Commerce Secretary Says He Doesn't Understand Why Furloughed Federal Workers Need Food Banks

Due to the partial government shutdown, which began Dec. 22, the almost 800,000 federal employees who aren’t being paid struggle to make ends meet. Many have to go to food banks and homeless shelters as they prepare to miss a second consecutive payday.

President Trump’s Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross says workers can just take out a loan, right Wrong.

On CNBC’s “Squawk Box” Thursday, Ross said, “I don’t really quite understand why” these federal workers are going to shelters and food banks.

“The obligations they would undertake, say borrowing from a bank or a credit union are in effect federally guaranteed,” he said.

“So the 30 days of pay that some people will be out there’s no real reason why they shouldn’t be able to get a loan against it,” he said.

That’s not realistic for anyone who could be living paycheck to paycheck.

Here’s a clip of the interview:

“True, the people might have to pay a little bit of interest,”
said Ross. “But the idea that it’s ‘paycheck or zero’ is not a really valid idea.”

He also said that financial institutions are offering “very, very low-interest-rate loans to bridge people over the gap.”

However, the Commerce Department’s federal credit union “is charging furloughed employees almost 9 percent interest on emergency loans to cover their missing paychecks,” according to
The Washington Post.

Ross also said that the 800,000 workers not getting paid were, overall, not a large number.

“If they never got it, you are talking about a third of the percent on our GDP,” he said. “So it is not like it is a gigantic number overall.”

Since the shutdown began, more than 20,000 of Ross’ employees haven’t been paid. He has a net worth of more than $700 million, which he accumulated from buying
distressed debt.

The reaction was swift to Ross’ tone-deaf comments:

Rep. Pramila Jayapal:

“That is the most elite out of touch thing that I have ever heard in my life in all of my years ever on this earth,” CNN’s Don Lemon said on Thursday night. “That is the most insulting thing that I have ever heard, and the most elitist. I could not believe it. I had to go back to say I have to find this on the Internet. Is this true”

Latest News

BASF Introduces Neutrol® MGDA, a Readily Biodegradable Complexing Agent for Personal Care Applications

Originally published on BASF ranked No. 14 on The Diversityinc Top 50 Companies for Diversity list in 2020. Highly stable over a wide pH range Eco-friendly and easy to formulate With Neutrol® MGDA, BASF’s Care Creations® is launching a highly stable, eco-friendly complexing agent (also called: chelating agent) for personal care applications….

Abbott Launches the First Infant Formula in Canada with an Ingredient Identical in Structure to Immune Component Found in Breast Milk

Originally published on Abbott ranked No. 8 on The DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity list in 2020. 2′-Fucosyllactose Oligosaccharide†(2′-FL†) is now available in Abbott’s infant formula, Similac Pro-Advance® HMOs, like 2′-FL, in breast milk help support a baby’s immune system [1] HMOs, like 2′-FL, feed good bacteria in the…


Veterans Recovery Resources of Mobile Receives $100,000 Cigna Foundation Grant to Provide Mental Health Services to Area Veterans

Originally published on For the second year in a row, the Cigna Foundation will provide a $100,000 grant to Veterans Recovery Resources, a community-based, non-profit organization that offers professional clinical care and peer-based wellness programs to military service members, veterans, families, caregivers and survivors in southwest Alabama and surrounding areas. Building on the…

thanksgiving, truth

The Truth You May Not Know About Thanksgiving

On Thursday, Nov. 26, many Native Americans and their allies across the country will observe the 51st National Day of Mourning. While most Americans will sit down to Thanksgiving dinners — albeit (hopefully) smaller ones than in years past due to COVID-19 — this counter-observance is designed as an ongoing…

President-elect Joe Biden

President-Elect Joe Biden’s Potential New Cabinet Filled With Historic Firsts; New Report Details the Top 10 Careers Most Impacted by COVID-19; and More

President-elect Biden continues his push for an administration that “looks like America.” With more than a month to go until he is even sworn in as the 46th president of the United States and his transition to the office finally underway after weeks of delay, President-elect Joe Biden is already…