Not this year.
Not this year.

With Congress still not having passed a deal to keep the government open past tonight, the specter of another shutdown looms. For Washingtonians who remember the loss of city services during the shutdowns in the 1990s and a near repeat last year, it’s a daunting proposition.

But there’s good news: Even if Congress is unable to fund the government, D.C. will be able to keep spending local funds on its services—-provided Congress can pass a budget by next September.

The fiscal year 2014 appropriations bill passed last year grants the District the ability to continue spending locally raised funds through fiscal year 2015, which ends on Sept. 30, 2015. Typically, all District spending, including funds raised through local taxes, must be appropriated by Congress. But as part of a deal reached following last year’s shutdown, the city has a reprieve from this requirement for the next nine and a half months.

Should the federal government shutter, though, Washingtonians can still enjoy all those shutdown specials at bars and restaurants.

Update: This post has been updated to more accurately reflect the likelihood of bars and restaurants to offer specials in the wake of a federal government shutdown.

Photo by Darrow Montgomery