WASHINGTON—A coalition of consumer groups has sent an open letter to all members of Congress, urging a quick end to the ongoing government shutdown for the sake of public safety.
“Consumers rely on the government to ensure the safety of the food they eat, the air they breathe, the products they use, the care they drive and the planes on which they fly,” the Oct. 11 letter said. “Many of these consumer protections have been significantly curtailed as a result of the shutdown.”
For example, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has furloughed 333 of its 597 employees, according to the letter.
“As a result, NHTSA is not able to alert consumers about recalls,” it said. “Rulemakings, defect investigations, research and testing (are) also on hold.”
Similarly, the Environmental Protection Agency has laid off 15,592 of 16,205 employees; the Federal Trade Commission, 937 of 1,178 employees; and the Federal Aviation Administration, 15,514 of 46,070 employees, the letter said.
Signatory organizations to the letter included Consumers Union, the Consumer Federation of America, the National Consumers League, Consumer Action, the National Consumer Law Center, Public Citizen, the National Association of Consumer Advocates and the U.S. Public Interest Research Group.