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Congress repays furloughed DOT workers

By Ed O'Keefe

Some Transportation Department workers got an even sweeter pay day today.

Last night's vote to extend jobless benefits until June also provided compensation for the almost 2,000 Transportation Department workers furloughed last month amid disagreements about how to pay for the bill.

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood applauded the move on his blog this morning.

"It was unfortunate that they had to pay the price for a legislative impasse, and I was glad to see those who were furloughed return to work after only a short time," LaHood said.

Lawmakers failed to reach an agreement on tax credits, unemployment insurance and federal highway funding in early March, forcing the DOT workers to stay home for two days. Congress then wanted to repay them for lost wages, but Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) delayed a vote with an amendment proposing that lawmakers pay the workers with money from the Congressional budget. That proposal failed.

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By Ed O'Keefe  | April 16, 2010; 10:00 AM ET
Categories:  Agencies and Departments, Congress, Workplace Issues  | Tags:  Ray LaHood, Tom Coburn, Transportation Department, Unemployment benefits, United States, United States Congress, United States Department of Transportation  
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