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Obama thanks FEMA for work during shutdown

By Josh Lederman

Associated Press

Published: Monday, Oct. 7 2013 11:22 a.m. MDT

President Barack Obama, accompanied by, from left, Vice President Joe Biden, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and FEMA Deputy Administrator Richard Serino. talks about the Oklahoma tornado and severe weather, Tuesday, May 21, 2013, in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington.

Pablo Martinez Monsivais, Associated Press

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama is thanking workers at the Federal Emergency Management Agency for doing their jobs under "less than optimal circumstances" during the government shutdown.

Obama made an unannounced visit to FEMA Monday as the shutdown neared the one-week mark. Some furloughed employees at the agency were recalled last week and worked without pay to help prepare for Tropical Storm Karen.

The president said FEMA employees remain ready to respond when needed, but their jobs have been "made more difficult." He says the shutdown may actually end up costing taxpayers more money.

Funding for FEMA was among the series of piecemeal spending bills passed by the House last week. The White House has threatened to veto the measures, saying the government should not be reopened one agency at a time.

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