By Ramsey Cox
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said Saturday that it was “cruel” of the House to pass a bill to retroactively pay federal workers affected by the government shutdown, but then not vote on a bill to reopen the government.
“The House has passed a bill to pay federal furloughed employees, but listen to this, once the government opens,” Reid said. “Well why wouldn’t we do that? … It’s really cruel to tell the workers they’ll get back pay but then not reopen the government.”
Lawmakers are still at an impasse on how to pass a continuing resolution (CR) to fund the government, which has been shutdown since midnight Tuesday.
Reid said Republicans treat federal workers as if they’re a “lower class of people.”
“We like federal employees on this side of the aisle,” Reid said during a rare Saturday session. “I want them to work.”
Reid has said Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) holds the “key” to reopening the government by holding a simple up-or-down vote on the Senate-passed 6-week CR.
"Why don’t we open the government and let people go to work and do their jobs," Reid said. "Let them go to work."