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POLITICS: PennAve

Federal employees told to return to work Thursday

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Politics,White House,Congress,Barack Obama,OMB,PennAve,Government Shutdown,Meghashyam Mali

The White House has instructed all federal agencies to reopen promptly and said all furloughed federal workers should return to work Thursday morning.

"You should reopen offices in a prompt and orderly manner," White House Office of Management and Budget Director Sylvia Mathews Burwell told employees in a memo early Thursday morning.

"We appreciate very much your cooperation and efforts during this difficult period. Thank you and your teams for your service and your continued work on behalf of the American people under the challenging circumstances of the past few weeks."

President Obama’s signature on the bill resolving the congressional stalemate means the federal government will be open Thursday for the first time in more than two weeks. Efforts by House Republicans to use a funding bill to block Obamacare led to the first government shutdown in 17 years.

The bill passed the House and Senate hours before the nation was poised to hit its borrowing limit, threatening a default.

The president hailed the bipartisan compromise crafted by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., earlier Wednesday after the Senate passed the measure, sending it to the House.

With the shutdown finally over, Obama told reporters at the White House, "We can begin to lift this cloud of uncertainty and unease from our businesses and from the American people.”

Obama said he would have “more to say about this tomorrow” and is slated to deliver a statement at 10:35 a.m. Thursday.

“One of the things that I said throughout this process is we've got to get out of the habit of governing by crisis,” he added.

The following is the complete text of a statement from Office of Management and Budget Director Sylvia Mathews Burwell.

“This evening, the President signed a continuing resolution that reopens the Federal government and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) issued guidance to all Departments and Agencies to resume operations in a prompt and orderly manner. In the days ahead, we will work closely with Departments and Agencies to make the transition back to full operating status as smooth as possible. This has been a particularly challenging time for Federal employees and I want to thank our Nation’s dedicated civil servants for their continued commitment to serving the American people.”

Below is the guidance OMB Director Burwell sent to agencies directing them to reopen the federal government.

Note: The Office of Personnel Management is also in the process of updating its website to communicate to Federal employees to return for work on their next regularly scheduled work day (Thursday, Oct. 17 for most employees), absent other instructions from their employing agencies.

October 17, 2013

M-14-01

MEMORANDUM FOR THE HEADS OF EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENTS AND AGENCIES

FROM: Sylvia M. Burwell

Director

SUBJECT: Reopening Departments and Agencies

This memorandum follows the September 30th memorandum M-13-24, and updates the status of appropriations for Fiscal Year 2014.

Today, the President signed a continuing resolution that brings employees back to work and reopens many government functions. All employees who were on furlough due to the absence of appropriations may now return to work.

You should reopen offices in a prompt and orderly manner.

We appreciate very much your cooperation and efforts during this difficult period. Thank you and your teams for your service and your continued work on behalf of the American people under the challenging circumstances of the past few weeks.

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