Federal employees head back to work as Obama signs law that reopens government

Posted by Lesley Clark on October 17, 2013 


President Barack Obama makes a statement following the Senate's vote on the debt ceiling and reopening the government on Wednesday, October 16, 2013, in Washington, D.C.


Nearly 800,000 furloughed workers are expected back on the job today after President Barack Obama late Wednesday signed a bill ending a rancorous 16 day shutdown of the federal government that included shuttering national parks.

From the White House: "On Thursday, October 17, 2013, the President signed into law: H.R. 2775, the "Continuing Appropriations Act, 2014," which provides fiscal year 2014 appropriations for projects and activities of the Federal Government through Wednesday, January 15, 2014. The effective time for the continuing resolution begins on October 1, 2013. H.R. 2775 also extends the Nation's debt limit through February 7, 2014."

Office of Management and Budget Director Sylvia Mathews Burwell said the law reopens the federal government and her office has directed "all departments and agencies to resume operations in a prompt and orderly manner."

That means food inspectors will be back on the job and the Pandacam tracking every movement of the National Zoo's new panda will be up and running.

Burwell said OMB would work with federal agencies to "transition back to full operating status as smooth as possible.

"This has been a particularly challenging time for federal employees," she said in the statement. "And I want to thank our nation’s dedicated civil servants for their continued commitment to serving the American people.”

Obama, who thanked congressional Democrats and Republicans for reaching the detente in the weeks-long fight, will deliver a statement this morning "on the bipartisan agreement to reopen our government, remove the threat of default from our economy and address the need for both sides to work together to grow our economy, create jobs and strengthen the middle class."

Press Secretary Jay Carney said Obama believes the fiscal fight has distracted attention away from other priorities and Obama suggested in brief remarks Wednesday night that he'd look to turn his sights to a stalled immigration bill, as well as passage of the farm bill and budget negotations.

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