House Votes To Pay Furloughed Federal Workers Retroactively, Republicans Make Government Less Efficient

Yesterday the House passed (407-0) the Federal Employee Retroactive Pay Fairness Act, which will pay furloughed federal employees back pay once the shutdown ends. You could instead call this bill the Make Government Less Efficient Act, and it’s sponsored by congressional Republicans.

Now the bill heads to the Senate, where majority leader Harry Reid is likely to bring it to the floor for a vote even though it means voting for a piecemeal spending bill, something Democrats have vowed not to do. But this is part of the Republican strategy to bring individual spending bills to the floor for a vote in an attempt to force Democrats to fund only the parts of government Republicans are fine with.

And let me be clear, I’m not saying furloughed workers should not receive back pay, they absolutely should, but they shouldn’t be in this position in the first place. Because Republicans shut down the government until their demands are met (and now it’s not even clear what those demands are), and because this retroactive bill passed, that means we will be paying federal workers for doing nothing. And again, I’m fine with paying these workers because they did not ask for this shutdown, but what I’m not okay with is Republicans forcing this shutdown and giving us one more example that Republicans are not interested in governing.

When Bill Maher jokes that Republicans say government is the problem, then they get into office and prove it, it’s not just satire, it is reality. And the back pay for furloughed workers is the latest example. Republicans complain that government is inefficient, and then they prove it by shutting down government but still paying workers anyway. Republicans want to privatize nearly everything, saying the private sector is more efficient, but when would a business ever close its doors and still pay it’s employees? Oh yeah, but I guess I just became part of the Republican game. Businesses would never do that, but government would, that is, when Republicans need to fulfill their own narrative.


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