09/21/2011 05:25 pm ET Updated Nov 21, 2011

Mayor Vincent Gray On Possible Federal Government Shutdown: D.C. Is A 'Political Ping-Pong Ball'

WASHINGTON -- With a possible federal government shutdown looming next week, the District of Columbia government released the following statement on local preparations:

Mayor Vincent C. Gray today expressed concern and dismay that once again the District of Columbia faces another possible government shutdown at the end of next week as a result of Congressional inaction on the federal budget. The District is unable to spend its own locally-raised funds without an act of Congress because the city lacks budget autonomy.

"This unconscionable predicament we find ourselves in yet again is a reminder of the unfair treatment that the 600,000 citizens of the nation's capital suffer because we continue to be denied full democracy," said Mayor Gray. "How many times must the District of Columbia be treated like a political ping pong ball?"

The Mayor said his administration is revisiting contingency plans put in place in anticipation of a possible federal shutdown to ensure that the District of Columbia will be ready should Congress be unable to reach an agreement by the end of the fiscal year on Friday, September 30th.

The Mayor noted the irony that the District of Columbia government has been fiscally responsible and has passed a balanced budget for 14 consecutive years, while Congress has been unable to balance the federal budget in recent memory.