Taxpayers on the hook for shutdown back pay



January 15, 2019 - 9:35 AM

The U.S. Senate voted late Thursday to grant back pay for furloughed federal workers, which is usually what happens when the government shuts down. It’s a benevolent and fair thing to do — 800,000 employees forced off the job or having to work without pay because of a political fray shouldn’t go without income through no fault of their own.

It’s sad that granting back pay for lost hours is so routine for federal workers that it has become a custom. But that tradition should frost taxpayers who foot the bill for tens of millions of work hours in which no work was done.

President Donald Trump reportedly has promised legislators he’d sign the measure, though it has yet to come to a vote in the House. So if it does come to pass as expected, at least federal workers victim to the shutdown won’t suffer so much financially.

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