You may want to make a note on your calendar for October 1st to review federal food safety programs if they are still in place.
That’s because unless Congress passes a new budget for fiscal year 2024 or passes sufficient continuing resolutions, another government shutdown will begin. For critical federal food safety agencies, a government shutdown probably won’t mean turning off the lights, but it will dim them.
The USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) will likely continue its ongoing inspection of raw meat and poultry, while the Food and Drug Administration and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will continue to determine which employees are “essential.” You will be trained to make decisions.
Business closures with furloughs are becoming more common. Between 1980 and 1990, and again in 2013 when Democrats controlled Congress, various federal government shutdowns lasted all or part of 23 days six times.
Since 1995, Republican-controlled Congress has authorized four government shutdowns with 64-day furloughs. In 2013, he was shut down for 16 days under Divide and Rule.
Historical evidence suggests that government shutdowns are occurring more frequently and for longer periods of time. Below is a response from Stephen Grossman, executive director of the Alliance for Strong Campaigns, regarding food safety during a potential government shutdown.
Q: Other than the lack of progress on the Continuing Resolution (CR), were there any other reasons to conclude that a government shutdown has become more likely this week?
A: At some point political forces will come together and a CR will be adopted. Perhaps an appropriations bill will be passed after that. But there was little public movement this week to suggest any move toward a short-term CR compromise or agreement to buy more time.
As with any disagreement, the resolution and timing are unclear until it happens. So while it is possible to avoid a shutdown, it seems increasingly unlikely.
Q: What categories are federal employees classified during the government shutdown?
answer: There are three categories:
exempted — Employees are “exempt” from furloughs unless they are affected by budget lapses. This includes employees whose duties are not covered by annual allocated funds and employees who perform activities funded by user fees.
There are exceptions — “Exception” refers to employees whose work is funded by annual appropriations but who are not furloughed because they perform work that is permitted by law to continue during the expiration of appropriations. widely used for. He OMB’s guidance on this may vary from year to year, but essentially, FDA employees will work in areas where their absence could threaten public health, safety, or property.
furlough — Furlough is the temporary absence of an employee from work and without pay due to lack of work, funding, or other non-disciplinary reasons. Again, while the definition may vary from year to year, most individuals involved in developing regulations or performing administrative and policy work will be furloughed.
Q: I heard you mention essential personnel. How is that determined?
answer: Essential personnel is a term applied to federal employees who are expected to report to work during a weather emergency. This is not the term used for closures based on lapses in funding authority.
Informally, “excluded employees” are sometimes referred to as “essential personnel,” and furloughed employees are sometimes referred to as “essential personnel.”
Grossman predicts House Speaker Kevin McCarthy will ultimately have no choice but to compromise with the Senate, moderate Republicans and Democrats.
And that prediction may come true after the speaker took a short-term stopgap measure on Tuesday as the House majority, split by just four votes, stalled.
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