- Ukraine leader to talk with protesters; Washington urges caution
- Pope Francis: A nun saved my life
- Israeli P.M. Netanyahu backs out of Mandela funeral
- Elian Gonzalez makes first trip outside Cuba since custody battle
- U.S., British intelligence agents enter online sci-fi world to spy on gamers
- Sarah Palin to host the outdoors show ‘Amazing America’
- CIA admits $3 billion intelligence operation was a flop
- ‘127 Hours’ author Aron Lee Ralston, who amputated arm in canyon, arrested in Denver
- Men posing as cops break into home of former deputy
- Berkshire County eschews greenback for own currency — BerkShares
D.C. officials say shutdown threatens students at charter schools
D.C. officials warned Wednesday that they will have to close charter schools, turning away 35,000 students, unless President Obama and Senate Democrats relent and pass a bill carving the city out of the government shutdown.
Rallying outside the Senate, city leaders asked more than 100 residents to go to senators’ offices and personally lobby them to take up a bill that would let D.C. spend its own tax revenue to keep open during the shutdown. The leaders also asked President Obama to lift his threat to veto the bill.
People affected by the shutdown congregated on Capitol Hill, holding signs that read “Free D.C. From Shutdown” and “I am the face of D.C. Medicaid.” They erupted into applause several times during the officials’ remarks, especially Rep. Darrell E. Issa, California Republican.
“I can’t help but notice the [D.C.] license plates say ‘Taxation Without Representation,’” he said. “Perhaps they should say ‘Federal government, don’t tread on me’ instead.”
For now, the city is running on contingency funds. But a spokesman for Mayor Vincent C. Gray said that money will run out in about two weeks, leaving operations and paychecks in peril.
The schools situation is even more immediate.
As one of the largest in the city with 4,000 students, Mr. Hense’s school has some reserves, though he said they won’t last long. Less-fortunate, smaller schools will be forced to lock their doors immediately.
“Some schools that are very small have no reserves and they are actually depending on the money to come that day. Without it, they will close their doors. This is outrageous,” he told reporters Wednesday afternoon.
Nearly half of all D.C. public school students, including many from low-income families, attend charter schools. In addition to taking away education opportunities and preparation for college, a school closing will take away school lunch, the only meal some students will get all day, Mr. Hense said.
The House passed the bill to let D.C. fund itself by voice vote last week, but neither the Republicans nor the Democrats in the Senate have tried to raise the bill in the upper chamber.
City officials conducted their event without the benefit of a microphone, with Mrs. Norton saying one wasn’t available because of the shutdown. Less than 50 yards away, however, Senate Democrats were conducting their own rally, complete with a microphone.
Despite that audio advantage, at one point the D.C. rally threatened to drown out the Senate Democrats with chants of “Free D.C.”
Mrs. Norton told the crowd that drowning out the Democrats may cause resentment from the people the city needs on its side. To be more effective, she suggested the crowd disperse to the Senate office buildings to talk with senators and make their voices heard.
“I spoke to the extent that I could to the majority leader. That obviously was a press conference that they had planned. They didn’t even know that we would be here and vice versa,” Mr. Gray told reporters after the exchange.
Mr. Reid’s office did not return a request for comment.
© Copyright 2013 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Jacqueline Klimas covers Capitol Hill for The Washington Times. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Congress creates a legislative fortress for military sex-assault policy
- Budget negotiators look to federal workers for benefit concessions
- John Boehner faces bipartisan pressure to allow gay-rights vote
- Congress reports 'great progress' on farm bill
- First deadline missed in bipartisan negotiations to avoid shutdown in January
Latest Blog Entries
- Sen. Mark Kirk recovering after gall bladder surgery
- Reid to support Gillibrand's military sex assault amendment
- Another Dem eyes Obamacare deadline extension
- RNC Chair Reince Priebus: Obamacare promises are 'a lot of talk'
- Bipartisan bill for community mental health services still needed under Obamacare: senators
By Brahma Chellaney
Beijing's creeping aggression signals a challenge to U.S. presence in the Asian Pacific
- CURL: Obama tells a whopper on IRS scandal
- WOLF: The president's other Obamacare lies
- Tech companies call for an end to NSA online snooping
- Lawmakers see 'false narrative' of Obama as a terrorist fighter
- Satanists petition for statue at Oklahoma Statehouse
- Obama lied about Syrian chemical attack, 'cherry-picked' intelligence: report
- Ted Cruz sees legal landmines ahead for Obamacare
- MSNBC host: Obamacare a 'wealthy white men' racist word
- WWII vet, 90, en route to Pearl Harbor event booted from flight
- U.S. pilot scares off Iranians with 'Top Gun'-worthy stunt: 'You really ought to go home'
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Brazen, leading-edge, “call it like it is” columns and reporting from Ohio native, radio host and writer, Sara Marie Brenner.
Let’s talk about everything, especially the absurdity of it all
Find the latest news and happening that effect those in the Washington D.C., Northern Virginia and Maryland Metro region.
Never apologetic. Never afraid. Lieutenant Colonel Allen B. West joins Communities to bring tales from the biggest Foxhole of them all, the one inside the Beltway.
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow