With the government back open for business, President Barack Obama on Thursday urged Washington lawmakers to work together, but not before he scolded Republicans for waging an ideological war that shut down the government and left the country on the brink of default. Washington bureau reporter Michael Scotto filed the following report for NY1.
Federal workers were back on the job Thursday, for the first time in more than two weeks.
They returned to work hours after President Obama signed legislation, passed by Congress, that put an end to a bitter political standoff.
"There are no winners here. These last few weeks have inflicted completely unnecessary damage on our economy," Obama said.
The president spoke from the White House Thursday morning and scolded Republicans for waging an ideological fight.
"You don't like a particular political policy or a particular president then argue for your position. Go out there and win an election. Push to change it. But don't break it," Obama argued.
And he told both sides that business as usual needs to change.
"All of us need to stop focusing on the bloggers, the lobbyists and the talking heads on radio and the professional activists who profit from conflict and focus on what the majority of Americans sent us here to do," Obama said.
The president is now calling on Republicans and Democrats to come together and tackle a budget deal, immigration reform and a farm bill -- all of which have been stalled in Congress for months.
As part of the agreement that ended the shutdown, members of the House and Senate must hash out their budget differences by the middle of December. At this point, both sides are far apart on a fiscal plan and pretty much everything else that's on the table.
Given the anger between the parties, it's unclear if Republicans will want to give the president more victories to tout. The public, however, may put pressure on lawmakers to work together.