President Obama made an event out of signing the $1.1 trillion omnibus appropriations bill today, walking across Pennsylvania Avenue to the New Executive Office building to make the bill law surrounded by Office of Management and Budget employees.
“Whenever I get a chance to take a walk I seize it — we wanted to make sure that we did this bill signing here because it represents the extraordinary work of so many of you,” Obama said.
First introduced on Monday, the 1,500-page bill with fast-tracked through the House and Senate with comfortable bipartisan majorities.
“We’ve made remarkable progress over the last five years, but we have not made enough. Part of the reason we hadn’t made as much progress as we needed to was we had a series of self-inflicted wounds in this town in which a mindless sequester impeded growth, in which we were governing by crisis and brinksmanship. And not only did that slow our ability to generate a full recovery, and not only did that hamper economic growth, but it also had an enormous impact on all of you. And 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,” Obama said.
“And yet, in part because of your dedication and your strength and your devotion to doing your jobs well, in part because of the strong leadership of Senator Barbara Mikulski and Congressman Rogers — Chairman Rogers, we now have a bill that will fund our government, all our vital services, make sure that we are able to provide the needs for our veterans; to make sure that we are doing everything we need to do to advance our research agenda in this country and innovate; to make sure that we’re investing in the job training that young people desperately need in order to get the skills to find that good-paying job.”
Obama added that over the next year “our government is going to be operating without hopefully too many glitches.”
“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,” he said.
Obama has already confirmed that he intends to use executive power as he deems fit to bypass Congress over this year.
“I’ve got to get back because somebody is having a birthday today,” he said in reference to Michelle Obama’s 50th. “I’ve got to make sure I pay them some attention. I’m going to go ahead and sit down and sign the bill.”