For more than two weeks, President Obama worked diligently to reopen the government and remove the dangers of default from our economy. He met with members of Congress from both parties, talked with Americans impacted by the shutdown, and spoke to the press. Thanks to those efforts and the work of Democrats and responsible Republicans in Congress, the President signed legislation late Wednesday night to end the shutdown.
The President also continued working on other issues throughout the shutdown. He found time to welcome official visitors to the White House, present the Medal of Honor, and appoint a new Chair to the Federal Reserve. In case you missed it, here are some of the highlights from those 16 days:
Shutdown impact: While the government was closed, the President met with those whose lives had been affected by the government shutdown. He talked with small business owners to discuss the impacts of the government shutdown on their businesses and thanked FEMA employees at the National Response Coordinating Center for working during the shutdown, in preparation of Tropical Storm Karen.
He also visited to a DC food pantry, Martha’s Table, to thank furloughed federal employees who spent their time out of the office volunteering for charities and non-profits.
During the shutdown, many local businesses offered discounts and free food to furloughed employees. For lunch one day, the President and Vice President walked to Taylor Gourmet, a locally owned sandwich shop near the White House that was offering a discount and a free cookie to furloughed employees.
Malala Yousafzai Visits: President Obama, the First Lady and Malia Obama met with Malala Yousafzai in the Oval Office on International Day of the Girl. Yousafzai is the young Pakistsani schoolgirl who was shot in the head by the Taliban a year ago, after speaking out in support of the right of girls to go to school. In his proclamation on International Day of the Girl, the President said:
Across the globe there are girls who will one day lead nations, if only we afford them the chance to choose their own destinies. And on every continent, there are girls who will go on to change the world in ways we can only imagine, if only we allow them the freedom to dream.
Medal of Honor Ceremony: President Obama presented the Medal of Honor to Captain William D. Swenson for his courageous actions during a lengthy battle with the Taliban in Kunar Province in Afghanistan. “Moments like this, Americans like Will, remind us what our country can be at its best – a nation of citizens who look out for one another; who meet our obligations to one another, not just when it’s easy, but when it’s hard. Especially when it’s hard,” the President said.
Welcoming Miss America: The President met with Miss America Nina Davuluri, who also took part in a group photo to honor the Children’s Miracle Network Hospital Champions.
New Federal Reserve Chair: President Obama announced the nomination of Dr. Janet Yallen to succeed Ben Bernanke as Chair of the Federal Reserve. Dr. Yellen has served in many leadership positions at the Fed for more than a decade. If her nomination is confirmed by the Senate, Dr. Yellen will be the first woman to hold the position.