Trump chief economic adviser: Furloughed workers are ‘better off’ because they didn’t have to use vacation days

White House chief economic adviser Kevin Hassett said furloughed workers are “better off” because they didn’t have to use vacation days over the holidays due to the government shutdown.

Hassett told PBS during an appearance on “NewsHour” that the timing of the shutdown coming during the holidays allowed furloughed workers to avoid having to use vacation days.

{mosads}“And then we have a shutdown, and so they can’t go to work,” he said in the interview Thursday. “So then they have the vacation, but they don’t have to use their vacation days. And then they come back, and they get their back pay.”

Hassett argued that many of the workers impacted probably would have taken vacation time anyways.

“A huge share of government workers were going to take vacation days, say between Christmas and New Year’s,” he said.

Nearly 800,000 federal employees are not getting paid as the partial government shutdown approaches the end of its third week. The last paychecks to federal workers went out between Dec. 28 and Dec. 31.

Many of those workers are furloughed, while others have been deemed “essential” and are working without pay.

Congress has approved legislation to repay those workers once the government does reopen, and President Trump has indicated he will sign it.