Republicans Are Out Of Touch With Furloughed Workers
January 16, 2019
Republicans are clueless when it comes to furloughed workers, saying that government workers don’t mind being furloughed and they’re basically on vacation. Meanwhile, hundreds of thousands of workers missed their first paycheck and do not know when their next paycheck will come.
Trump’s top economic adviser said hundreds of thousands of workers furloughed without pay were basically getting free vacation.
Kevin Hassett: “Workers are furloughed, and right now, it’s about 25 percent of government workers are furloughed, which means that they are not allowed to go to work. But then, when the shutdown ends, they go back to work and they get their back pay. A huge share of government workers were going to take vacation days, say, between Christmas and New Year’s. And then we have a shutdown, and so they can’t go to work, and so then they have the vacation, but they don’t have to use their vacation days. And then they come back, and then they get their back pay. Then they’re — in some sense, they’re better off.”
Trump’s former campaign adviser wrote off workers not getting paid, saying “it’s for time they’re not even going to the office.”
Barry Bennett: “‘It’s inconvenient that they’re not getting paid,’ Barry Bennett, a former Trump campaign adviser, said of the furloughed workers. ‘But it’s for time they’re not even going into the office.’”
A Republican congressman said working without pay was “part of” what federal workers signed up for.
Republican Congressman Mark Meadows: “‘It’s actually part of what you do when you sign up for any public service position,’ Meadows said. ‘And it’s not lost on me in terms of, you know, the potential hardship. At the same time, they know they would be required to work and even in preparation for a potential shutdown those groups within the agencies have been instructed to show up.’”
Trump has repeatedly lied saying that workers support his shutdown, which is not true.
Politico: “In recent weeks Trump has repeatedly claimed that he’s heard from government employees who aren’t getting paid because of the partial government shutdown, but who have nonetheless urged him to keep fighting for a U.S.-Mexico border wall. The only problem: There’s no evidence that they exist in the large numbers Trump is implying.”
Trump promoted an op-ed calling for furloughed workers to “never return and not be paid.”
The Hill: “President Trump on Monday shared an op-ed from a writer claiming to be an anonymous senior member of his administration who harshly criticizes federal workers as disloyal to the White House and worthy of losing their jobs… ‘Furloughed employees should find other work, never return and not be paid,’ the op-ed states.”
Republican congressmen suggested workers didn’t deserve to be paid if they were furloughed.
Republican Congressman Andy Biggs: “The Arizona Republican, who introduced a bill to ensure that those who have continued to work without a paycheck receive compensation, said the House-passed legislation could allow those who aren’t working to be compensated for months. ‘Let’s say this thing went on for another three, four, five, six months. You would have people that didn’t work at all being paid money from the federal government,’ he said.”
Republican Congressman Paul Gosar: “Shutdowns have historically served to push both parties to compromise and resolution. This bill eliminates the impact and urgency a shutdown creates and rewards bureaucrats and swamp dwellers.”