Vice President Joe Biden brought muffins and hugs to returning federal workers Thursday -- and said he hopes "everybody" learned a lesson about preventing a repeat of the 16 day shutdown.
The budget deal expires in January and reporters asked Biden if there was any guarantee that Congress and the administration will again find themselves at odds over spending.
"There's no guarantees of anything," Biden said. "But I think, look, what you saw last night is Democrats and a significant number of responsible Republicans saying enough. There was no economic rationale for any of this. Budgets are supposed to be fought over economic issues. There was no economic rationale for this at all. And I hope, I hope everybody walks away with a lesson that this is unnecessary and I hope we can regain the trust of the American people."
Biden noted the U.S. is considered economically the "indispensable nation" and he said that "even for a moment putting our full faith and credit on the line, it's just not responsible. And I hope this is the end of this."
Reporters watched as Biden shook hands and dispensed hugs at the EPA headquarters on the first day back after the shutdown.
He noted that 168,000 people had been furloughed: "No inspections on water and air and the Everglades," he said. "These guys not only took a hit and weren't sure - I mean, the anxiety of knowing whether they'd get back or paid. But now they're back and they've got all that work piled up so they've got a lot to do so I'm not going to hold them up very long."