Government Reopens, Orders Workers Back
– October 17, 2013 2:53 am
With a stroke of a pen the Federal Government is once again open for business, ending 16-day shutdown.
Congress passed new legislation late Wednesday night that will fund the government through Jan. 15, 2014.
With the government reopened thousands of federal employees will be headed back to work. Here’s the latest update from the Office of Personnel Management stating when federal employees in the Washington area should return to work:
Open. Employees are expected to return for work on their next regularly scheduled work day (Thursday, October 17th for most employees), absent other instructions from their employing agencies.
Due to the enactment of a continuing resolution, Federal government operations are open. Employees are expected to return for work on their next regularly scheduled work day (Thursday, October 17th for most employees), absent other instructions from their employing agencies. Agencies are strongly encouraged to use all available workplace flexibilities to ensure a smooth transition back to work for employees (e.g. telework, work schedule flexibilities, and excused absence for hardship situations).
Following the vote to reopen the government, local Congressman were quick to give their take on the measure.
“I support this bipartisan agreement because it is long past time to end this reckless shutdown of the Federal Government. For the past two weeks, residents and small businesses across Northern Virginia have shared with me the painful effects of being furloughed, losing contract work, or having access to Medicare and veteran benefits frozen. No state was harder hit than Virginia, and Northern Virginia, with its large number of federal employees, contractors, and federal facilities, has borne a disproportionate share of the pain.
The failure of some to compromise once again pushed us to the verge of a historic default on the nation’s credit. Even the threat of defaulting on the nation’s credit has led to disastrous effects for our region. The Fitch credit rating agency cited that hyper-partisanship when it placed the U.S. on a negative credit watch list. The last time political brinksmanship brought us to the verge of default in August 2011, it resulted in a historic downgrading of the nation’s credit, and it also jeopardized the AAA rating of several Northern Virginia jurisdictions and the Commonwealth.”
– Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Fairfax, Prince William)
“It is unconscionable for members of one caucus to hold the American people and the economy hostage simply because one faction or another does not get their way. Unlike the Tea Party members of Congress, local elected officials in my district, including Republicans, know that making government work for taxpayers is the number one priority and that taxpayers count on their government to function properly. I am pleased to have been a part of the efforts by pragmatic Democrats to reach out to moderate Republicans to initiate the discussions that helped lead to resolution of this reckless shutdown and manufactured fiscal crisis.
“I do not advocate for last-minute deals, but tonight the choice was yes or no, and the right thing to do was to re-open our government and stand by our obligations,” Wittman said. “This bill re-opens a government that has been shuttered 16 days too long, while federal employees have sat at home, veterans wonder if they will receive the benefits they have earned, and Americans have been denied basic government services. This bill ensures the government can pay the bills it owes; however, I strongly believe that Congress must not simply kick the can, but have a healthy debate and return to regular order, instead of governing by shutdown threats and risk of default. This is no way to govern. For the past two years, I’ve been arguing that Congress needs to get the job of funding the government done before Congress goes home for an August recess. The business of the nation needs to be done. We have to get back to doing business in a regular order and stop this cycle of crisis management.
“I supported previous efforts to fund government and repeal Obamacare because I believe the law is fundamentally flawed. The fight for real health reform will continue, and the fight for responsible governing will continue. I believe that America has great days ahead, and hope for Congress to listen to the people. Washington is broken, and has a long way back to even ground. Our founding fathers intended healthy debate on critical issues affecting our republic, but not at the expense of its citizens. We have an opportunity to improve, and I intend to fight every day for what is right for our country and for our future because it is so important.”
– Rep. Robert Wittman (R-Prince William, Stafford)