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How Will A Government Shutdown Impact D.C. Residents?

Olga Khazan |
April 8, 2011 | 2:00 p.m. PDT

Senior Editor

The District of Columbia's budget doesn't work like it does in the states. The income taxes and other fees that are collected inside the Beltway are turned over to the federal government and then appropriated back to the district for spending. That means that if the government can't resolve its budget impasse today, the 600,000-some residents who make their home in Washington may be some of the hardest hit in the shutdown.

For example, if the government shuts down today, trash collection in D.C. would be suspended for one week, prompting some to form a Facebook group threatening to dump their trash on House Speaker John Boenher's yard.  Multiple government agencies, including the Department of Motor Vehicles, Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs, Department of Public Works, Department of Transportation, and the D.C. Public Library would also be closed.

The City Paper reports:
"District officials today began sketching out what would happen to city government agencies if the federal government shuts down at the end of this week.

The bottom line: It won't be good."

More than 14,000 of D.C.'s 35,000 federal workers might be subject to unpaid furloughs and even made to surrender their work Blackberries so they don't accidentally do some work. If they do end up having to work through the shutdown, government workers wondering whether they will get paid back after a budget (hopefully) passes are met with this cryptic response:

“Congress will sort out who gets paid for time worked during ashutdown and those employees will be paid when Congress passes and the president signs a new appropriation or continuing resolution.”

The beloved Cherry Blossom Parade would also be canceled, the Washington Post reports. To make tourism matters worse, national parks and the Smithsonian museums would also close.

D.C. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton spoke her mind on the floor of the House yesterday:
"We are absolutely outraged. This is the functional equivalent of bombing innocent civilians,” she said. “It’s time that the District of Columbia told the Congress to go straight to hell,”

On the plus side, one Washington Examiner reporter tweeted that parking enforcement would be on hiatus. But so would street sweeping…and parking illegally in trash-clogged streets might not be all that great anyway.



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