Across the United States, shuttered national parks are being filled with garbage and human waste as an ongoing government shutdown keeps them closed, but the Trump administration has found the money to keep one open.
It just so happens to be the building that houses Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C.
As The Hill reported, the General Services Administration has been able to find funding to reopen the Old Post Office tower in Washington. The building shares a facility with Trump International Hotel, which had garnered controversy as Trump refused to sell his stake in his company before taking office, as other presidents had done. Critics say that foreign leaders and lobbyists have been able to curry favor with Trump by making expensive purchases at the hotel.
There is even more criticism now that the building is the only one remaining open during the shutdown. This week, the General Services Administration reported that the facility would stay open as the shutdown continued.
“The referenced facility remains open as the funds needed to operate the Old Post Office tower are not associated with the current fiscal year’s (FY 2019) appropriations bill. The overall operation of the tower was a part of the government’s lease signed in August 2013, and in response to the ‘Old Post Office Building Redevelopment Act of 2008,'” a spokesman for the independent government agency told The Hill.
The reopening of the facility, which is listed as a national park, has generated some controversy. Democratic Congressman Bill Pascrell, Jr. attacked Trump, noting that all other National Parks are in disarray during the shutdown.
“The Trump admin is using your tax dollars to keep an @NPS site at his luxury hotel open while the rest of Americans are wading through garbage and locked gates. The corruption and disgrace of this govt are without bottom,” he tweeted.
The National Park Service's site at the Old Post Office, where the President has his hotel, will be reopening this weekend despite the ongoing government shutdown. Raises all manner of conflict of interest questions. https://t.co/6cJ1In1na6— Noah Bookbinder (@NoahBookbinder) January 2, 2019
Reports have already noted the quickly deteriorating situation at other popular national parks. As the Sacramento Bee reported, Yosemite National Park is now overflowing with garbage and the roads are filling with human waste with bathrooms locked shut.
“It’s a free-for-all,” a Yosemite Valley resident Dakota Snyder told the Associated Press, via the Sacramento Bee. “It’s so heartbreaking. There is more trash and human waste and disregard for the rules than I’ve seen in my four years living here.”
Donald Trump’s luxury hotel in Washington, D.C., has already been a target for criticism — sometimes literally. Last year, after reports that Trump referred to African nations as “sh**holes” in a cabinet meeting, someone projected the word “Sh**hole” onto the side of the hotel along with animation of poop emojis.