The government does things! Who knew?! (Not Trump, Apparently)

There seems to be some confusion in the White House as to what the government does and why it needs to be open, so allow us to help them out. From inspecting food to ensuring safe travel, the government keeps the American people safe. The government also ensures families can access nutrition assistance, assists farmers, protects public lands, and more. It even approves new beers!

Washington Post: With inspectors furloughed, reduced FDA inspections ‘put our food supply at risk’
“The furloughing of hundreds of Food and Drug Administration inspectors has sharply reduced inspections of the nation’s food supply — one of many repercussions of the partial government shutdown that make Americans potentially less safe. The agency, which oversees 80 percent of the food supply, has suspended all routine inspections of domestic food-processing facilities, FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said in an interview.”

“The Center for Science in the Public Interest, a nonprofit advocacy group, described the reductions as unacceptable. ‘That puts our food supply at risk,’ said Sarah Sorscher, deputy director of regulatory affairs at the group. ‘Regular inspections, which help stop foodborne illness before people get sick, are vital.’”

“Food inspections are just one of many public health and safety efforts that have been stopped or curtailed during the shutdown, now deep into its third week.”

“Much of what the federal government does involves risk management: It keeps airplanes from colliding, inspects food and drugs, pursues criminals and defends against possible terrorist and cyberattacks. It’s a 24-7-365 effort to make Americans safer. But a shutdown upends the calculus of risk management as agencies including the FBI, Coast Guard, Secret Service, FDA, Federal Aviation Administration and Agriculture Department face drastically reduced resources.”

USA Today: Crash safety to craft beer: Shutdown impacts US in surprising ways
“…Residents throughout the country are also feeling the impact in a number of ways, with the departments of Agriculture, Homeland Security, Transportation, Justice, Interior, State, Commerce and Housing and Urban Development temporarily closing their doors.”

“Accidents like last week’s horrific crash in Florida that killed seven people – five of them children on the way to Disney World – will not be investigated by the National Transportation Safety Board, whose employees are mostly on furlough.”

“The U.S. Department of Agriculture will delay the release of crucial crop reports that investors and farmers rely on to get a sense for what the agricultural market will look like in the upcoming season. The USDA also runs the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, and there was concern the benefit commonly known as food stamps would be impacted by the shutdown, but the agency announced on Tuesday that the 44 million recipients could count on them at least through February.”

“Members of Native American tribes may have their health care and education programs threatened by the shutdown. Those services were guaranteed by the federal government as part of treaties in exchange for large extensions of land, but the New York Times reports the Bureau of Indian Affairs was furloughing 2,295 of its 4,057 employees, curtailing service.”

“The National Zoo in Washington and the Smithsonian Institution, which welcomed 30 million visitors in 2017, have temporarily closed. The Smithsonian – a cultural treasure with free admission – is composed of 19 museums and galleries, mostly in nation’s capital but also including two in New York.”

“In a biting bit of irony, the courts that review the cases of undocumented immigrants – the same people Trump wants to keep away with the wall – will see their backlog increase because more than 300 judges have been furloughed. Current cases of detained immigrants will continue as scheduled, but future ones will be delayed, possibly for years.”

“With access to national parks curtailed, dozens of weddings planned for those sites have had to be relocated or rescheduled.”

“Fans of creative craft beers will have to settle for their current choices for a while, because the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau has ceased operations during the shutdown, meaning no new labels will get approved until the folks in Washington reach a deal.”