By Justin Sink - 10/01/13 04:21 AM EDT
In a video message to Defense workers, President Obama said they "deserved better" than the dysfunction they were seeing in Washington.
Just as a government shutdown began, Obama declared in the message that Congress had not "fulfilled its responsibility" by failing to fund the government.
Looking to reassure members of the military, Obama promised that those fighting overseas would "have what you need to succeed in your missions." He also noted that Monday night, he signed a bill that would continue paying the salaries of military personnel despite the shutdown.
But the president acknowledged that the shutdown would be tough on civilian Defense workers, especially on the heels of sequester cuts that have led to furloughs and budget cuts. Obama said he would look to roll back the sequester in whatever budget deal is struck
"I'm going to keep fighting to get rid of the across-the-board budget cuts, the sequester, that are hurting our military and our economy," Obama said.
The White House ordered federal agencies to close late Monday night after congressional lawmakers were unable to strike an agreement before the midnight deadline. It will be the first federal shutdown in 17 years and is expected to result in furloughs for more than 800,000 federal employees.