D.C. mayor demands meeting with Obama, congressional leaders over shutdown

D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray is ratcheting up efforts get federal officials to allow the District to spend its own money during the government shutdown.

On Wednesday, he will join with congressional leaders outside the U.S. Capitol to call on elected officials to free the District’s budget. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton, the city’s nonvoting congressional representative, and Rep. Darrell E. Issa, California Republican, will also attend.

The mayor on Tuesday demanded a meeting with President Obama and congressional leaders about the shutdown, saying the political standoff is having “dire consequences” for the city.

“In no other part of our country are Americans facing the loss of basic municipal or state services due to the federal government shutdown. Families in Chicago, Cincinnati, and Las Vegas are not worried that their local governments won’t be able to maintain basic services like schools, police and fire protection, or trash collection — and neither should families here in the District of Columbia,” Mayor Gray wrote in a letter to Mr. Obama, House Speaker John Boehner, Ohio Republican, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Nevada Democrat.

Thus far, the District has continued operating through the use of contingency reserve funds, but Mr. Gray noted that those funds are dwindling and could have effects on the city’s transportation infrastructure, its utilities and its schools.

“I have done all that I possibly can to ensure that the health, safety and welfare of District residents is not endangered by a crisis that our city has had no hand in creating,” Mr. Gray said. “But time is running out — and, soon, I will have exhausted every resource available to me to protect our residents, our workers, and our visitors.”

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