WASHINGTON (WJLA) - The welcoming committee for those back at work Thursday? Vice President Joe Biden, who brought a message along with muffins.
“I hope everybody walks away with a lesson that this is unnecessary and I hope we can regain the trust of the American people,” he said.
A big request considering these 16 days cost the country $24 billion in business, and prompted tens of thousands of federal employees to seek unemployment benefits.
“The American people are completely fed up with Washington,” Obama says. "The good news is we'll bounce back from this. We always do"
The next dates of depletion and default are already looming like a dark cloud. The 15th of January, when the budget runs dry and February 7th, when we run out of borrowing ability again.
So with two months before another possible standoff, both sides broke bread Thursday morning over breakfast and balance sheets looking for ways to craft a long-term budget.
"We're going to try and find how we can each common ground,” Says Rep. Paul Ryan, head of the House Budget Committee.
Cynicism exists though, and with reason. Included in last night's supposedly clean bill is $2 billion in potential funds for a river and dam project that would benefit GOP Sen. Mitch McConnell's state of Kentucky - something long-supported by the majority, but critics labeled a surprise earmark.
It’s not the only one.
"It was an inappropriate place to do that if there ever a place to do that,” says Rep. Gerry Connolly, Democrat of Virginia. “I think Mitch McConnell just saw an opportunity and took it."