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DC Mayor: Entire City Gov’t Essential, No Shutdown

From the New York Times:

Washington Mayor Deems Entire City Government ‘Essential’ to Avoid Shutdown

By ANDREW SIDDONS | September 25, 2013

A shutdown of the federal government, which could come next week if Congress does not pass a stopgap budget measure, would also require the government of the District of Columbia to discontinue its nonessential spending and send some employees home.

But Mayor Vincent C. Gray on Wednesday declared all of the district’s government operations “essential,” and told the White House that all employees would continue to work even if Congress could not reach an agreement on the spending bill by Monday, the end of the fiscal year…

In a letter to Sylvia Mathews Burwell, the director of the budget office, Mr. Gray said that he had determined that all operations of the district government were “essential to the protection of public safety, health and property.”

Isn’t he clever. Funny though, whenever it snows practically no one in the DC government is "essential to the protection of public safety, health and property.” (See second story below.) Why is that?

The announcement came two days after Mr. Gray said that 21,000 of the district’s 35,000 employees would be considered excepted, or deemed essential. Among that number were police officers, firefighters and emergency medical technicians, school employees and some other social services workers.

Yes, how can anyone live on day without social workers?

The district’s attorney general, Irvin B. Nathan, told the local radio station WAMU on Tuesday that such a plan to keep the city’s government open could violate the Antideficiency Act, which prohibits spending money that has not been appropriated by Congress.

Picker of nits. Democrats are never bound by any measly laws.

Meanwhile, here is a flashback from the 2010 archives of DC’s home paper, the Washington Post:

Federal government closed on Wednesday

By Ed O’Keefe | February 9, 2010

Federal government offices in the Washington region will close on Wednesday for a third straight day, the longest run of snow days for the region’s federal workers since 1996.

The decision means non-emergency federal workers will be granted excused absences, the Office of Personnel Management said. Emergency employees are expected to report for work on time..

The last three-day weather shutdown occurred in Jan. 1996, just a few days after the federal budget impasse that kept federal workers locked out for three weeks. Federal offices also closed for two consecutive days in Sept. 2003 when Hurricane Isabel hit the region.

Safety is the chief concern when OPM Director John Berry decides to close government offices, a factor reinforced when a top White House official fell and dislocated his jaw in the storm’s aftermath on Monday.

But three straight days of closings and Friday’s half day will cost taxpayers an estimated $350 million in lost productivity by federal employees. The estimate was calculated by career OPM employees, Berry said

For some reason DC did not declare all of its workers essential at that time. Why is that?

This article was posted by Steve Gilbert on Thursday, September 26th, 2013. Comments are currently closed.

2 Responses to “DC Mayor: Entire City Gov’t Essential, No Shutdown”

  1. Home of the Dumb
    Land of the Freeloader

  2. Right of the People

    Who else but the Washington Post would ever use the terms “federal employees” and productivity in the same sentence?

    That’s an oxymoron if I ever heard one.




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