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President Urges Cooperation as Federal Workers Return to Jobs
WASHINGTON (WKRC) -- The U.S. government is back in business Thursday now that President Obama and lawmakers ended a 16 day budget impasse with a last minute compromise that also avoided a possible default.
Most federal workers were off the job for 16 days while Congress battled over a budget deal and almost let the government run out money to pay its bills.
The stalemate ended late last night when first the Senate and then the House passed legislation to fund the government until January 15th and raise the debt ceiling until February seventh.
The compromise calls for the leaders of the House and Senate budget committees to work together on a plan to reduce deficit.
The president spoke today, urging Republicans and Democrats to put their differences behind them. "Now there's been a lot of discussion lately of the politics of this shutdown but let's be clear, there are no winners here. These last few weeks have inflicted completely unnecessary damage on our economy. We don't know yet the full scope of the damage, but every analyst out there believes it's slowed our growth."
Meanwhile, hundreds of thousands of federal workers started returning to work this morning for the first time in more than two weeks.
Vice-President Joe Biden greeted federal employees coming back to the EPA headquarters with muffins.
With the government back up and running, workers removed barricades at national monuments like the Jefferson Memorial, tossing the 'closed signs' to the trash heap. Visitors who had been shut out of national parks and landmarks lined up outside, waiting for tours. Many museums and monuments reopened today.
While people are glad to get back to work,, many understand another crisis could come in just a few months.