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Mark Sanford: Furloughed workers should be working for back pay

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Posted at 9:07 PM, Oct 08, 2013
and last updated 2013-10-08 21:07:53-04

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.