What a pleasure it was to stand in the west lobby of DOT headquarters this morning and welcome back to work the good folks of this Department who were furloughed earlier this week.
I was glad to be joined by Deputy Secretary John Porcari, my Chief of Staff Joan DeBoer, NHTSA Administrator David Strickland, and FMCSA Administrator Anne Ferro. In the east side of our headquarters, RITA Administrator Peter Appel and FHWA Executive Director Jeff Paniati greeted DOT employees.
You know, sometimes it takes a little shorthanded time on the ice, a little adversity, to realize just how strong your team really is.
For 13 months I have been traveling around the country, and everywhere I go, I tell everyone I meet how great the hardworking people of DOT are. Well, these past few days only reinforced that belief.
The outpouring of support I read on Twitter and Facebook from furloughed DOT employees was truly heartening. I mean, here they were, missing work and pay, and they took the time to send me messages of support and confidence. Some even wanted to stay at work without pay!
I also want to thank the people who stayed up late Sunday night and Tuesday night to keep our employees and other stakeholders updated on breaking events. The speed at which the news about the highway Trust Fund shutdown went out was both impressive and helpful.
Finally, I want to thank the non-Dot folks who sent us positive messages. Even transportation construction workers whose jobs were threatened by the Senate impasse expressed their support for what we're doing at DOT.
I think people in this country understand the wide variety of helpful ways that this DOT touches their lives. From safety to new and renewed infrastructure, and from environmental stewardship to cutting-edge research, we are working night and day to make lives better.
So "Thank you!" to everyone who gets that and to everyone at DOT working to advance our core missions every day.
We welcome the opportunity to field a complete team again.
Now, we've got a lot of work to do, so let's get cracking!
PS: If you like these photos, feel free to check out more at our Flickr page!