Shutdown showdown


D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray was prodded into confrontation at a Tuesday breakfast meeting with lawmakers. (Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images)

District leaders had their mad-as-hell-and-not-gonna-take-it moment during a breakfast meeting Tuesday in the John A. Wilson Building. Faced with the prospect of preparing yet again for a federal shutdown, talking of contingency plans and essential personnel turned quickly to this question: Why do we have to do this in the first place? Now, at the prodding of D.C. Council members, Mayor Vincent C. Gray appears poised to take steps to keep the whole of District government operating despite the lack of a federal appropriation — inviting the city’s most dramatic confrontation with Congress in at least 15 years. Before the city clashes with Congress, however, it will have to confront the Obama administration. Gray is due to submit a shutdown plan to the Office of Management and Budget today, and it is unclear how they will react should he declare all 32,000 city employees essential personnel. More from Loose LipsRoll CallWUSA-TVWBJWTOPWAMU-FM and WRC-TV.

In other news:

“Elected officials should not be so nonchalant about violating the law they have sworn to uphold. … Not only could this imperil the city employees directed to break the law but it would also cede the high moral ground in the fight for the city’s rights.” (Post editorial)

David Catania says test-scoring revelations have eroded his faith in standardized tests (Post)

The setting of “cut scores” has been controversial elsewhere (Answer Sheet)

Class-action suit seeks compensation for homeowners who lost their properties at tax sales (Post)

New HIV/AIDS figures show continued decline in new HIV cases (WAMU-FMWTOPDCistWJLA-TVWTTG-TV)

Cathy Lanier says a second D.C. cop was shot at the Navy Yard, was protected by bulletproof vest (Post)

City planners issue their own Height Act recommendations (Housing ComplexWBJUrbanTurfSlate)

More than a third of those on parole or probation in D.C. pass standard drug test but test positive for synthetic marijuana (PostWaTimes)

Why, Jonetta Rose Barras asks, is Jack Evans bending over backwards to curry Marion Barry’s favor? (TBR)

Moody’s downgrades Howard University debt rating (PostAPWBJ)

Adrian Fenty strengthens ties to Silicon Valley with move to new law firm (releaseLegal TimesWBJ)

IG Charles Willoughby, unshockingly, opposes legislation forcing his office to share case files (Loose Lips)

IG report: Fire academy instructors acted inappropriately toward female cadets, but did not sexually harass them (Post)

Visitor parking pass reforms may have been nixed, but DDOT still says reform is needed (Current via Dish)

With ambulances scarce, fire truck took ailing toddler to hospital (WTTG-TVWTOP)

Examiner shortage leads DMV to cancel two weeks’ worth of road tests (WJLA-TVWTOP)

Rabbi’s marijuana dispensary has only three customers so far (ABC News Radio)

Minister believes toppling of Ten Commandments was hate crime (WaTimes)

City moves forward with partial Hill East redevelopment (Housing Complex)

McDonald’s is among those sued for negligence by dead veteran’s family (Legal Times)

Marriott Marquis on track for a May 1 opening (WBJ)

How Paul Public Charter School gets great results with little money (GGW)

Inclusionary zoning program is finally “getting on track” (GGW)

Why not devote more city resources to a relatively cheap and effective affordable housing program? (DCFPIHousing Complex)

Lawsuit filed by accountant’s family over poor ambulance response is tossed (Post)

Former Health Care Finance official’s wrongful termination suit can proceed (WBJ)

Marine Corps floats new barracks options (WBJ)

With credit-card deadline approaching, more complaints from cab drivers (WJLA-TV)

H Street Fest crowd estimated at 100,000 (WBJ)

Northeast man is said to have used paintball gun in six armed robberies (Post)

Fire-damaged DCHA senior building reopens after renovation (Informer)

Carol Schwartz hosts PFLAG fundraiser (Metro Weekly)

Jeffrey Wright is okay with calling the Redskins the Redskins (Sports Bog)

Why that team happens to suck, economically speaking (Wonkblog)

Mike DeBonis covers Congress and national politics for The Washington Post. He previously covered D.C. politics and government from 2007 to 2015.

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Mike DeBonis · September 24, 2013