Pete Souza/White House

Obama to Public Servants: Thanks, and Sorry Things Have Been So Tough For You

President acknowledges effects of pay freeze, sequester in Public Service Recognition Week proclamation.

As President Obama enters the home stretch of his administration, he seems determined to acknowledge that federal employees have been through a lot during his time in office.

This weekend, in a proclamation recognizing Public Service Recognition Week, Obama said today’s committed civil servants must overcome a lot of obstacles to succeed. “Despite tough circumstances -- including pay freezes, budget cuts, sequestration and a political climate that too often does not sufficiently value their work -- these exceptional leaders continue to make real the fundamental truth that people who love their country can change it,” he said.

In his proclamation, the president said today’s federal employees carry on the work of the Founding Fathers: “From the moment an early band of patriots first came together to secure the blessings of liberty for all, public servants have worked to create a more perfect union,” he declared.

Today’s civil servants, Obama said, “are scientists and teachers, social workers and first responders -- they are the leaders of today's progress and the innovators of tomorrow's breakthroughs. With determination and resolve, they defend our country overseas and work to widen the circle of opportunity and prosperity here at home.”

Obama also declared his support for initiatives to recruit and train tomorrow’s federal employees. “My administration,” he said, “is advancing efforts to train and develop the next generation of civil servants and equip them with the skills to lead change, build coalitions and collaborate across government to solve big problems. We are also finding new ways to improve how we recruit, empower, and retain the most diverse and very best talent, ensuring careers in public service will continue to attract the brightest of the coming generations.”