canyon shutdown

U.S. Sens. John McCain and Jeff Flake can't understand why federal authorities have refused Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer's offer to use state money to keep the Grand Canyon open during the government shutdown.

Several businesses have made similar pledges, but they've been rejected by the National Park Service.

A park official says as long as the federal government remains shut down, such a plan isn't an option.

State Rep. Bob Thorpe, R-Flagstaff, on Monday said the rejection "has not only endangered the livelihood of park employees, but that of our citizens and the experiences of visitors as well."

The shutdown that began Tuesday has led to furloughs for about 2,200 people who work at Grand Canyon National Park and its hotels.

McCain and Flake sent a letter Friday to Department of the Interior Secretary Sally Jewell.

The two Arizona Republicans say "federal statutes extend broad discretionary authority" for Jewell to accept donated funds for purposes of operating the national park system.

Copyright 2013 Associated Press. All rights reserved.  CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation) contributed to this report.

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