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Trump Shutdown Disrupts Consumer, Worker, Health, Safety Protections

Jan. 9, 2019

Trump Shutdown Disrupts Consumer, Worker, Health, Safety Protections

Public Citizen Report Shows Shutdown Furloughs Are Impacting Multiple Agencies That Protect the Public

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Consumer, worker, health and safety protection agencies throughout the federal government are being disrupted by federal worker furloughs stemming from the partial government shutdown, according to a report Public Citizen released today.

“As long as the shutdown continues, essential consumer, worker, health and safety protections carried out by these agencies are on hold,” said Robert Weissman, president of Public Citizen. “Corporate lawbreakers are going unpunished, safety inspections are being postponed, discrimination charges are going uninvestigated, polluters are not being held in check, financial fraudsters are not being policed, consumer complaints are not being received and accident investigations have ceased.”

According to furloughed workers quoted in the report, many agencies are falling behind, and it could take many weeks for them to catch up. More than 75 percent of workers have been furloughed at seven agencies dedicated to protecting consumers and workers, according to federal agency memos, and nearly 50,000 employees have been sent home without pay at the following agencies:

  • The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission;
  • The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission;
  • The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission;
  • The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency;
  • The Federal Aviation Administration;
  • The Federal Communications Commission;
  • The Federal Trade Commission;
  • The U.S. Food and Drug Administration;
  • The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration;
  • The U.S. Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration; and
  • The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.