WASHINGTON (AP) — Voters in the nation’s capital have approved a charter amendment that allows the city to spend local tax dollars without congressional approval.

District of Columbia leaders have long argued that they should have what they call budget autonomy. That way, the city government wouldn’t stop functioning in the event of a federal shutdown. Unofficial results show that voters approved the amendment Tuesday with 83 percent of the vote.

READ MORE: Baltimore Department Of Transportation Announces Weekend Parking Enforcement, Road Closures

It would become law unless Congress passes a disapproval resolution and President Barack Obama signs it. But some city leaders aren’t sure the effort to give themselves more independence will work.

READ MORE: Royal Farms Arena Holding Job Fair For Security Guards On July 31

The district’s attorney general has said he doesn’t think the amendment is legal because it takes power away from Congress. It could be challenged in court.

MORE NEWS: UMD Grad Alex Aust First Lacrosse Player To Be Featured As Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Model

(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)