Our network

Politics

DC Managing Shutdown?

WASHINGTON (WUSA9) -- DC Employment Services Director Lisa Mallory says that as of Tuesday 11,100 furloughed federal workers had applied online or in person for unemployment benefits.

That is twice the number serviced in an entire normal year--but a fraction of the 300,000 federal workers who work in the District of Columbia and are eligible if sent home when the government shut down.

Mallory says the DOES staff could not handle the total numbers  and she adds that there would be problems right now had DC Mayor Vincent Gray not found a way (contingency funds) to keep all city employees --DOES among them--on the job during the federal shutdown.

Furloughed employees who collect unemployment checks should know if they are awarded back pay by Congress for the furloughed days, they will be required to pay back the money collected from unemployment benefits.

DC mayor lashes out about shutdown on Twitter

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:

Officials: Senate Democrats working on debt limit bill

WASHINGTON (AP) - Officials say Senate Democrats intend to introduce legislation by the middle of the week that would raise the nation's debt limit without the type of unrelated conditions Republicans have said they want to add.

The emerging measure is likely to allow President Barack Obama to raise the borrowing limit on his own authority, although it could be blocked if both houses vote to do so.

Republicans have said they want long-term deficit cuts or reforms to benefit programs and perhaps a rollback in environmental rules as the price for raising the current $16.7 trillion debt limit.

But President Obama has ruled out negotiations on the measure, although he has said he is willing to discuss fiscal and other issues with the GOP once the weeklong partial government shutdown is over and the Treasury is free to borrow again.

Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew says the government will hit that limit within 10 days, if Congress does not take action.

Gov't shutdown enters 2nd week, no end in sight

WASHINGTON (AP) - The government shutdown enters its second week with no resolution in sight and ominous signs that the United States is moving closer to the possibility of the first-ever default in the nation's history.

House Speaker John Boehner and Treasury Secretary Jack Lew traded blame on Sunday but provided no hint of compromise. Boehner rules out House votes on a temporary spending bill or a measure to raise the nation's borrowing authority without concessions from President Barack Obama.

Lew says Republicans' budget brinkmanship is "playing with fire" and warns of the devastating impact. He says Obama isn't backing down on his call for a debt limit bill without conditions before Oct. 17. That's when the threat of default will be imminent.

Day 3: From Government Shutdown to Capitol Lockdown

CAPITOL HILL (WUSA/AP/CBS) -- Both Houses broke from the political stalemate after chaos broke out this afternoon outside the Hill. 

Mid-week, House Republicans passed bills to fund national parks and NIH, but the White house calls it "game playing." 

House republicans have scheduled a vote to give furloughed federal workers back-pay if and when the government reopens. Veteran democrats Jim Moran of Virginia and Steny Hoyer of Maryland as well as Republican Frank Wolf of Virginia sponsored the Federal Employee Retroactive Pay Fairness Act. The vote could come Friday or the weekend. 

But federal workers still on the job will not get paychecks until the shutdown is over, including the officer who rescued the baby girl who witnessed the car chase from the back seat of the suspect's car, and the U.S. Capitol Police officer who was injured while responding to the incident. 

D.C. Democratic mayor blasts Democrats in Congress

WASHINGTON (WUSA9) -- Washington D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray, in a rare move, criticized Democrats on Capitol Hill who are opposing a Republican-backed move to approve city funding (Congress has the authority) through December 15th while still refusing to pass an entire funding budget that would include Obamacare.

Mayor Gray and the Republicans say it's the city's local dollars that are being held hostage by a national debate. Democrats counter that it's all or nothing; they won't move on any budget until Republicans stop refusing to fund the President's Affordable Health Care program.

The House, controlled by Republicans, approved the D.C. funding and sent the measure on to the Senate Wednesday.

Federal workers fear long shutdown

POOLESVILLE, Md. (WUSA9) -- Hundreds of thousands of federal workers across our region are worried about covering their bills if ths government shutdown continues.

"We saved for years to buy this home. We just moved in four months ago, says Marcelo del Canto, who was back downtown for a news conference, pleading with Congress to put him back to work.

"We have our son home right now. Not even taking him to day care because we don't know how long this is going to go." Both Del Canto and his wife work for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

He's a budget analyst. But he never budgeted for this. "Please end this and get us back to work."

"We feel like we've been kicked around. This is ridiculous," says Amy Fritz, who works for the Weather Service.