Obama Tells Federal Employees He'll "Keep Working With Congress" to Reach a Deal

Posted: Oct 07, 2013 1:27 PM
Obama Tells Federal Employees He'll "Keep Working With Congress" to Reach a Deal

In a letter sent to U.S. Government workers affected by the shutdown on October 1, President Obama told federal employees he will continue to work with Congress in order to get them back to work, thanked them for their service and blamed House Republicans for the government shutdown.

"To the dedicated and hard-working employees of the United States Government: The Federal Government is America's largest employer, with more than 2 million civilian workers and 1.4 million active duty military who serve in all 50 States and around the world. But Congress has failed to meet its responsibility to pass a budget before the fiscal year that begins today. And that means much of our Government must shut down effective today. I want you to know that I will keep working to get Congress to reopen the Government, restart
vital services that the American people depend on, and allow public servants who have been sent home to return to work. At my direction, your agencies should have reached out to you by now about what a shutdown means for you and your families," Obama wrote in the statement. "This shutdown was completely preventable. It should not have happened. And the House of Representatives can end it as soon as it follows the Senate's lead, and funds your work in the United States Government without trying to attach highly controversial and partisan measures in the process."

Despite telling federal employees he will work with Congress, President Obama has repeatedly told Speaker of the House John Boehner he will not negotiate. Although the letter is dated October 1, many employees didn't see until today when they were allowed to check government issued email for 15 minutes.

The House has passed a series of bills to fund parts of the government. All bills have all been rejected by Majority Leader Harry Reid in the Senate and threatened with veto from President Obama. Today, the House is planning to pass a measure that would ensure federal workers furloughed by the shutdown receive back-payments.