WASHINGTON — The government unlocked its doors Thursday after 16 days, and President Barack Obama blasted Republican lawmakers for the partial shutdown that damaged the U.S. economy and America's credibility around the world.
"The American people are completely fed up with Washington," Obama said in stern remarks at the White House, just hours after signing a last-minute measure from Congress that headed off the threat that the nation would default on its debts.
Obama said the shutdown "inflicted unnecessary damage" to the U.S economy.
In hopes of averting another standoff early next year when the temporary measure runs out, Congress' four top budget writers met over breakfast Thursday to begin two months of budget talks. Obama urged them to put aside partisan differences and brinkmanship tactics to find common ground.
Obama also sought to ensure governments and investors around the world that the "full faith and credit of the United States remains unquestioned."
"We'll bounce back from this," Obama said. "We always do."
At the end of his remarks, the president offered a message for furloughed federal workers.
"I have a simple message for all the dedicated and patriotic federal workers: Thank you for your service and welcome back," he said. "What you do is important and don’t let anybody tell you any different."