D.C. officials are scrambling to figure out if the city government will have to shut down as well.
Mayor Vincent Gray says because D.C. is treated and funded like a federal agency, the city is, as he puts it, "susceptible."
If Congress doesn't pass its spending bill March 4 and shuts down, the city technically runs out of its appropriations.
During the 1995 government shutdown, emergency personnel -- cops, firefighters and health care providers, for example -- were exempted.
But so far neither the mayor nor the chief financial officer have spelled out exactly what will happen.
When asked about this, Gray used the occasion to blast D.C.'s lack of autonomy.
"There is no way that Cleveland or Detroit or Los Angeles or Boston or anywhere else in this nation is having to have this kind of discussion today about potentially being imperiled in terms of its operations because of what's going on at the federal government level," he says.
D.C.'s voice on the Capitol Hill, Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton, says she is working with the White House and Congress to ensure that the D.C.'s government is not forced to close in the event of a shutdown.