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.

    You May Like

    Vietnam Urges US to Lift Lethal Weapons Ban Amid S. China Sea Tensions

    US president’s upcoming visit to Vietnam underscores strength of relationship, and lifting embargo would reflect that trust, ambassador says

    Are US Schools Turning a Blind Eye to Radical Qatari Preachers?

    Parade of radical Islamist clerics using mosque at Qatar’s Education City draws mounting criticism for American universities that maintain satellite branches there

    Why Islamic State Is Down But Not Out

    Despite loss of territory, group’s ferocious attacks over past three months seen as testimony to its continued durability and resourcefulness

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    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.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Displaced By War, Syrian Artist Finds Inspiration Abroadi
    X
    May 02, 2016 1:36 PM
    Saudi-born Syrian painter Mohammad Zaza is among the millions who fled their home for an uncertain future after Syria's civil war broke out. Since fleeing Syria, Zaza has lived in Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan and now Turkey where his latest exhibition, “Earth is Blue like an Orange,” opened in Istanbul. He spoke with VOA about how being displaced by the Syrian civil war has affected the country's artists.
    Video

    Video Displaced By War, Syrian Artist Finds Inspiration Abroad

    Saudi-born Syrian painter Mohammad Zaza is among the millions who fled their home for an uncertain future after Syria's civil war broke out. Since fleeing Syria, Zaza has lived in Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan and now Turkey where his latest exhibition, “Earth is Blue like an Orange,” opened in Istanbul. He spoke with VOA about how being displaced by the Syrian civil war has affected the country's artists.
    Video

    Video Ethiopia’s Drought Takes Toll on Children

    Ethiopia is dealing with its worst drought in decades, thanks to El Nino weather patterns. An estimated 10 million people urgently need food aid. Six million of them are children, whose development may be compromised without sufficient help, Marthe van der Wolf reports for VOA from the Metahara district.
    Video

    Video Little Havana - a Slice of Cuban Culture in Florida

    Hispanic culture permeates everything in Miami’s Little Havana area: elderly men playing dominoes as they discuss politics, cigar rollers deep at work, or Cuban exiles talking with presidential candidates at a Cuban coffee window. With the recent rapprochement between Cuba and United States, one can only expect stronger ties between South Florida and Cuba.
    Video

    Video California Republicans Weigh Presidential Choices Amid Protests

    Republican presidential candidates have been wooing local party leaders in California, a state that could be decisive in selecting the party's nominee for U.S. president. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports delegates to the California party convention have been evaluating choices, while front-runner Donald Trump drew hundreds of raucous protesters Friday.
    Video

    Video Kurdish Football Team Helps War-Torn City Cope

    With the conflict still raging across much of Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, between the rebel PKK and the Turkish state, many Kurds are trying to escape the turmoil by focusing on the success of their football team Amedspor in Diyarbakir. The club is increasingly becoming a symbol for Kurds, not only in Diyarbakir but beyond. Dorian Jones reports from southeast Turkey.
    Video

    Video ‘The Lights of Africa’ - Through the Eyes of 54 Artists

    An exhibition bringing together the work of 54 African artists, one from each country, is touring the continent after debuting at COP21 in Paris. Called "Lumières d'Afrique," the show centers on access to electricity and, more figuratively, ideas that enlighten. Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, the exhibition's first stop.
    Video

    Video Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Master Mohammad Ayub runs a makeshift school in a public park in Islamabad. Thousands of poor children have benefited from his services over the years, but, as VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem reports, roughly 25 million school-age youths don't get an education in Pakistan.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Documentary Tells Tale of Chernobyl Returnees

    Ukraine this week is marking the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Soviet officials at first said little about the accident, but later evacuated a 2,600-square-kilometer "exclusion zone." Some people, though, came back. American directors Holly Morris and Anne Bogart created a documentary about this faithful and brave community. VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko reports from New York on "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." Carol Pearson narrates.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.
    Video

    Video  Return to the Wild

    There’s a growing trend in the United States to let old or underused golf courses revert back to nature. But as Erika Celeste reports from one parcel in Grafton, Ohio, converting 39 hectares of land back to green space is a lot more complicated than just not mowing the fairway.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora