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Congressional representatives deliver Bay Area garbage to White House

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“Our message is simple. Reopen the government.”

A black fence surrounding the White House. Photo by Chr. Offenberg/Shutterstock

On Tuesday, U.S. Rep. Jackie Speier and U.S. Rep. Jared Huffman hauled garbage cans and cardboard boxes filled with trash collected in the Bay Area to the sidewalk in front of the White House to protest the continuing federal government shutdown.

“[Representative] Huffman⁩ and I are delivering trash that he and I cleaned up in national parks in our districts last weekend and that I personally paid to have shipped to D.C.,” Speier noted on Twitter.

According to Speier, representative for the state’s 14th Congressional district, which includes part of San Francisco and the Peninsula, the refuse came from neglected Bay Area national parks, which are understaffed or closed during the current D.C. budget standoff.

“Our message is simple,” said Huffman, whose 2nd Congressional district stretches from the Golden Gate Bridge to Oregon. “Reopen the government.”

In a brief statement outside of the White House on Wednesday, Huffman noted that his district’s garbage came from the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. “Let it never be said I didn’t give anything to Donald Trump.”

“We did the work of some of [...] the employees of the National Park Service, who...have a hard time making it” financially even before seeing their paychecks suspended last month, said Speier.

With some federal parks understaffed or closed, Bay Area sites are seeing garbage pile up because there are no employees to collect litter or empty trash cans.

The San Francisco Department of Public Works says that it has expanded its usual clean up operations to include national parks within the city (e.g., Lands End) that are otherwise going neglected.

The ongoing government shutdown—which affects about 25 percent of federal services—started December 21 after the White House rejected funding plans passed by both houses of Congress.

After more than 18 days, it stands as the third-longest suspension of federal government services in U.S. history.