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DC mayor urges Trump to work with Congress to bring ‘immediate end’ to shutdown

The Capitol building is visible as a man who declined to give his name picks up garbage during a partial government shutdown on the National Mall in Washington, Tuesday, Dec. 25, 2018. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

WASHINGTON — D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser penned a letter to President Donald Trump Wednesday urging him to end the partial government shutdown.

Bowser’s letter, on behalf of the 702,000 D.C. residents and businesses, said that the city will experience a severe impact if the shutdown continues.

“Indeed, many DC residents, businesses including restaurants and hotels, and federal contractors will suffer severe impacts if the shutdown continues indefinitely,” Bowser wrote.

She said that D.C. has remained open during the shutdown, and previous shutdowns, because city lawmakers have worked to separate its operations from the federal government. 

“We’re not impacted by the federal decision to shut down,” Bowser said last Sunday when she announced that the “D.C. government is open.”

The D.C.’s Department of Public Works will take over trash collection for 126 properties across the city that would normally be serviced by the National Park Service; and in the event of snow, Public Works will also take over the treatment and clearing of roadways that fall under National Park Service jurisdiction, she said.

In her letter to Trump, Bowser said that trash removal on federally-owned parks will cost D.C. $46,000 a week.

She ended the letter with the hope that D.C.’s decision to step up, in spite of its residents paying the “highest taxes per capita to the federal treasury” while having no vote in Congress, will resonate with federal leadership.

The partial federal shutdown started Saturday when funding lapsed for nine Cabinet-level departments and dozens of agencies. Roughly 420,000 workers were deemed essential and are working unpaid, while an additional 380,000 have been furloughed, the Associated Press reports.

The impasse over government funding began last week, when the Senate approved a bipartisan deal keeping government open into February. That bill provided $1.3 billion for border security projects but not money for the wall.

A Senate procedural vote showed that Republicans lacked the 60 votes they’d need to force the measure with the wall funding through their chamber. That jump-started negotiations between Congress and the White House, but the deadline came and went without a deal.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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