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House Votes to Give Back Pay to Furloughed Workers....Why?

by Jerry Bader

The House votes to give thousands of furloughed government workers back pay when the partial shutdown ends. Even though the Senate is expected to approve it and President Obama is expected to sign the measure, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid uses it as a cudgel with which to bludgeon Republicans. Reid argues the vote shows Republicans don't want the shutdown to end. Well, if they approve this, doesn't that mean the same thing about them? I'm not sure why the workers should get this at all.

If a company shuts down temporarily, for whatever reason, how often to workers get back pay. Regardless of the circumstances, these workers will not have worked. By what logic should they get paid for work not done, even if it was due to circumstances beyond their control?  Talk to employees of several media companies about being furloughed and what it means to them.

Reid's wrong; this vote doesn't mean Republicans want the shutdown to last. It means they don't want to be labeled as heartless Republicans whenever it does end. Republicans attempting to curry the favor of public employees could be the ultimate fool's errand.