The New York Post
October 21, 2013
The Panda Cam is back on at the National Zoo, but experts warn that it could take months—and cost billions—before the government returns to normal.
A huge backlog of undone work and extra duties greeted federal workers Thursday when they returned to their jobs after a 16-day government shutdown.
Charles Tiefer, a University of Baltimore professor who studies shutdowns, called the lingering effects "a giant problem."
He estimated the cost of the restart at about $10 billion.
Loans and permit applications, federal contracts, regulatory paperwork, health and safety inspections, IRS audits, legal work and government checks have piled up.
"Invariably, there will be delays," warned Gordon Gray, director of fiscal policy at American Action Forum, a DC think tank.
Meanwhile, President Obama took a victory lap after winning the shutdown showdown and dared Republicans to "win an election" if they want to mess with his policies.
"You don't like a particular policy or a particular president, then argue for your position. Go out and win an election," taunted Obama.
"Push to change it, don't break it," he said in a speech delivered in the State Dining Room of the White House. "Don't break what our predecessors spent over two centuries building."
He rubbed Republicans' noses in the shutdown mess.
"Nothing has done more damage to America's credibility in the world, our standing with other countries, than the spectacle that we've seen these past several weeks," he scolded.
"It's encouraged our enemies. It's emboldened our competitors. And it's depressed our friends who look to us for steady leadership."
Obama also called on Republicans to work with him on the budget, immigration and farm-policy reforms.
"The president spoke about the divisive language in American politics. He's one of the leading causes of it," Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) said on Fox News.
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