October 8th, 2013
08:21 PM ET
12 months ago

Mark Sanford: Furloughed workers should be working for back pay

Washington (CNN) – Republican Rep. Mark Sanford of South Carolina said Tuesday that despite the fact the federal government is partially shut down, workers should come back to work.

"The handwriting is on the wall," Sanford said on “Erin Burnett Out Front.” "Folks will get back-paid. If you are going to get back pay, you ought to be working for your pay."

He continued: "I had a TSA worker come to me back home and say, 'I don't think this is fair. I'm here as an essential employee. Others are basically getting a vacation while I'm here working this TSA lane in security.'"

During a rare Saturday session on Capitol Hill, a bill that provides back pay for furloughed federal workers during the government shutdown unanimously passed the House.

On Tuesday, President Barack Obama said he "absolutely" supports paying furloughed workers.

Some 800,000 federal workers have been stuck at home without pay since October 1 when Congress failed to pass a budget for the new fiscal year.

Sanford has backed up his statements on furloughed workers coming back to work by asking his own furloughed employees to come back to the office on Monday.

"Now that the House has passed legislation to provide all federal employees with back pay and the president has announced his intention to support it, we think it is in the best interest of the taxpayer for us to end our staff furloughs," Sanford said in a press release. "I think common sense would dictate that now that it’s clear everyone will be paid, that they should work – anything less would amount to an extended taxpayer subsidized vacation."

Sanford, a freshman congressman, was elected in a special election earlier this year.


Filed under: Mark Sanford • Government Shutdown
soundoff (45 Responses)
  1. Dave Barnett

    Wake up. We're not allowed to go into work if we're non-essential. Nice rhetoric, don't try to make me feel guilty for the mess you've created. How about if you don't receive a pay check until this is over. I think a majority of Americans would love to see that.

    October 8, 2013 10:27 pm at 10:27 pm |
  2. ED1

    This is not a free ride at the tax payers expense no work no pay.

    That might be why the private sector does 1,000% better at running a business than our Government.

    October 8, 2013 10:39 pm at 10:39 pm |
  3. Woman In California

    Who would enjoy paying workers to stay home (I don't) but they didn't put themselves in this situation now did they governor? If your party didn't consist of such a band of heathen – the government would be running and these people would be working – so why don't you place the blame where it really lies and that is, at your stinking feet.

    October 8, 2013 10:42 pm at 10:42 pm |
  4. Tony

    Congress has not been working since the Republicans took over the House in 2011. We should furlough Congress, with no back pay.

    October 8, 2013 10:43 pm at 10:43 pm |
  5. Jeremy

    I am a democrat but I totally agree with this guy. If they are going to get paid get back to work.

    October 8, 2013 11:01 pm at 11:01 pm |
  6. Doc1

    Wrong! Mr. Sanford. The new condition should be a congressional pay freeze (regardless of what the Constitution days), then see if you clowns would work through that.

    October 8, 2013 11:03 pm at 11:03 pm |
  7. NameLynne

    The Senator needs an education in Federal personnel law. By the way, having worked through several shutdowns it's no vacation. Tired of Congress for many years using civil servants as pawns and punching bag for their political gains whether Democrat or Republican.

    October 8, 2013 11:09 pm at 11:09 pm |
  8. Anonymous

    What is the best way to turn viewers off a cable news network?
    Mark Sanford.

    October 8, 2013 11:12 pm at 11:12 pm |
  9. Michael

    We've been working.

    So when the heck are you people in Congress going to honor your part of the contract?

    October 8, 2013 11:21 pm at 11:21 pm |
  10. spandi

    Agreed...1 million percent agreed. Go back to work earn my tax dollars darn it! !!!!

    October 8, 2013 11:27 pm at 11:27 pm |
  11. Name progster

    Watch out for the GOP. They are setting up the President for a fall.

    October 8, 2013 11:36 pm at 11:36 pm |
  12. Wake up People!

    At least they didn't leave the country to run after their mistress.....

    October 9, 2013 12:00 am at 12:00 am |
  13. keninkenya

    Lots of unfairness to go around. Commissioned officers of the US Public Health Service and NOAA, both uniformed services, were apparently left out of the bill guaranteeing on time pay to military personnel. They are reporting for duty with no guarantee of a paycheck anytime soon. Some are serving overseas, with families in tow, in nations designated critical for street crime and terrorism. Many of these places have cash economies with very high costs for food and fuel. What about fairness for all Sanford?

    October 9, 2013 12:17 am at 12:17 am |
  14. Pete

    Why would the Republican party trot out a self declared cheat and liar to be a front man on this issue. Or is this a different Mark Sanford?

    October 9, 2013 12:24 am at 12:24 am |
  15. Alicia

    Furloughed workers don't want to be at home...they WANTED TO WORK AND EARN PAY...Congress forced them not to work....Dont act like they had a choice in the matter!

    October 9, 2013 12:46 am at 12:46 am |
  16. norma jean

    This makes no sense....How is a worker expected to go back to work if his job location is closed?????The Republicans are going to pay in the long run for this whole mess that they refuse to take part in settling....The voting public does not forget and with the 2016 elections in mind....the voters are seeing every day more and more reasons to NOT vote republican!!!!!

    October 9, 2013 01:50 am at 1:50 am |
  17. Independent in Illinois

    Did this twit really say this?? I've already privately questioned the intelligence of the voters that put him in office, & they've confirmed it now. It's not the furloughed workers fault that you can't get your own crap together & they can't work as a result. I wish this lowlife scum would've stayed in Argentina with his mistress.

    October 9, 2013 01:54 am at 1:54 am |
  18. NameJeffery Mclean

    I can't believe, according to erin on outfront ,that there must be some that don't feel that those furloughed should return to work, although they are getting paid. We must constantly be raising more and more stupid Americans huh???

    October 9, 2013 02:55 am at 2:55 am |
  19. Matthew

    Did he just use the the terms "common sense" and "fair" in the government's defense(Note:maybe "government" woukd be a better term in these times, seeing as this is a shut-down). I'm not sure fair is the correct term you want to use when referring to the thousands of people who carry out the tasks are considered trivial to a room full expensive suits thats are clearly mkre concerned with themselves and the agendas they fold into their lapels. Show me someone who thinks a single mother working for a government to support her child is trivial and I'll open those eyes to someone who doesn't deserve their comfy chair nor their sure-to-be designer watch that could provide for more than one such family for a month. Are we supposed to trust that because today everyone agrees to pay back, that tomorrow those promises with be upheld? Just a few short weeks ago job security and financial crisis were just a few words beginning to fade into the past. It only took a handful of people whose biggest hardship is obviously having to print out the bills they can actually agree on and the walk down the hall to mailbox. If it is really so important for your staff to return on such blind faith that they will acty get paid(eventually) maybe, just maybe, you should have thought it over before you decided that they're well being was "non-essential". Get up and get your own coffee. While you're up, grab a dictionary and look up the words common sense. I know, it must be hard to do so many things for yourself, but it might do you some good. As for me, I never made it to Yale or anything, but it seems as though Congressional/Senatorial seats may be, oh how do you say it, non-essentail. Clearly they are only worried about two things. Keep those "wars a' brewin" and "making sure YOUR checks are secure". I mean come on, its common sense right?
    ~signed~
    Just Another Non-Essential

    October 9, 2013 03:29 am at 3:29 am |
  20. Marie MD

    Is the air lighter in Argentina? Only the idiots in SC could make this guy a senator! The south needs education more than ever.
    Are you going to fire them all when they log in or use their cell phones? Isn't that against some anti deficiency law or something like that?

    October 9, 2013 06:24 am at 6:24 am |
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