October 8th, 2013
08:21 PM ET
1 year 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: Government Shutdown • Mark Sanford
soundoff (45 Responses)
  1. bostons99

    hello they WANT TO WORK just wow

    October 8, 2013 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  2. Eric Kuncl

    I completely agree. As a revenue agent with the IRS, I would love to get back to work and back to my cases that are just sitting there. I appreciate the bill to pass for back pay, but cannot just walk back into my office and start working. I want to be there working...

    October 8, 2013 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  3. Michael Arthur

    you pick to interview a LIAR and a CHEATER to talk for the GOP...very good pick...

    October 8, 2013 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  4. the hippies were right

    That's right, no hiking trips on the Appalachian trails allowed while getting paid. But feel free to take a trip on the hypocrisy train, that IS acceptable.

    October 8, 2013 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  5. Barry

    Number one. Mark Sanford should not be giving any moral advice. When he was chasing his Argentina babe, he said he was where? Oh, I remember, hiking somewhere. Wasn't he the Governor of S.C. at the time? Was he getting paid while chasing the love of his life? Did he give his salary back? Number two, instead of complaining about the federal workers being paid for not working, how about doing your stink'in job and pass a budget? Regardless of whether you are exempt and working or non-exempt and not working, you still will not get paid until the government is funded. So everybody in the federal workforce, for the most part, is dipping into their savings and retirement funds to float this "vacation". Oh, but Mr. Sanford is still getting paid on time for the "wonderful" work he and his fellow republicans are performing.Stop complaining and pass a budget. Do YOUR job, Mr. Sanford !!!!!

    October 8, 2013 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  6. Thomas

    This guy is a work in progress , I can only think of Argentina when this guy speaks .

    October 8, 2013 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  7. Carol

    No way should federal workers get back pay. Where is our back pay? The money we have lost during this shutdown! No back pay- no way!!

    October 8, 2013 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  8. DooDooNoggin

    Hear that GOP? That's the death rattle of your political careers. A beautiful and sweet sound, really.

    October 8, 2013 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  9. L

    If you all did your job our government wouldn't shut down and this would not be an issue. You are using us as pawns.

    October 8, 2013 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  10. dagumpster

    They should be working for their pay and go on vacation to Argentina. Politicians have short memories.

    October 8, 2013 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  11. singletitle

    I'd like Mark Sanford to turn in his paycheck, as well as repaying the money the US Government spent on searching for him while he was "hiking the Appalachian Trail," otherwise known as out of the country with his mistress. There are PLENTY of government employees still on the job and not getting paid for their work. Perhaps Sanford needs to start earning his own paychecks...

    October 8, 2013 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  12. Nameclk

    Really? Then they should open the government.

    October 8, 2013 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  13. Jay Richards

    Isn't it illegal for them to go back to work? Regardless of the bill paying back wages, they would be incurring financial obligations without a budget or CR. I think that is illegal.

    October 8, 2013 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  14. Searcher

    So, the guy with the morals of a SNAKE. who lied to the world to be with his MISTRESS, get ELECTED by the GOP. SHAME ON THEM!

    October 8, 2013 09:05 pm at 9:05 pm |
  15. Ron L

    Why is it the Republicans seem to always want "their cake and eat it to". You can't go into a situation in which you are willing to shut down the government. Let me repeat, shutdown the "GOVERNMENT." Then 3 or 4 days later when the HEAT comes on, you want to open the 4 to 5 departments that make the people experience the shut down you didn't have a problem with 4 days ago!! Or you send 800,000 people home, and 3 days later decide all of them should get paid for the days they miss!!! (often called a paid vacation) NOW, you want the people you sent home to come back and work because you are not smart enough to have a plan before you started this situation you initiated. This is an exercise in UNNECESSARY STUPIDITY!! When "if" (the Tea Party Republicans) had gone to conference after the proposed budgets from the Senate, President, and Congress was completed 5 months ago, we may not be in this MESS.

    October 8, 2013 09:17 pm at 9:17 pm |
  16. sabrina

    SHUT UP! Didn't you already disgrace your constituents? The average American is suffering right now and if you don't have the power to end it, do not add to it.

    October 8, 2013 09:20 pm at 9:20 pm |
  17. uncle sam

    Is the GOP buying lunch?

    October 8, 2013 09:21 pm at 9:21 pm |
  18. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    Thanks for the input. Now go take a hike with the soulmate!

    October 8, 2013 09:23 pm at 9:23 pm |
  19. They ought to change from the elephant to the hippo...

    Why? You clowns in Congress never seem to be doing YOUR job. They're out through no fault of their own.

    October 8, 2013 09:23 pm at 9:23 pm |
  20. FedUp Gman

    This shut down could be ended by 9 A.M tomorrow morning. If CBP and Border Patrol were to mysteriously get sick all at once, and not show up to work, the shutdown will end. Border crossings would shut down, airport lines will be outrageous and the border will be wide open.

    October 8, 2013 09:29 pm at 9:29 pm |
  21. Margaret

    What an idiot! I am a federal worker and would love to be at work, but am legally not allowed to be there despite whether I want to be or not. I am not at work because I can't be because he is there and not doing his job. When I am at work I get MY job done. How did this guy get into Congress? Didn't the people of SC learn anything from the past. Idiot.

    October 8, 2013 09:30 pm at 9:30 pm |
  22. FryingBacon

    This man is an idiot. Federal workers are legally prohibited from working and utilizing federal resources. 31 U.S.C. 1342.

    October 8, 2013 09:45 pm at 9:45 pm |
  23. DC59

    Vote on a clean CR, problem solved. By the way, didn't Mr Sanford get paid by the people of South Carolina during his secret South American trip to visit his mistress.....

    October 8, 2013 09:56 pm at 9:56 pm |
  24. regenesis0

    You know what I think sounds fair? Not playing games with people's lives.
    You wanted to pressure the government by making it so no one was working, right? So you want everyone to work now so there's no pressure, only we don't have to pay them for a month or two? Some of those people you just "volunteered" need to be paid now in order to make their mortgage, or their car, or their student loans. They're picking up odd jobs to do that and they can't just drop that.
    If you've agreed to pay them and you've agreed they should work... why not just end the furlough?

    The CDC and FDA are supposed to be monitoring stuff like salmonella outbreaks, keeping track of national numbers in case there's a huge problem. They're all furloughed. The person who realized we had salmonella in 18 states was a REPORTER who was covering an ouibreak in Vermont and started calling other states to see if they'd had salmonella; no one was collating that data like they're supposed to be. As a result several days passed before the source got tracked down, and they still don't have the specific vector– that's the sort of thing FDA testers are supposed to pin down.
    250+ people are infected Sanford. Statistically 2-3 are going to die.

    You're already killing people. Stop pissing around and end this.

    October 8, 2013 09:58 pm at 9:58 pm |
  25. Evergreen

    If everyone goes back to work does this mean the government is not shut down? How long are these employees expected to work for free? Answers anyone...

    October 8, 2013 10:12 pm at 10:12 pm |
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