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Schumer: Ross's comments on food banks equivalent to 'let them eat cake'

Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerSchumer lays groundwork for future filibuster reform Holder, Yates lead letter backing Biden pick for Civil Rights Division at DOJ Capitol Police officer killed in car attack lies in honor in Capitol Rotunda MORE (D-N.Y.) on Thursday ripped Commerce Secretary Wilbur RossWilbur Louis RossFormer Trump officials find tough job market On The Money: Retail sales drop in latest sign of weakening economy | Fast-food workers strike for minimum wage | US officials raise concerns over Mexico's handling of energy permits US officials raise concerns over Mexico's handling of energy permits MORE for questioning why federal workers are using food banks during the partial government shutdown.

Schumer, speaking from the Senate floor, pointed to Ross’s CNBC interview as an example of how “calloused” the Trump administration has become over the funding lapse, which is impacting roughly a quarter of the government, and that the comments were “appalling.”

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“Secretary Ross’s comments are the 21st century equivalent of 'let them eat cake.' Many of these federal employees live paycheck to paycheck," Schumer said. "They can’t just call their stockbroker and ask them to sell some of their shares. They need that paycheck."

Ross, who is reportedly worth around $700 million, said earlier Thursday that he doesn’t “really quite understand why” federal employees impacted by the shutdown are having to use food banks. He added that they should be able to get a loan.

Approximately 800,000 federal employees are furloughed or are required to work without pay because of the partial shutdown, which is in its 34th day.