Congress has constitutional authority over the District of Columbia

6:16 PM, Sep 26, 2013   |    comments
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WASHINGTON (WUSA9) -- When the federal government shuts down, the mayor has been required to send DC workers home too. 

But Mayor Vincent Grays says the District is not shutting down if he gets his way.

D.C Mayor Vincent Gray had not heard back from the Office of Management and Budget as of Thursday after submitting a letter to them saying that all 30,000 district employees are essential workers, and that they should come to work during a possible shutdown.

Mayor Vincent Gray is trying to work around a government shutdown and keep employees on the job by calling all district employees 'essential workers.'

Gray introduced his newly nominated CFO Jeffrey DeWitt. His response to keeping all employees on the job, not just fire and police during government shutdown.

Jeffrey DeWitt says, "As the CFO you follow the direction of both parties and if they come up with a solution than you right the checks."

The District's attorney general has said it's illegal to declare every DC worker as essential.

DeWitt also says, "You can't do what's illegal. I'm not going to jail."

Chanelle Harris, a D.C. employee says, "If they can guarantee we'd get paid we'd definitely come to work. I love my job don't get me wrong but no one wants to work for free."

City employee Chanelle Harris would consider coming to work during a shutdown.

WUSA9's calls and emails to OMB have gone unanswered.  

D.C. is affected every time there's a federal government shut down and the mayor argues this is why DC should have statehood and be in charge of its own finances.

City council, in symbolic solidarity, is expected to vote unanimously on the move that would make all city employees essential.

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