Vice President Joe Biden, left, greets Environmental Protection Agency workers with muffins as they return to work after 16 days of a government shutdown at the William Jefferson Clinton Federal Building in Washington on Thursday, Oct. 17, 2013. The pastries from Safeway were not purchased using taxpayer dollars.
Jacquelyn Martin/ap

Biden brings muffins to government workers back on the job

Updated

Nothing says thank you like baked goods.

Vice President Joe Biden hand-delivered breakfast muffins to Environmental Protection Agency employees Thursday, greeting them on their first day back on the job after the government shutdown.

“Welcome back everybody,” Biden told a cheering crowd of EPA workers who were furloughed for 16 days. The vice president also shook hands and doled out hugs to workers.

“Budgets are supposed to be fought over economic issues, there is no economic rationale for this at all,” he told reporters. “I hope everyone walks away with the lesson that this is unnecessary and hope they can regain the trust of the American people.”

When asked if the country would find itself in the same situation in three months, Biden offered no guarantees. “What you saw last night is Democrats and a significant number of responsible Republicans saying, enough.”

EPA workers were among the estimated 800,000 federal workers that went without paychecks while the country’s leaders resolved the governemnt standoff.

As he left the building, Biden reiterated his thanks to employees. “I’m sorry you had to go through all this,” he said, according to NBC News. “And as my grandfather Finnegan used to say, ‘god willing and the creek not rising’ we won’t go through it again.”

Government Shutdowns

Biden brings muffins to government workers back on the job

Updated