Norton Provision Will Keep D.C. Government Open if Federal Government Shuts Down Friday

Nov 30, 2021
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. — With the possibility of a federal government shutdown on Friday, Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) today reminded District of Columbia residents that a provision she got included in the fiscal year (FY) 2021 D.C. Appropriations bill exempts the D.C. government from a federal government shutdown in the current fiscal year (FY 2022). Norton has gotten the D.C. government exempted from federal government shutdowns each year since FY 2015. 

“The D.C. shutdown exemption, which I have gotten included in the D.C. Appropriations bill since 2014, will keep the D.C. government from shutting down if the federal government shuts down on Friday,” Norton said. “Congress could learn something about fiscal responsibility by taking a look at D.C., which has both a balanced budget and a surplus.”

Congress has not yet passed any of the regular FY 22 appropriations bills, including the D.C. Appropriations bill, which appropriates D.C.’s locally raised funds. If Congress does not pass a continuing resolution by Friday, the federal government will shut down. However, the D.C. government will not shut down because Norton got a provision included in the FY 2021 D.C. Appropriations bill that allows D.C. to remain open and spend under the D.C. Council-passed FY 2022 local budget for the duration of a federal government shutdown in FY 2022. Before Norton first got the shutdown exemption, the District government had to prepare shutdown contingency plans every time there was a threat of a federal government shutdown and would shut down if the federal government shut down. Shutdown threats harmed the credit rating of the District government. Credit rating agencies have favorably cited Norton’s shutdown exemption provision. With D.C. statehood, Congress would have no say or control over the new state’s budget.