RUSH: This is Gainesville, Virginia, and Jeff. Welcome, sir. Nice to have you on the EIB Network. Hello.
CALLER: Rush, it’s my honor to be on with you. How are you hearing me?
RUSH: Well, I appreciate it. Thank you. I’m hearing you fine, actually.
CALLER: I’m hearing you well also. Interesting times ahead. In the next week we’re gonna pass a threshold with the government shutdown, the partial shutdown, which will trigger what’s called a reduction in force review where all these people, the nonessentials that are not going to work, but are still waiting on getting paid, their positions are in jeopardy of never being reinstituted.
RUSH: Yeah. I knew this was gonna happen. We had a caller about this yesterday, and I said, “Shhhh. Don’t mention this, don’t mention it. It’s just gonna alert people that this is on the way to happening, and it’d be better to keep it a secret.” But this has been blown now. So I may as well go through this. You’ve touched on it.
The nut of this is, folks, what the caller was wanting to talk about yesterday, I shut him down, Trump can start laying off permanently furloughed workers after 30 days. So if the shutdown goes 30 days, all the furloughed workers, Trump can wave good-bye, see ya, you are done, and it’s a law. It’s called the reduction in force procedure.
And it’s an option, to lay off all furloughed government workers after their furlough reaches 30 days. Trump is on day 26, maybe 27 by now. He hasn’t signed any bill — wait a minute. Wait a minute. Hold it a minute. Somebody help me out. I thought I saw a link earlier today, I didn’t print it. Has Trump signed anything or guaranteed back pay to furloughed workers? Well, that may negate this. If he has done that, if he has signed anything that will guarantee back pay for furloughed workers, then I think he has taken off the table the option for reduction in force. I’m gonna have to double-check that.
I have a story on this from the website Big League Politics. President Trump can save taxpayers more than a billion dollars per week if he lays off the approximately 800,000 nonessential workers who are not getting paid. Now, in deciding who stays and who goes, federal agencies have to take four factors into account: tenure, veteran status, total federal civilian and military service, and performance. Those are the things that can be used to determine whether somebody is going to be laid off after they’ve been furloughed.
But I think this whole thing becomes inoperative or academic if the president guarantees back pay. Because if he guarantees back pay then by definition, you’re not going to let them go. You’re not gonna engage in the reduction in force if you’re gonna pay them. I need to double-check that, but I know he signed the back pay. I’ve had that confirmed. What that means in terms of reduction of force is what I’m gonna have to double-check. Jeff, did you have anything else to say about that? I’ve got 45 seconds here. If you wanted to weigh in on it any more, feel free.
CALLER: Well, because it’s a partial government shutdown, it’s an administrative action. It’s not an emergency action. So I think he can argue since it’s administrative that the reduction in force can still take place. If it were an emergency shutdown, it would be different. As far as signing the legislation on the back pay, I wasn’t certain that he signed it yet. I knew it passed, but I hadn’t got a confirmation on that.
RUSH: Yeah. I don’t know if he signed it. But I did see that he said that they were gonna get it, that he has assured them there will be back pay. And he did this in the context of asking some of them to come back to work without pay.
RUSH: Here’s Jason in Stafford, Virginia. Great to have you on the program. Hi.
CALLER: Hey, Rush. Thanks for taking my call.
RUSH: You bet, sir.
CALLER: So just to lay out a couple things, my entire family’s income is based on our government salaries. The shutdown hasn’t really affected us yet because, something they don’t talk about on the news, is last Friday we still got paid for the 68 hours we worked for the previous pay period. We’re gonna start being affected this next pay period, so a week from tomorrow. The thing is we don’t want the president to back down, my wife and I. I can’t speak for other government employees. We’re scared. We’re worried. We’re thinking about how are we gonna feed our kids, how we gonna pay our bills, we got a letter from OPM for our mortgage, our car payments, and stuff like that. They’ll just throw that month on the end. So we’re covered there.
But even though we’re worried, we want what’s best for the country. I served in the military for 10 years so I have veterans preference. This whole layoff thing that you guys talked about with the last caller, I’m kind of worried about that, but at the end of the day we do not want the president to back down. We want the wall. If he reopens the government before he gets the wall, he’ll never get the wall. So keep it going, don’t lay anybody off because, you know, we didn’t do anything wrong, but fight for the wall. You have to fight for the wall. And I think the president should come out every morning, go outside to where the cameras are and invite Chuck and Nancy to the White House every single morning, invite them to the White House to negotiate. And then every night go back out and say they didn’t show up. I think that’s all he’d need to do to get them to negotiate.
RUSH: Not a bad idea.
CALLER: But do not back down.
RUSH: Let me tell you something. You’re in a tough position financially, and yet your political heart is with the president. But, you know, you’re right. If he compromises at all on any of this there’s never gonna be a wall if he does any kind of compromise because the compromise will not include a wall. They’re hell-bent on it for reasons that have nothing to do with the wall or immigration.
CALLER: Yeah. But the thing is, what’s best for the country? Is it gonna be a hardship on us financially if it lasts until mid-February? Absolutely it will be. And we’ll have to pull some strings. But my wife and I are responsible adults who have credit cards that aren’t maxed out. And it’s not optimal to have to pay back a credit card because of the interest rates, but to be honest, we can feed our family with a credit card, and if that’s what we need to do, that’s what we need to do because my wife and I — my wife started working for the federal government at 16 and has worked her way up.
She’s a GS-12, and she’s not essential unless there’s an emergency. I’m not essential, period. Always have been. But we’re good. We want the wall. We want what’s best for our country because all we’ve ever done in our life is serve our country. And a lot of the Border Patrol agents down there say they want the wall. A lot of them served in the military, a lot of them are my former brothers and sisters. Give ’em the wall. Give ’em what they need to protect themselves, don’t back down, and don’t let Chuck and Nancy get away with it. They don’t want to negotiate, go out every day and blast them by name. And invite any Democrat willing to negotiate, come to the White House. And then every day go back out and say they didn’t come. That’s not on him. It’s on them.
RUSH: I’ve been in your position but when I was much younger and I didn’t have any dependents. It was just me. But I’ve been the route where the credit card was the only way to live. I had two major payments that came due in the same 15-day period and I couldn’t make both of them. It went on that way for months and I have an idea what you’re going through. It’s very applaudable. You don’t hear from many people like you who put the country first in a situation like this. So it’s very humbling to have you say these things.
Hang in, I know it’s gonna work out, as you do. And the president did sign, by the way. It’s official. He has signed a back pay thing, so to whatever extent that that’s some comfort, you know that you’re gonna be back paid, you and your wife both at some point. I appreciate the call. I’m really honored that you are among the people in this audience too.