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In Switcheroo, Democrats Oppose D.C. Funding Bill

On Monday night Democrats in the House of Representatives defeated legislation that would have allowed D.C. officials to spend local money to help the city weather the government shutdown.

As the shutdown continues to take root in the region, House Republicans are changing up their tactics. Party leaders are now pushing legislation focused at funding just small but highly visible slivers of the government, which the White House and most congressional Democrats oppose.

One of those bills would have allowed local tax dollars to keep the District running. Without the money, the D.C. government, now operating out of contingency cash reserves, could shut down in two weeks. D.C. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton begged Democrats to break ranks with the president and support the bill.

“It’s eight billion dollars—local money. Not one dime of federal money. Shouldn’t be here!", she thundered during a speech.

While most Democrats support the plight of District officials, 163 Democrats opposed the bill because they want Republicans to take up legislation to reopen the entire federal government. Besides the D.C. funding bill, House leaders also are pushing bills to fund the Department of Veterans Affairs and to reopen monuments and national parks.

“This is just an endless series of gimmicks and tactics. And it’s very serious business because a lot of people are being hurt," said Northern Virginia Representative Gerry Connolly.

While all three bills failed last night, they’re not going away. Republican leaders are planning to bring them up again today, only this time they’ll be considered under the normal rules which require a simple majority, instead of the two-thirds support that was required last evening.

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