Wealthy Trump officials keep trying to relate to furloughed workers, keep failing

Billionaire Wilbur Ross confused by hungry government workers:

Billionaire Wilbur Ross confused by hungry government workers: "I don't really quite understand"

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said Thursday that he doesn't understand why federal workers are turning to food banks during the government shutdown when they could take out loans.

"The banks and the credit unions should be making credit available to them", said Ross, a billionaire investor.

Ross also dismissed the impact that paying interest would have on financially gutted federal employees saying, "There really is not a good excuse why there should be a liquidity crisis". He acknowledged they would probably have to pay some interest, but he said it should help them cover costs.

Donald Trump, defending Wilbur Ross, says government workers not receiving a paycheck because of the #TrumpShutdown can simply convince their local grocery stores to "work along" with them. He continued to insist that "many of those people that are not getting paid are totally in favour of what we're doing because they know the future of this country is dependent on having a strong border".

"Put it in perspective: You're talking about 800,000 workers".

Complaints from federal workers have been growing as the shutdown drags into its second month.

Democratic lawmakers immediately pounced on the comments to frame the administration as tone-deaf, as multiple polls continue to show Americans largely blame President Trump and congressional Republicans for the record-long shutdown. While they will be compensated once the government reopens, some of these workers have had to turn to charity, including food banks, to make ends meet in the meantime.

Some 800,000 federal workers have not been paid since a partial government shutdown began on 22 December, after Donald Trump refused to authorize government funding unless Congress agrees to his demands for funds to build a wall on the US-Mexico border.

U.S. government shutdown ends for now
As House speaker, she is now Trump's main foil in Washington . "Democrats are against the wall", Schumer told reporters. S&P Global Ratings said late Friday that the shutdown cost "is likely worse than what we had previously expected".

In a subsequent interview with Bloomberg, Ross said he was "painfully aware" that workers were suffering hardships.

"There are reports that there are some federal workers who are going to homeless shelters to get food", host Andrew Ross Sorkin said.

Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi denounced what she called a "let them eat cake" attitude from the commerce secretary, whose net worth has been estimated by Forbes magazine at almost $700 million.

A White House reporter for Yahoo, Hunter Walker, added this bit of color around Ross' remarks: "I've seen [him] padding around the West Wing in custom made velvet loafers adorned with the Commerce Department seal".

"Wilbur meant 'miles to go before we sleep, ' that's what he meant", Mr. Kudlow told CNBC.

Note 1: Just for the sake of historical accuracy, the legend that Marie Antoinette ever said "Let them eat cake" as a response to widespread starvation has always been debunked.

Ross also sought to downplay the overall economic effect of 800,000 federal workers going without pay. Asked whether the deadline could be adjusted, Ross said it was hard to know as of now. "So it's not like it's a big number overall".

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