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Washington vows to stay open if government shuts down

As a bitterly-divided Congress hurtles toward a government shutdown this weekend, a Capitol Police officer guards his post, Friday, Jan. 19, 2018, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

WASHINGTON (AP) — District of Columbia officials are vowing not to let the looming shutdown of the federal government affect the city’s normal functions, with local departments picking up the slack for shuttered federal agencies.

At a Friday press conference, with the shutdown due to start at midnight, Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser announced, “Shutdown or no shutdown — D.C. is open.”

Vast swaths of the District, including the National Mall and the monuments, are under the authority of the National Park Service. Bowser says the Washington Department of Public Works would assume trash collection duties for the 126 Park Service properties across the District.

Washington’s police and fire departments are considered essential and would remain fully staffed.

However, the National Zoo and the Smithsonian’s network of museums would close down starting Monday.

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