Welcoming furloughed federal employees back to work Thursday, Vice President Joe Biden said he hoped Washington had learned to not repeat the mistakes that brought the nation's capital to a grinding halt.
“There's no guarantees of anything,” Biden said when asked whether leaders would again face the same problems in a few months. “I hope everybody walks away with a lesson that this is unnecessary and I hope we can regain the trust of the American people.”
The vice president's remarks Thursday morning came as he greeted Environmental Protection Agency workers, some returning to their jobs for the first time this month. Just hours earlier, President Obama signed a bill that lifted the nation's debt limit and ended a government shutdown that had entered its third week.
White House chief of staff Denis McDonough also greeted federal employees returning to work for the first time since the government shutdown started Oct. 1.
Later Thursday morning, Obama will try to turn the page on the shutdown, looking to focus on immigration reform and the implementation of his health care overhaul.
However, the U.S. is again expected to hit its borrowing limit around Feb. 7 and government funding will dry up on Jan. 15, setting the stage for yet another fiscal clash between both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue.
For his part, Biden said Americans didn’t want a repeat of the debt drama.
“Economically we are the indispensable nation. We are the indispensable nation,” Biden said. “And even for a moment putting our full faith and credit on the line, its just not responsible. And I hope this is the end of this."