(GAINESVILLE, Fla.) — Throughout the government shutdown, Rep. Ted Yoho, R-Fla., has never been afraid to speak his mind. During a teletown hall Thursday, the northern Florida Congressman indicated he does not intend to walk on the beaten path.
When a constituent from Gainesville, home to the University of Florida, called in to tell Yoho that he thought furloughed workers should not get paid for their time off, the veterinarian-turned-Congressman responded in kind.
“Well, when we voted on that, they were supposed to come back to work as part of that deal. … I agree 100 percent with you. If they’re not working, they shouldn’t get paid,” Yoho replied, according to the Tampa Bay Times’ Alex Leary.
Yoho, who represents Florida’s 3rd congressional district, was referring to a House bill he actually voted for. The bill would provide back pay to furloughed workers when the government shutdown ends.
Omar Raschid, Yoho’s Deputy Chief of Staff, told ABC News, “The Congressman felt certain the Senate would have approved one of the bills to open the government so that we wouldn’t be paying people not to work. The Senate hasn’t done that, which isn’t the fault of the employees, so he is O.K. paying back pay in this instance. He understands these are extraordinary circumstances and that’s why he voted for their pay both times. Though, admittedly, the idea was that the Senate would have ended the shutdown by now.”
This is not the first time that Yoho’s comments on the fiscal showdown have raised some eyebrows.
While many economists and financial industry honchos expect that not raising the debt ceiling could bring negative consequences of unknown proportions to the economy, Yoho has a different take.
In an interview with the Washington Post, Yoho said of potentially not raising the debt ceiling, “I think, personally, it would bring stability to the world markets.”
Yoho, a member of the Tea Party Caucus, was easily elected to Congress in 2012 with 65 percent of the vote over his Democratic competitor’s 32 percent.
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