White House economic adviser Kevin Hassett said furloughed federal workers who are not getting paid during the partial government shutdown are "better off" because they didn't have to use vacation days.
"Huge share of government workers were going to take vacation days, say between Christmas and New Year's. And then we have a shutdown and so they can't go to work, and so then they have the vacation but they don't have to use their vacation days," Hassett told PBS during an appearance on "NewsHour."
Business, economy and trade
Economy and economic indicators
Federal budget deficit
Government and public administration
Labor and employment
Political Figures - US
Political platforms and issues
Travel and tourism
US federal government shutdowns
Workers and professionals
Compensation and benefits
On Saturday, the ongoing partial government shutdown broke the record to become the longest government shutdown in US history -- with no end in sight. The shutdown has impacted roughly a quarter of the federal government and hundreds of thousands of federal workers. An estimated 800,000 federal workers have been affected by the lapse in funding -- either by having to work without pay while it lasts or by being furloughed.
"And then they come back and then they get their back pay, then they're, in some sense they're better off," Hassett said.
Last week, Congress passed legislation sponsored by Democratic Sen. Ben Cardin of Maryland to guarantee back pay for federal workers who have been furloughed during the government shutdown. But federal employees -- those on furlough and those who have remained on the job -- still won't be paid until the shutdown ends.
President Donald Trump and lawmakers are still locked in a standoff over the President's demand that Congress allocate $5.7 billion to build a wall at the US-Mexico border. Trump has said he is considering declaring a national emergency to get the money but would prefer to strike a deal with Congress.
- Trump's economic adviser compares shutdown to vacation
- Trump's economic adviser compares shutdown to vacation, says furloughed workers are 'better off'
- Trump economic adviser: Growth is sustainable
- Furloughed worker: Ironic Congress gets paid
- Furloughed federal workers sweat looming payroll deadline
- Furloughed worker: It's not just the mortgage
- Furloughed worker receives empty pay stub
- Kudlow to become Trump's next top economic adviser
- URGENT - Trump's chief economic adviser Larry Kudlow suffers heart attack
- Trump's top economic adviser doubles down on tariffs