According to the statement, 61% of the Department of Agriculture’s employees would continue to work through the first week of the shutdown, but that number would decrease the longer the shutdown continues.
Eligible households will still receive monthly SNAP benefits for January. But other domestic nutrition assistance programs such as the Commodity Supplemental Food Program, WIC, and the Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations will only be operational based on available resources. Additional federal funds and commodities will not be provided during the shutdown.
Child nutrition programs including School Lunch, School Breakfast, Child and Adult Care Feeding, Summer Food Service and Special Milk will continue through February.
The Department of Agriculture will maintain meat, poultry and processed egg inspection services. Inspections of food imports and exports will also continue throughout the shutdown.
Protecting and enhancing the well being of Americans
Most of the department is funded through the fiscal year, and those positions and divisions that are being placed on leave are funded through Agriculture and Interior appropriations.
Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar reassured the country that the department’s public health missions are being maintained, despite the holiday and shutdown.
“Thousands of my @HHSGov colleagues routinely work weekends and holidays, and many are tasked with working through shutdowns, to fulfill our mission to protect and enhance the health and well-being of all Americans. I’m grateful for their commitment & proud to be their colleague,” Azar said on Twitter.
FDA Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb expressed his gratitude to FDA employees who were continuing to work through the closure. “I’m so proud to lead an agency driven by so many dedicated people. Working on a holiday, and through a government shutdown, to fulfill their commitment to America,” Gottlieb said on Twitter.
According to HHS, about 41% of the FDA’s staff would be furloughed as of Wednesday, December 26.
The Department said that approximately 65% of staff from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry will not be returning to work that day either.
News credit : Cnn