Joe Biden / SAUL LOEB, AFP/Getty Images
Vice President Biden and other Obama administration officials welcomed back federal workers Thursday as the partial government shutdown ended.
Bringing muffins, Biden posted up at the headquarters of the Environmental Protection Agency.
Citing EPA officials who were laid off during the shutdown, Biden said: "No inspections on water and air and the Everglades ... Now they're back - and they've got all that work piled up - so they've got a lot to do so I'm not going to hold them up very long."
White House chief of staff Denis McDonough did the honors for returning workers at the Old Executive Office Building, next to the White House.
McDonough could be heard saying "good morning!" in a loud voice, patting the shoulders of workers and exchanging remarks.
Back at the EPA, workers were handed a welcome-back memo from EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy.
"Dear friends, let me be one of the first to welcome you back to EPA and tell you that we have certainly missed you!" McCarthy wrote. "I know the past couple of weeks have been difficult, especially for families. But we are working to ensure your transition back to the office is smooth and as painless as possible."
The memo included seven bullet points with logistical points, the last of which read: "Please remember to remove your 'out of office' messages from email and voice mail and touch base with your supervisor on your immediate work priorities."
When reporters asked Biden if employees face the prospect of another shutdown when the current funding plan expires, the vice president said:
"There's no guarantees of anything. But I think, look, what you saw last night is Democrats and a significant number of responsible Republicans saying, 'enough.' There was no economic rationale for any of this."
Copyright 2013 USATODAY.com
Read the original story: Biden welcomes back EPA workers