News / USA

    House Approves Pay for Furloughed Government Workers

    Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio, arrives at the Capitol in Washington, Oct. 5, 2013.
    Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio, arrives at the Capitol in Washington, Oct. 5, 2013.
    VOA News
    The Republican-led U.S. House of Representatives has unanimously passed a bill guaranteeing that all federal workers laid off during the government shutdown — up to 800,000 people — will eventually be paid the wages they would have earned if there had been no mass furloughs.
     
    The White House has already said that U.S. President Barack Obama would sign legislation to pay furloughed employees for the days they were not allowed to work. The bill first goes to the Senate, which is also expected to approve it.
     
    The partial government shutdown — triggered by lawmakers' failure to agree on a spending bill — is now in its fifth day. Thousands of furloughed workers have already applied for unemployment benefits, with no end to the budget stalemate in sight.
     
    Up to 800,000 government workers were sent home from their jobs on Tuesday. Some have since been called back to work at agencies that were unable to continue operating with reduced staff, and the Pentagon announced Saturday that it will call back to work several hundred thousand civilian employees.
     
    Pentagon chief Chuck Hagel said in a statement that Defense Department lawyers had concluded that workers "whose responsibilities contribute to the morale, well-being, capabilities and readiness of [military] service members" could be exempted from the government shutdown. Of the estimated 400,000 defense workers furloughed, Hagel said most — but not all — would return to work during the coming week.
     
    Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.

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    Comments
         
    by: NB1126 from: Missouri
    October 08, 2013 1:46 PM
    MODERN DAY SLAVERY! Yes, that is right. Why is noone having a conversation about the fact that most Federal Employees are in that "Furloughed but Working" class; meaning we have to work (or face placing yourself in a Furlough status) and we will not be getting paid until this shutdown mess is resolved? So we report to work (or if you are one of those forced to stay home, either way) government employees are not being paid as of Oct 1st. We have families to care for also! Why are we lost in all this talk about the politicians? Does anyone care about us? Do we have a voice? Seems that we don't.

    by: drcyrdfrmr from: Maine
    October 06, 2013 12:55 PM
    If the republicans want to cut the budget,why don't they ground Air Force One????

    by: drcyrdfrmr from: Maine
    October 06, 2013 12:48 PM
    I can't believe Harry Reid Is pitching a fit over paying Gov. workers...Congress is only thinking about the people..Reid is only interested in what Obama wants and not what the people need..

    by: Rudy Haugeneder from: Canada
    October 05, 2013 10:20 PM
    A nation that pays its government workers not to work is an economically doomed country, especially if like the USA it is trillions upon trillions ($16T) in debt already.
    How stupid. The American federal and state governments should be permanently cutting total staff employed by at least one-third, probably one half, specially federal workers including military civilians and actual armed forces personnel.
    In Response

    by: revamadison from: virginia
    October 05, 2013 11:39 PM
    These government workers did not ask for the time off. They were forced. They have contracts, giving them a specific number of days, and specific hourly wages (or a set salary for dong a job). It is only fair to pay them their wages. Thus, another boondoggle caused by the Republicans who are trying to force their way, after they lost in a legal election, and even after taking the case to the Supreme Court. It is simply a case of sour grapes.

    by: TrueAmerican56 from: Texas
    October 05, 2013 4:24 PM
    The Republicans just authorized a billions dollars to be spent and got nothing for it, way to go Republicans, doing your usual self.

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