For Immediate Release:
October 9, 2013
Washington, DC – Today, Councilmember Kenyan McDuffie (D – Ward 5) joined Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D – D.C.), Mayor Vincent C. Gray (D), and other D.C. Councilmembers to call on Congress and the President to permit the District of Columbia to spend its own money.
“It is unthinkable that the District’s budget autonomy is tied to a Congress that has not managed to pass its own budget since 2009. Meanwhile, the District has passed a balanced budget for the past 18 years, has a AA– bond credit rating, and a $1.5 Billion fund balance,” said McDuffie, speaking on behalf of the Council, to the nearly two hundred people in attendance.
District leaders came together on a unified front to ask on Congress and the Obama administration to free D.C.’s local budget and to take a stand on the negative effects the federal shutdown has on the District of Columbia’s residents, workers, and businesses.
“There are 633,000 people in the District, and thousands more who work here, whose lives and livelihoods will suffer if the District government’s operations come to a halt because of a federal impasse that has nothing to do with operations of the District of Columbia government,” stated McDuffie.
While the District has been able to continue operations by relying on its contingency funds, those funds are estimated to be exhausted by next week.
“Let’s tell the President and Congress to stop holding the District’s local budget hostage to their petty partisan politics! We want to spend our own money, and we want to do it now,” concluded McDuffie.