Americans protest shutdown outside Capitol Hill

TEHRAN, Oct. 10 (MNA) – Americans have staged a rally in Washington, D.C., protesting against the budget gridlock in Congress that they say has affected every aspect of their lives.

Several hundreds of protestors gathered Wednesday in front of the Capitol Hill. The demonstrators were at a protest over funding of the District of Columbia’s budget as a federal government shutdown is now in its second week.

The protesters were worried that a continued shutdown would bring their city down and put the municipal services to a halt.

“The current situation is ludicrous. I think that Congress needs to let the D.C. budget be the D.C. budget…it’s our money and they should allow us to spend our own money,” said one of the protesters.

Demonstrators held signs that read, “Congress, pass our budget. Stop playing with people’s lives,” “Democracy is not for $ale,” and “Protect our democracy.”

On October 1, the US government partially shut down operations as congressmen refused to agree on a temporary spending bill that would keep the federal government funded.

Last week, the Republican-controlled House of Representatives passed a bill allowing D.C. to use its locally raised tax funds to maintain operations until December 15.

However, President Barack Obama and congressional Democrats remain opposed to piecemeal funding bills, insisting that the GOP should agree to fund the entire government.

Washington D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray was the key speaker of the event. He said funding to the District had been suspended by the shutdown.

Angry Gray criticized the Democrats, pointing out that D.C. is simply asking to spend its own money.

“It’s not the park services’ federal budget that we’re talking about. It’s not the Veteran Affairs federal budget,” he told reporters. “We’re talking about the money of the people of the District of Columbia that shouldn’t be held hostage in the first place.”

“We’re not a department of the federal government. We’re simply asking for their respect,” he added. “Our taxpayers raise $6 billion a year from income taxes that we pay, property taxes that we pay, sales taxes that we pay just like every other jurisdiction in America. Set us free to do like other Americans. If this is another democracy, now is a chance to show it.”

A group of truck drivers have also planned a rally called “Truckers Ride for the Constitution.” The group is expected to block the main routes of Washington DC Friday until Sunday in protest to the recent government shutdown and to remind politicians that they “work for the people and by the people.”

By Mehr News Agency


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