Washington: US President Donald Trump`s economic advisor Kevin Hassett has compared the ongoing federal government shutdown as a vacation, saying that furloughed workers were "better off". "Huge share of government workers were going to take vacation days, say between Christmas and New Year`s. And then we have a shutdown and so they can`t go to work, and so then they have the vacation but they don`t have to use their vacation days," CNN quoted Hassett as saying in a TV interview on Sunday.
"And then they come back and then they get their back pay, then they`re, in some sense they`re better off," Hassett said. On Saturday, the shutdown reached its 21st day, breaking the record to become the longest government shutdown in US history -- with no end in sight. The shutdown has impacted roughly a quarter of the federal government and hundreds of thousands of federal workers, CNN said.
An estimated 800,000 federal workers have been affected by the lapse in funding -- either by having to work without pay while it lasts or by being furloughed. Trump and lawmakers are still locked in a standoff over the President`s demand that Congress allocate $5.7 billion to build a wall at the US-Mexico border. Trump has said he is considering declaring a national emergency to get the money but would prefer to strike a deal with Congress.