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  February 19th, 2019 | Written by

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross Steps in It

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On Jan. 24, when the government shutdown was on its 34th day with no end in sight, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross said on CNBC’s Squawk Box that he didn’t “quite understand why” federal workers needed to rely on homeless shelters and food banks after missing a paycheck. He added that government employees should be able to get a federally guaranteed loan against paychecks they would receive retroactively.
 That brought swift condemnations from several corners, including the one darkened by Restore Public Trust, a Washington, D.C.-based “non-partisan public interest group focused on exposing corruption and malfeasance at the highest levels of government.” Executive Director Caroline Ciccone said, “It’s no wonder that Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross doesn’t understand the plight of the 800,000 federal workers who have missed a paycheck due to Trump’s government shutdown. Ross has spent his career closing factories, laying off thousands of workers, and being unconcerned about the devastation of the people and communities he left behind. He is completely out of touch with the sacrifices hard working Americans have to make to support their families, and even led a company that perpetrated fraud and foreclosure.”
The following day, Restore Public Trust launched a new website: An interactive map shows places in 11 states where Ross-controlled companies laid off 11,000 workers.