Vincent Gray (courtesy: Getty Images)
WASHINGTON (WUSA9) -- Tuesday afternoon, DC Mayor Vincent Gray sent out a series of tweets lashing out about the federal government shutdown before releasing a letter to President Obama, House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.
READ THE LETTER: http://1.usa.gov/16PPDpq
At approximately 12:20 p.m., Gray tweeted in five parts:
"In no other part of our country are Americans facing the loss of basical municipal/state service due to the fed. government shutdown...Families in Chicago, Cincinnati, and Las Vegas are not worried that their local govts won't be able to maintain basic services...like schools, police and fire protection, or trash collection -- and neither should families here in the District of Columbia...Once again our citizens find themselves innocent bystanders to a federal goverment shutdown. This is simply unconscionable. And it is long past time for the District's budget to be decoupled from the federal budget."
Gray then encouraged people to read his letter to President Obama, Boehner and Reid. In the beginning of his letter, Gray demands a meeting with each leader to explain why the District needs approval for emergency legislation exempting D.C. from the shutdown. Gray then goes on to say the same thing he tweeted on Tuesday afternoon. He then adds that he's determined that all DC government services are essential and because "the District, through our own sound fiscal management, is in much better financial shape than the federal government -- we are able to continue paying for those services through the used of contingency funds. However, those funds will soon be exhausted, and the federal shutdown may continue indefinitely. This means that, without budget autonomy for the District, very soon there will be severely negative consequences for us -- consequences that no other state or city bill be forced to endure."
Gray writes that the shutdown has already negatively impacted payments to Medicaid providers, impacted the status of DC Health Link and impacted public safety. He says Metro and DC Water are also affected by the shutdown.
Gray ends his letter with "It is time for you to act. I look forward to speaking with each of you."
Last week, Gray criticized Democrats on Capitol Hill who opposed a Republican-backed move to approve city funding through December 15th while still refusing to pass an entire funding budget that would include Obamacare.