Loose Lips

D.C. Government Declares All Workers Essential, Would Stay Open in Shutdown

A little more than 24 hours since the idea was proposed in yesterday's mayoral breakfast meeting, it's official. Mayor Vince Gray has told the federal government he plans to keep the D.C. government open if the feds shut down.

Gray's decision hinges on his ability to keep essential functions running, despite the shutdown. Instead of just operating the services usually deemed essential, like police and fire departments, Gray says in a letter to the federal Office of Management and Budget that he's declaring all city employees "essential."

"I will not allow the safety and well-being of District residents to be compromised by Congress’s dysfunction," Gray says in a statement.

Gray's statement:

Today, Mayor Vincent C. Gray explained his decision to declare all District government operations as essential during a potential shutdown of the federal government.
“I have determined that everything the District government does – protecting the health, safety and welfare of our residents and visitors – is essential,” said Mayor Gray. “It is ridiculous that a city of 632,000 people – a city where we have balanced our budget for 18 consecutive years and have a rainy-day fund of well over a billion dollars – cannot spend its residents’ own local tax dollars to provide them the services they’ve paid for without Congressional approval. Congress can’t even get its own fiscal house in order; they should be taking lessons from us rather than imposing needless suffering on us. I will not allow the safety and well-being of District residents to be compromised by Congress’s dysfunction.”

A copy of the letter that Mayor Gray sent to the head of the federal Office of Management and Budget making his determination is attached.

Gray's letter to OMB:

  • ward2guy

    Mayor Gray, wouldn't you like the US Attorney's Office to continue its investigation of your shadow Campaign during the shut-down?

  • Blevins

    An unusually clear-worded and error free letter and statement from Vince's team. Huzzah!

  • DCShadyBoots

    We'll see how the Office of Management and Budget responds. This should be interesting.

  • drez

    And here I am trying to cut down on red meat.

  • Typical DC BS

    One City trying to prove he's relevent before the US Attorney's hammer hits him upside the head. And DC politicians wonder why they are considered a joke everywhere else in the USA.

    Guess our Chicago community organizer's disregard for doing his job and enforcing our laws is seeping down to his fellow nitwits on the DC Council and the Mayor.

  • noodlez


  • Corky

    Way to go! The District has its own money and shouldn't be caught up in the clown show known as Congress. But he could have left out the parking meter maids. They are 100% non-essential!

  • truth hurts

    I like it.

  • T.Ridley

    I would like to say good for you and us thank you so much for advocating for us!!!!!!

  • Liz

    so awesome.