Republicans to block quick passage of back-pay bill
October 7th, 2013
07:06 PM ET
11 months ago

Republicans to block quick passage of back-pay bill

(CNN) - Quick passage of a bill to provide back-pay to furloughed federal workers appeared in doubt on Monday when the No. 2 Senate Republican said it’s not time to address that issue right now.

“I think it’s really premature to be dealing with that until we resolve the underlying problem,” said Sen. John Cornyn of Texas. “We’ve offered a number of bills to try to alleviate some of the hardship and they’ve been swatted down out of hand.”

Cornyn said he didn’t expect Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to bring it to the floor because of GOP objections.

The House unanimously passed a bill on Saturday to provide back pay to the hundreds of thousands of federal employees impacted by the government shutdown, and the White House said it supported it.

In past shutdowns, Congress routinely approved similar measures.

“There is no sense of urgency for us to do it. The federal government is shut down,” said Sen. Richard Burr, a Republican of North Carolina who supports providing back pay but not until the government has reopened. “I think it’s very legitimate to take our time on this and hopefully Senator Reid will open it up for amendments and we can see how it ends up.”

Cornyn said if Democrats put the bill on the floor Republicans would not be okay with legislative shortcuts to pass it – such as a voice vote or unanimous consent agreement.

Asked if the bill should be subject to amendments and filibusters – procedures that could delay passage for several days - Cornyn said, “yeah, we ought to legislate.”


Filed under: Congress • Government Shutdown
soundoff (44 Responses)
  1. Don, thl Toronto

    I find it very sad that HARD working American who work for the Federal government are being told by Senate Republicans that there is no urgency (because the government is shutdown) to pass a bill which the House and the Obama administration support. These same politicians are however still being paid their salaries. People take note: These republican are standing up for you who have bills to pay and family to support. Wow November 2014 can't come quickly enough.

    October 7, 2013 10:21 pm at 10:21 pm |
  2. 1twinsfan

    Congress is contemptible.

    October 7, 2013 10:31 pm at 10:31 pm |
  3. Name Uche Agonsi

    Oh Yeah!. These Repubs are everywhere. They can really attach themselves at any part of every issue. No progressive person could easily be swayed by any opinion of every Repub without a pinch of salt.

    October 7, 2013 10:39 pm at 10:39 pm |
  4. Ideas, Ideals, not ideologies

    While griping about waste in the government they have told 800,000 federal employees to take a paid vacation for a yet undetermined length of time. Where is the logic?

    October 7, 2013 10:55 pm at 10:55 pm |
  5. don in albuquerque

    The GOTP have made themselves a laughingstock. Time to laugh them right out the door.

    October 7, 2013 11:23 pm at 11:23 pm |
  6. Troy Woodward

    This may not be urgent for Senators who have prime uninterrupted health insurance, but regular federal workers are worried about a lapse in some of our health care coverage because of the lapse in pay. This is urgent because it affects the healthcare of our children! Come on, end the shutdown or at least give us the peace of mind to know we will be paid and have health benefits. In the meantime, we are forced to somehow come up with the money the pay our mortgage and other bills. This is so irresponsible.

    October 7, 2013 11:44 pm at 11:44 pm |
  7. Deb in MT

    Oh good Lord! Isn't there anything that these GOP/TPers will allow to be passed?

    While it might not matter to the House and Senate slackers–who are still being paid, by golly–knowing that they will get their back pay will certainly calm some of the worries of ordinary Federal employees–who neither asked for nor orchestrated this shutdown fiasco.

    Naturally, the GOP/TP idiots want to load up any bill for back pay with amendments to enact Romney's and the GOP's (the ones who LOST the last election) little dream list. Bah!

    October 8, 2013 12:07 am at 12:07 am |
  8. Anthony... proud tax payer

    Dear American working Middle Class...
    No matter what Republicans tell you in 2014... their actions say they HATE you.
    That is all.

    Vote accordingly.

    October 8, 2013 12:33 am at 12:33 am |
  9. Mike the Veteran

    So Tea Party and Repubs have decided according to their "master plan" several months ago at their convention or whathaveyou to put ACA on govt budget bill or CR or whatever you call it and also to shut down goverment if needed to to get their way. And they think this is negotiations? Are they aware that they are setting some type of precedence here? Which would cause more issues down the road.. Geez.....

    October 8, 2013 12:44 am at 12:44 am |
  10. just wondering

    surprise, surprise, surprise....
    The Repuglicon's have continually proven themselves to be completely lacking in any honesty what so ever time after time concerning the CR....
    Vote them out 2014

    October 8, 2013 12:47 am at 12:47 am |
  11. No Good Lying Blues

    This is hilarious! The Democrats and Obama has shot down nearly every attempt at piecemeal resolutions that the Republicans that attempted, but suddenly "Oh no! The Republicans refuse! Its all their fault!" Good times, good times...

    October 8, 2013 02:14 am at 2:14 am |
  12. Richard Long

    Where are the Obamacare sign-up numbers?

    October 8, 2013 04:04 am at 4:04 am |
  13. DEMO KRAT

    GOP does it again...hell bent on sticking it to the American worker who has NOTHING to do with the disfunction in Washington

    October 8, 2013 04:35 am at 4:35 am |
  14. pete veslocki

    Time to impeach Obama, recall Reed, Pelosi, Boehner and Cruz for obstructing the legislative process, mis-representing voters.

    October 8, 2013 06:10 am at 6:10 am |
  15. Southeast

    Take their jobs away and their healthcare that we the people pay for.

    October 8, 2013 06:48 am at 6:48 am |
  16. Virginia Knabe

    So, Republican Senator Conyers wants to legislate now on the vote to pay furloughed federal employees. Where was this desire to legislate during the past 12 months? For the Senate to pass this legislation means at the least, federal employees will not have to worry about back pay. With the Republicans holding federal jobs hostage to the ACA, and now holding the debt ceiling vote hostage, I ask Senator Conyers, how did you vote during President Bush's years on raising the debt ceiling?

    October 8, 2013 06:56 am at 6:56 am |
  17. Michele

    Not only should they back pay federal employees they should back pay everyone who is losing pay from this! It isn't our fault we are losing pay. Or better yet the Republicans, since they are causing the shutdown, can give us their pay!

    October 8, 2013 07:12 am at 7:12 am |
  18. Edward G. Fox

    Quick passage of a bill to provide back-pay to furloughed federal workers“ No. 2 Senate Republican said it’s not time to address that issue right now. There is no sense of urgency for us to do it. The federal government is shut down,” Well I'm one of those furloughed workers, and I anly make $21.00 an hour. We were out due to shutdown for one week, and called back the secound week. Delaying or not acting on this could effect wheather we are able to provide food, rent or morgage for our family, and other such things we need to s survive. Most of the dederial workers effected are iin this class that live paychech to paychech. The people in Congress that are making $185,000.00 aa year and are not effected by the shutdown. Does this Congressman beleive we are just cattle and can be treated as such. I beleive the election next year will see many changes.

    October 8, 2013 07:27 am at 7:27 am |
  19. Data Driven

    Weirdly enough, I agree with Cornyn, though undoubtedly for different reasons. Cornyn is a nasty rebel who will be thankfully leaving the Senate soon and he doesn't care about people. My reason is that we should knock off the piecemeal legislation and raise the debt ceiling. NOW. Otherwise, the rebels get to fund things they like and not fund things they don't like.

    No to piecemeal legislation! Fund the WHOLE government. Now.

    October 8, 2013 07:38 am at 7:38 am |
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