Government shutdown over, federal employees go back to work

Government shutdown over, federal employees go back to work

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by Sue Turner

KTVB.COM

Posted on October 17, 2013 at 3:57 PM

Updated Thursday, Oct 17 at 4:19 PM

WASHINGTON -- President Obama laid out his agenda today, saying leaders in Washington should now focus on a budget, immigration reform and a farm bill.

Meantime, federal workers who were furloughed or worked without pay, will get back pay in their next paychecks.

The first government shutdown in 17 years is now over but the president isn't happy about how all this went down.

"The American people are completely fed up with Washington," Obama said. "In a moment when our economic recovery demands more jobs, more momentum, we've got another self-inflicted crisis that set our economy back."

Some federal workers were greeted with an apology.

"Thank you. I'm sorry you had to go through this and I know all the work you do just piled up on your desk," said Vice President Joe Biden.

At the White House employees were met by the chief of staff.

Around the city, barricades came down and the closed signs were thrown away.

At the U.S. Capitol, the newly-appointed budget conferees met to begin talks on reaching a long-term deal.

"We believe there is common ground in showing the Congress we can work, making sure economy growing, people back to work," said Sen. Patty Murray, D-WA.

"This is the budget process," said Rep. Paul Ryan, R-WI.  "The House passes a budget. The Senate passes a budget. You come together to reconcile the differences. That's the way we're supposed to do things. That's the way the budget law is supposed to work."

And President Obama says the shutdown should have helped us learn something.

"It turns out smart, effective government is important. It matters," Obama said.

The budget conferees will try to find common ground between the Senate budget and the House budget and bring it to Congress in mid-December, well ahead of the January 15th deadline when funding will again run out.
 

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