When the government shutdown went into place, nearly a million workers were put on furlough and had their pay suspended as long as the government was closed. With hundreds of thousands of Americans not receiving a paycheck, another dilemma was added to Congress' full plate.
While it has been customary to give back pay to those who have been put on furlough during past shutdowns, considering the current stalemate in Congress, many have been on the edge. Earlier this week, the House unanimously approved a bill that would provide back pay to the over 800,000 federal workers who have not been receiving a paycheck. Despite the House passing the bill, not all congressional Republicans are supportive of the idea.
During a recent "teletown hall," the Tampa Bay Times notes that Rep. Ted Yoho (R-FL) was asked by a constituent if he believed that recently furloughed workers should receive back pay since many of them "are home watching Netflix and whatever."
“Well, when we voted on that they were supposed to come back to work as part of that deal. … I agree 100 percent with you. If they’re not working they shouldn't get paid."
The logic of Rep. Yoko doesn't seem to add up, even for a man who claims to be fiscally conservative. According to CNN Money, the government shutdown and its furloughed workers are costing the U.S. economy $1 billion a week. With the economy continuing to struggle, congressional Republicans like Rep. Yoho should be championing the idea of back pay to workers, not criticizing it.