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. rs

    Whoops, the real GOP popped out again. You can almost see that internal stuggle- "must hurt the working classes...".

    October 7, 2013 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  2. ED1

    Why would we the tax payers give the 800,00 people a paid vacation at our expense this is insane.

    Where would the money come from since we don't have it now just plain stupid and doesn't help out debt problem only makes it worse.

    October 7, 2013 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  3. tabeth

    Truly, Truly with the world watching us...what a way of governing the country. You never hear about government closure in Russia, And truly we call ourselves first country in the world?
    Come on...where the self will of a few bully the entire nation to defund what has been approved democratically
    What is then democracy in USA? what difference is there with other radical groups in the World?

    October 7, 2013 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  4. the hippies were right

    Can this get any crazier? And good ol' John Cornyn. He was a county judge In my area for several years, then worked his way up to Senator. Oh, and he also miraculously became a millionaire. I wonder how that happened? Sorry furloughed workers here in Texas, Cornyn isn't about to help you, but I'm sure a huge portion of you will vote him in again. Good Luck!

    October 7, 2013 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  5. regenesis0

    *slowclap*
    Bravo. I am impressed by the new depths being plumbed.

    October 7, 2013 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  6. Wake up People!

    Look at that face. Enough said.

    October 7, 2013 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  7. Thomas

    Why is the republican party trying to destroy the American economy ?

    Dose anybody remember the crash in 2008 , and who had just left office to return to Texas ?

    October 7, 2013 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  8. Winston Smith

    Figures. Always willing to muddy the water, but never able to clear it up.

    October 7, 2013 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  9. Thomas

    China warns US to agree debt deal ,

    Thank You Ted Cruz , you sure have helped make things worse

    October 7, 2013 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  10. Deanne Baine

    Yes, why rush to help several hundred thousand furloughed workers have some faith that things will eventually work out? After all, Cornyn is confident he'll collect his own paycheck. Why care about the rest of us?

    October 7, 2013 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  11. Jeff Frank (R-Ohio)"Right Wing Insanity"

    That sounds just like state referendums. Walk in to vote on a statewide change in the states liquor law. Vote it down, only if you agree to part B or part C to the referendum. An unclean bill not clearly focused to one item and one item only. Its all abiut tricking the public. America has had enough. It used to be about protecting Gods laws. Then secular law concentrated on (man's law). Anymore its about screwing people out of thier money hook or crook.

    October 7, 2013 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  12. Steve851

    Paying people not to work is absolutely unacceptable.

    October 7, 2013 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  13. resident

    We pay these people to argue about everything??? I want my money back!

    October 7, 2013 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  14. MD man

    Let me see if I got this right. Boehner, a Republican, crows about the Republicans in the House passing a bill to authorize back pay, but Cornyn in the Senate, another Repugnican, says "Not so fast now, this may not be the right thing to do now." Umm hello! Can you nimrods please quit screwing around and just pass a clean CR and a clean increase in the debt limit already?! Sheesh!

    October 7, 2013 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  15. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    Just another rich, white, boot licking Republican playing with peoples' lives. Come out to the polling places in 2014 and send these sociopaths home for good!

    October 7, 2013 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  16. BigTXPapa

    Hey Cornyn, it's bad enough we are working without pay and now you want to legislate and filibuster about paying us! Here's a clue for you, my vote just changed and as your buddy Trump likes to say: "Your FIRED"!

    October 7, 2013 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  17. Evergreen

    In other words: The republican party got a lot of heat for passing this so we are gonna hold it up even though we always approve it but we are gonna pretend we're not (wink wink) because are fiscal conservatives. Pathetic.

    October 7, 2013 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  18. Steven

    Listen Congress, we the Government workers are not the ones who chose to be put out of work. Nonetheless, we were. Why should we have to suffer on top of suffrage. Not only that, we are being subjected to this treatment from the people in Congress who are bickering, fighting and childish. Oh and by the way, STILL GETTING PAID!! Give us a break and vote the bill.

    October 7, 2013 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  19. Bernard obryant

    GOvt want too take the usa in to default they should fix this

    October 7, 2013 09:05 pm at 9:05 pm |
  20. jpvixxvi

    As a federal government employee this post makes me VERY upset and disappointed. We are beyond TIRED of being treated like crap at the bottom of their shoes while they continue to play the games they play. I hate to say it but it's going to be a matter of time before someone goes completely ballistic and really makes them think about what they are REALLY doing to is and how these things affect us. We're not all making over $100K plus for our salaries and are able to go through this hardship. I pray that things work out in our favor it's not easy for anyone right now.

    October 7, 2013 09:11 pm at 9:11 pm |
  21. Martin Angell

    I've been hard on Cornyn since he did not support Ted Cruz, but emphatically support my Senator in this stand. He's winning back my trust.

    October 7, 2013 09:17 pm at 9:17 pm |
  22. EdB

    So....according to CNN, the minority party in the Senate can hold up the bill. All that little crook, Reid, has to do is bring it up for a vote.

    October 7, 2013 09:34 pm at 9:34 pm |
  23. reggie

    Put it on the floor.

    October 7, 2013 09:37 pm at 9:37 pm |
  24. alex

    Oh, now you want to legislate.

    October 7, 2013 09:58 pm at 9:58 pm |
  25. Steve Hamilton

    Well, the GOP has added another voter bloc that will never vote Republican – federal employees. They add to the following alienated blocs: women, hourly workers, the unemployed, union members, Hispanics, Asian and Indian immigrants, the elderly, the poor, people of color, moderates, 401k owners, business owners needing SBA loans, disabled veterans, retired military personnel, retirees, students and their parents, voters between the ages of 21 to 26 and their parents, voters with pre-existing conditions, moderates, potential home buyers.

    October 7, 2013 10:00 pm at 10:00 pm |
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