Congress Divided on Centennial Challenge Funding for National Parks

With time running out, Congress has yet to commit to funding the president's Centennial Challenge for the National Park Service. While the House has committed $50 million towards the campaign, the Senate has not provided any funding.

According to Congress Daily:

The House-passed Interior-Environment Appropriations bill includes a record amount of spending for the national parks, more than $2 billion, but the Senate version reported out of the Appropriations Committee is $88 million smaller.

A large part of the difference is $50 million in the House version toward the Centennial Challenge, which was proposed by the administration to revitalize the park service by its 100th anniversary in 2016, said Melissa Kuckro, a Park Service legislative specialist.

The $50 million makes up half of the president's $100 million per year request for the Centennial Challenge, which would match federal funds with donations from the private sector, Kuckro said,

The president's proposal has been controversial in some circles, as it calls for private funding to match, dollar-for-dollar, any federal funding appropriated for the challenge.