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District's Shutdown Gambit Is Paying Off

Pedestrians walk past a barricade preventing them from entering the World War II Memorial in Washington, Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2013. Dozens of veterans barricaded outside the closed World War II Memorial because of the government shutdown were escorted past the barriers Tuesday by members of Congress so they could see the monument.
(AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
Pedestrians walk past a barricade preventing them from entering the World War II Memorial in Washington, Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2013. Dozens of veterans barricaded outside the closed World War II Memorial because of the government shutdown were escorted past the barriers Tuesday by members of Congress so they could see the monument.

As federal government shutdown drags on into its second day, the District government remains open and running. So far, Mayor Vincent Gray's strategy of declaring all city services "essential" is paying off.

So far, neither Congress nor the White House has moved to override the mayor's declaration. All employees remain on the job — a move that will be covered by the District's rainy-day fund.

Late Wednesday, city leaders received another boost: The House passed a bill approving funding for the D.C. government through Dec. 15. The measure may not get through the Senate, which rejected a similar bill earlier this week, as the two chambers of Congress continue to battle during this budget crisis.

But the move, which was led by House Republicans, was cheered by Mayor Vincent Gray and other city leaders who are urging the Senate to pass the bill when it takes it up later this week.

In the lead up to the shutdown one of the big concerns was trash piling up because city services were halted. In a reversal of fortunate for the District,  the Gray administration says its going to help the federal government pick up garbage at several small national parks.

Of course, that doesn't mean the city itself isn't feeling the impact of the shutdown. Many popular tourist spots are closed, including museums, parks, and memorials.

The one big exception — the World War II memorial — which was opened for some veterans so that they could, in the words of a national park spokesperson, "conduct first amendment activities."

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