On Friday evening, President Obama signed into law the omnibus appropriations bill funding federal agencies through the end of the fiscal year. And he did so in an unusual location: the New Executive Office Building near the White House, and home to many of the employees of the Office of Management and Budget.
Obama told those employees said he chose to make the trek to the facility "because it represents the extraordinary work of so many of you."
In his remarks, Obama was effusive in his praise for OMB staffers and other federal employees throughout Washington's recent fiscal follies:
I know the Office of Management and Budget was one of the hardest hit during the sequester and a lot of you were furloughed. A lot of you who remained during some of these furloughs had to carry extraordinary burdens, and so it took a personal toll on you and it took a personal toll on your family. ...
Across the board, our government is going to be operating without hopefully too many glitches over the next year. And not only is that good for all of you and all the dedicated public servants in the federal government, but most importantly, it’s good for the American people because it means that we can focus our attention where we need to -- on growing this economy and making sure that everybody gets a fair shot as long as they try.
We would not be here and we would not be able to sign this legislation if it hadn’t been for your work and your dedication. And so this is my way of saying thank you. I want to say thank you to Sylvia and Brian and the whole team here, and everybody represented because, goodness gracious, that is a big piece of business. That is a big bill....
But what that represents is just hours and hours and weekends and nights where people are really paying attention and sweating the details. And that’s what you do. So these aren’t numbers; these are homeless folks who are getting housing. These are a laid-off worker who suddenly is enrolling in that community college and finding that job that allows them to save a home and get back on track. That’s some young scientist who is maybe going to find a cure for cancer or Alzheimer’s. That’s what those numbers represent. And that’s because of you.