WH Economist: Fed Workers Actually ‘Better Off’

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January 11, 2019 3:26 p.m.

Federal workers who are without pay as the government shutdown drags on actually have it pretty good, according to Kevin Hassett, the chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers.

He told PBS’ “NewsHour” Thursday that a lot of federal employees were already planning to take time off between Christmas and the New Year — and so the government shutdown essentially gives them a vacation for free.

“A huge share of government workers were gonna to take vacation days, say, between Christmas and New Year’s,” Hassett said. “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.”

He added: “And then they come back, and then they get their back pay. Then they’re, in some sense they’re better off.”

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) condemned the comments Friday afternoon:

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