WASHINGTON – District of Columbia Mayor Vincent Gray (D) was arrested this week for refusing to close the D.C. city government during the federal shutdown. In a controversial move, Mayor Gray had said that he would continue to run the city because “that is, quite literally, the whole point of my job.”
“Unless somebody takes me out in handcuffs, I’m not shutting down anything,” said Gray last week. “I mean it: I dare anyone to arrest me for this.”
Just one week later, Gray was taken out of his office in handcuffs for continuing to perform his job.
Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-Ohio) voiced strong approval of the mayor’s arrest, calling Mayor Gray’s argument that it is his job to run the city a “technicality.”
“I understand his logic, but the law is the law, and right now it’s basically illegal for him to be mayor,” said Boehner.
Gray’s plan to keep the city running included exempting District employees from the federal furlough as well as continuing routine services. Because Congress must approve D.C.’s budget, the shutdown threatened to halt many basic city services, such as trash collection.
“I don’t see what the big deal is,” said Boehner. “Who can’t go without trash collectors for a few days or weeks?”
Mayor Gray responded to Boehner’s comments from his jail cell, saying, “Boehner may think he’s too good for this city, but he lives here just like the rest of us – in some sketchy basement apartment near the Capitol, no less,” said Gray. “Speaking of which, I think all D.C. residents know where they should dump their trash tonight.”