A national park in House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's San Francisco district that is set to receive $200 million from taxpayers includes several Pelosi donors on its trust board, Fox News has learned.
House Democrats' proposed $3.5 trillion spending bill includes $200 million earmarked for the Presidio national park, which has drawn sharp criticism from Republicans.
The Presidio Trust in San Francisco oversees the national park and, per the legislation that established the trust, it must be financially self-sustainable.
The trust's board includes several Democratic donors who have cumulatively given hundreds of thousands of dollars to pro-Pelosi efforts over the years.
Drew Hammill, a spokesperson for Pelosi, told Fox News in a Thursday phone call that the park predates the current board members and that the Presidio national park has been a legislative hallmark of the speaker’s congressional career.
Hammill also blasted the idea that the donors being on the board had anything to do with the proposal for the park to receive $200 million in taxpayer dollars, calling it a "made-up silly thing out of disinformation" and noting Pelosi is "known for preserving the Presidio" in her life in public service.
Another Pelosi spokesperson told Fox News in an email that Pelosi has "worked with a broad coalition of community, business and civic leaders to preserve the Presidio" after the U. S. Army closed the former military installation in 1994.
The spokesperson also touched on the "bipartisan law creating the Presidio Trust" from the 1990s and said that the park is facing a "$400 million backlog in deferred maintenance needs, including replacing and upgrading the aged utilities inherited from the Army."
"Funding to help cover this massive backlog was unfortunately left out of the Great American Outdoors Act, which came over from the Republican Senate," the spokesperson said. "This law provided funding for similar deferred maintenance needs at other units of the national park system."
Additionally, Pelosi’s spokesperson told Fox News that the $200 million carve-out was recommended "to bolster the Presidio Trust, which can be used to immediately tackle deferred maintenance needs as well as continue the rehabilitation of the remaining historic buildings."
"These costs are necessary for the park's upkeep," the spokesperson said. "In contrast, House Republicans have repeatedly voted to gut funding for public lands and public spaces, as recently as today: voting in the same markup to cut funding for public lands and public spaces from other amendments."
Several of the park board members have given ... (Read more)
Submitted 47 days ago