WASHINGTON (AP) - Lawmakers are planning to question National Park Service officials on why the Occupy D.C. protest encampment has been allowed to remain in McPherson Square.
Camping is banned on Park Service property, but officials have said the protesters are permitted to maintain a "24-hour vigil" and that their First Amendment rights must be protected.
City health officials say the square a few blocks from the White House has become infested with rats in the four months since protesters affiliated with the Occupy Wall Street movement pitched tents there.
National Park Service director Jonathan Jarvis is scheduled to testify at Tuesday's hearing of a House oversight subcommittee.
Occupy D.C. participants say in a statement that they're happy to work with Park Service and city officials to improve conditions in the square.