Sen. Mary Landrieu of Louisiana went to bat for city officials in the nation’s capital on Friday, saying that despite a lack of representation in Congress the District of Columbia has been hamstrung by the government shutdown.
“They have been caught up as if they are an agency of the federal government,” Ms. Landrieu, a Democrat, said.
“Contrary to popular brief,” she noted, the District raises most of its own money through local taxes and other revenues.
Yet the city of more than 600,000 residents is ensnared by the federal shutdown because its spending is tied to the appropriations process on Capitol Hill.
The budget of no other major city — from New Orleans to San Francisco — has been shutdown because of the statement, Ms. Landrieu said.
“They should be let go and we can then negotiate on all other things,” she said.
Democratic leaders on the Hill have resisted GOP-led efforts to open up the government in a piecemeal fashion, leading some D.C. officials to lose patience with their party allies as they watch the city’s reserve funds running out.
D.C. Democratic Mayor Vincent C. Gray confronted Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Nevada Democrat, outside the Capitol this week.
“I’m on your side,” Mr. Reid told Mr. Gray, according to TV footage. “Don’t screw it up.”