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D.C. Leaders Bracing For Potential Federal Government Shutdown

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The date March 4 is looming large over city leaders in DC.

That's when a potential federal government shutdown could happen, and 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 on March 4 and shuts down, the District would lack the authority to spend local funds.

During the 1995 government shutdown, emergency personnel such as police officers and firefighters 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 Cleveland, Detroit, or Los Angeles or Boston or anywhere else in this country is having to have this discussion about potentially being imperiled about its operations, because of whats going on at the federal government levels," Gray said to loud applause at Wednesday's press conference.

D.C.'s voice on Capitol Hill, Congresswoman 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.

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