Congress avoids shutdown, funds government for two years

After a brief shutdown lasting into the early morning hours Feb. 9, Congress passed a budget that will keep the government funded for another two years. The agreement averts further shutdown of non-essential services, such as national parks.

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey again pledged state funds to keep Grand Canyon National Park open should the federal government shut down for any length of time. Arizona transferred about $188,000 – enough to keep Grand Canyon operating for one week – during the previous shutdown in January. According to a spokesperson for the Governor’s office, only about one day’s worth of funds was used during the three-day shutdown, and the National Park Service will repay the remaining balance of the funds.

Keeping Grand Canyon National Park open is essential to the livelihoods of residents living in the surrounding communities, and it’s one of the most significant drivers of Arizona’s economy in general. According to a 2017 report, Grand Canyon National Park generated more than $900 million, with visitors spending nearly $650 million in gateway communities like Tusayan, Flagstaff, Cameron and Williams. That spending supports about 10,000 jobs in the region.

The temporary shutdown did not affect Grand Canyon visitation. All Grand Canyon services and concessions are in full operation.

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