Washington, US President Donald Trump’s economic advisor Kevin Hassett has compared the ongoing federal government shutdown as a vacation, saying that furloughed workers were “better off”.
“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,” CNN quoted Hassett as saying in a TV interview on Sunday.
“And then they come back and then they get their back pay, then they’re, in some sense they’re better off,” Hassett said.
On Saturday, the shutdown reached its 21st day, breaking 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, CNN said.
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.
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.