(Photo: J. Scott Applewhite AP)
WASHINGTON (WUSA9) -- D.C. is considered a federal agency, which means by law it must shut down if Congress does not approve a budget by Oct 1.
Mayor Gray told WUSA9's Bruce Johnson at 12:40 p.m. Tuesday that he, along with Council members, will decide within hours if they will defy Congress and refuse to shut down in the event of a government shutdown.
Mayor Gray will meet with the City Attorney General and CFO to discuss the legal consequences to defying federal shutdown.
D.C. Attorney General Irv Nathan says that the D.C. Council and Mayor can't defy a shutdown order from OMB and Congress.
Constitutionally, D.C. can't spend its own revenue if there is a federal government shutdown. However, some leaders say that the city should have control over its money and D.C. could continue using its own funds to operate the government.
Wilson building insiders say the CFO will pay city workers during a shutdown if the Attorney General rules all city workers can be made essential.
In a government shutdown, police, fire and essential workers would work without pay. Non essential workers, including the DMV, Parks and Recreation, and libraries would close. Some but not all payments to the poor would be stopped in D.C.
The District's legislators say they are so fed up with the Congress imposing its political agendas on city folk that they are threatening to ignore an order-- if it comes-- to shut down federal and city agencies.
The DC Council says it will pass emergency legislation that re-classifies all city employees as "essential workers" meaning they can be exempt for a federal shut down.
City Attorney Irv Nathan says such a move by the Council would be a violation of federal law.
Councilman David Grosso says he would be willing to go to jail rather than keep city workers at home without benefit of a pay check.
Mayor Vincent Gray told wusa9 that he and the Council would be in agreement on whatever action is taken during the Council's upcoming session on Tuesday.
D.C. Council Chairman Mendelson will introduce a bill declaring all workers essential in defiance of a federal government shutdown.
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