Republican Congressman Says The Government Didn’t Shut Down During The Government Shutdown

South Carolina Republican Rep. Mark Sanford says the government shutdown wasn’t really a shutdown.

South Carolina Republican Rep. Mark Sanford claimed in an interview that was posted on YouTube Sunday that the “government didn’t shut down” during the government shutdown.

“The government didn’t shut down,” Sanford said. “I mean everyone likes to describes it as such … the president in some cases shut down parts of government that were most visible to people. People were still getting their Social Security checks. They’re still enacting … enrolled in Medicare. I mean, I could go through a lot of different functions of government. You know, we had planes that were flying on a nightly basis … you know, using pieces of sort of our national infrastructure grid. So a lot of things were happening.”

An estimated 800,000 of the more than 2 million workers that are employed by the federal government were “nonessential” and furloughed when the shutdown began on Oct. 1, 2013. Some, such as civilian workers at the Department of Defense, returned to work as the shutdown dragged on.

Here’s the full interview:

A spokesman for Sanford sent this statement:

“Congressman Sanford was referencing the fact that in this “shutdown” approximately 80% of federal employees kept working and only roughly 13% of federal spending was actually shut down. Given the scope of government services that continue without interruption during a lapse in appropriations, calling it a “government shutdown” is overblown.”

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Andrew Kaczynski is a political reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
Contact Andrew Kaczynski at
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