Although, as stated above, Congress ended the government shutdown with furloughed employees back at work, a number of federal agencies that help ensure the public’s health and safety are still struggling to rebound. Agencies such as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) were severely limited in their services during the 16-day shutdown.
The time frame seems short until you consider the thousands of safety concerns not addressed, dangerous products not recalled, foodborne illnesses not contained, and important legislation left unaddressed during that time period. The shutdown affected millions of people, and will continue to do so.
Returning to work, the agencies’ already thinly stretched staffs are being met with a mountain of consumer complaints and unresolved investigations, which they must handle simultaneously with new concerns. Additionally, many agencies were tasked to comply with new legislation and safety rules they were unable to implement on schedule during the shutdown. As a result, some agencies are now facing legal complications tied to their failure to meet deadlines.
The shutdown, even though it was finally resolved, hurt lots of folks. Important work and legislation left hanging during the shutdown includes:
Sources: Law 360, Wired magazine
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