Their shutdown, not ours

October 1, 2013

District resident Cathryn Carroll yells at Republican House members outside the Capitol on Sunday. (Cliff Owen / AP)

Congress has gone over the cliff, sending the federal government into a shutdown that could last a day, a week, perhaps longer. The District government remains open for now – thanks either to the Obama administration’s decision not to second-guess the mayor’s everyone-is-essential determination or to the availability of a congressionally mandated reserve fund. Either way, you can still renew your driver’s license, go to the rec center or explore your new health insurance options. But that doesn’t mean the District goes unscathed, not by a long shot. The shutdown could cripple the regional economy and cost the city up to $6 million a week in sales and income tax revenue. The Superior Court marriage bureau is closed until further notice, and rowers who use boathouses on federal property are fresh out of luck. But if you’re a furloughed fed jonesing for some government, or just looking for some entertainment, do know that there is a D.C. Council meeting today — 10 a.m. (or thereabouts) at the John A. Wilson Building.

In other news:

Labor Department, citing oversight problems, withholds $1.4 million from Department of Employment Services (Post)

Federal cuts, rise in family homelessness takes focus off once-touted “Housing First” approach (Post)

Vincent Orange, who voted against stripping Marion Barry’s committee chair, is the big winner in the subsequent council reorganization (Post)

The District’s health insurance exchange is open for business (D.C. Health Link)

And all members of Congress and their staff will have to use it (WBJPolitico)

Recalculated DCPS test scores show lower math, higher reading results (Post)

Should the District government bail out Howard University Hospital? (WBJ)

Former council candidate and defense lawyer Paul Zukerberg sues over AG election delay (DofDWashingtonianLoose Lips)

Enviro-lobby says no delay, no changes to independent AG structure (DCEN)

Pepco shareholder Phil Mendelson is clear to vote on Pepco tax break bill (Loose Lips)

Council will vote today on Navy Yard resolution (DCist)

D.C. cop shot at Navy Yard has gone home from Washington Hospital Center (WJLA-TV)

Post delivery man among those attacked with stun gun on city streets (WJLA-TV)

Commission of Fine Arts pooh-poohs Douglass Bridge design (WBJ)

Five years to build 22 miles of streetcar lines may not be as laughable as you think (GGW)

Gallaudet official sues employer over gay-marriage petition controversy (Post)

Manny & Olga’s stands accused of cheating worker out of $12,000 in pay (HuffPo)

Bad “marketing and communication” are behind low national polling numbers for statehood, says D.C. Vote boss (DCist)

National Aquarium creatures to be subject to far-flung relocation (Post)

Michelle Obama could speak up for her adopted hometown’s lack of voting rights — why doesn’t she? (Post letter)

Mike DeBonis covers local politics and government for The Washington Post. He also writes a blog and a political analysis column that runs on Fridays.
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Mike DeBonis · September 30, 2013