Quantcast
Connect with us

Here are 4 unbelievable things Republicans have actually said about the government shutdown

Published

on

- Commentary
Congressman Mark Meadows of North Carolina speaking at the 2016 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland. (Gage Skidmore/Flickr)

Friday, January 11 marked the first day of 2019 in which roughly 800,000 federal workers missed a paycheck they would have otherwise received were it not for the partial shutdown of the federal government. Those workers fall into two main categories: (1) workers who have been furloughed, and (2) workers who perform what are considered essential services and must report to work without a definite pay date. Deprived of a paycheck, many of them are wondering how they’re going to pay their bills. But to hear White House economic adviser Kevin Hassett tell it, they are “better off” because of the shutdown.

ADVERTISEMENT

During an interview for “PBS NewsHour,” Hassett asserted, “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.”

Hassett neglected to mention, of course, that until the shutdown ends, many federal workers won’t have any source of income—although their need to pay rent, buy groceries and pay their utility bills will continue. But Hassett is hardly alone among Republicans when it comes to being painfully out of touch about the economic hardships of others.

Here are some other examples of Republicans making clueless, insensitive or ridiculous statements about the partial government shutdown and all the misery it is causing federal workers in the U.S.

1. Rep. Mark Meadows

Rep. Mark Meadows—the North Carolina Republican who heads the House Freedom Caucus—has urged President Donald Trump not to sign any spending bill that lacks funding for a U.S. border wall. And his attitude is that if federal workers are hurting because of the shutdown, tough—they knew that shutdowns were a possibility when they signed up for government work. “It’s actually part of what you do when you sign up for any public service position,” Meadows callously said.

2. Rep. Tom Reed

To express their solidarity with federal workers who are suffering because of the shutdown, some members of Congress have volunteered to give up their paychecks. But Rep. Tom Reed of Upstate New York isn’t one of them. When CNN’s Brianna Keilar asked Reed if he would be willing to give up his paycheck, Reed responded, “I just don’t feel it’s appropriate for me to use a P.R. stunt or something along those lines.” In other words, Reed equates expressing sympathy for workers who have been temporarily deprived of income with a “P.R. stunt.”

ADVERTISEMENT

3. Rep. Scott Perry

The fact that some federal workers are living paycheck to paycheck is lost on Rep. Scott Perry, who recently declared, “Who’s living that they’re not going to make it to the next paycheck?” Members of Congress earn six-figure salaries, and unlike other federal workers, they continue to receive their paychecks during shutdowns unless they volunteer not to. But Perry, evidently, fails to realize that it’s much easier to have some savings when one is making six figures than it is if one’s salary is $25,000 per year.

4. Trump’s Office of Personnel Management

In late December, the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) under the Trump Administration tweeted some advice for federal workers who are facing financial hardship because of the shutdown—including a ridiculous suggestion that they could offer to perform chores for their landlords in exchange for a rental reduction. The clueless tweet read, “Feds, here are sample letters you may use as a guide when working with your creditors during this furlough. If you need legal advice, please consult with your personal attorney.”

ADVERTISEMENT

Amazingly, Trump’s OPM believes that furloughed workers making $25,000 or $30,000 have a personal attorney on retainer.


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Trump’s megalomaniacal ego is ripping the country apart: Robert Reich

Published

on

What is America really fighting over in the upcoming election? No particular issue. Not even Democrats versus Republicans.

The central fight is over Donald J Trump.

Before Trump, most Americans weren't especially passionate about politics. But Trump's MO has been to force people to become passionate about him – to take fierce sides for or against. And he considers himself president only of the former – whom he calls "my people."

Continue Reading

2020 Election

Forget ‘The Apprentice’ — Trump’s taxes show he was really ‘The Biggest Loser’

Published

on

Donald Trump's seemingly immovable approval numbers are a testament, above all other things, to the power of racism, and the way that 40 to 42% of Americans will stand by their man, no matter how bad things get, so long as he keeps hating the same people they hate. But that legendary floor of his — he has almost never dropped below 40%, or risen above 45% — is also a testament to the power of narrative fiction, especially of the televised variety.

Continue Reading
 

2020 Election

A renowned violence expert explains why Trump’s psychopathology makes him so dangerous

Published

on

This continues the series, “The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump Revisited: Mental Health Experts on the Devastating Mishandling of a Pandemic.”  Whereas we could not have predicted a pandemic three-and-a-half years ago, the authors of The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump: 37 Psychiatrists and Mental Health Experts Assess a President anticipated how the president would respond, should there be a crisis.  We tried to warn the public of the very consequences that are unfolding today: abuse of power, incompetence, loss of lives and livelihoods of many Americans, and increasing violence.

James Gilligan, M.D., is an adjunct professor of law at New York University.  He is a renowned violence studies expert and author of the influential Violence: Our Deadly Epidemic and Its Causes, as well as Preventing Violence and Why Some Politicians are More Dangerous than Others.  He has served as director of mental health services for the Massachusetts prisons and prison mental hospital, president of the International Association for Forensic Psychotherapy, and as a consultant to President Clinton, Tony Blair, Kofi Annan, the World Court, the World Health Organization, and the World Economic Forum.

Continue Reading
 
 
Democracy is in peril. Invest in progressive news. Join Raw Story Investigates for $1. Go ad-free. LEARN MORE