Last week the majority staff of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation published a report which detailed the many ways the government shutdown has affected our economy. Here are some of the highlights from that report:
• Every port inspector from the Consumer Product Safety Commission has been furloughed, meaning that they are not working now, but as soon as the stalemate in Congress is resolved they will have their regular jobs back and will be entitled to back-pay. With the inspectors not working products such as children’s toys or pajamas will not be inspected for either lead or flammability. During the first six months of 2012 CPSC inspectors stopped over 1 million unsafe products from making their way to American retail stores.
• The delivery of general aviation aircraft could not be delivered on-time. The cost of the non-deliverability of the 142 aircraft, including crop dusters, smaller planes for private use and corporate jets cost the economy about $1.5 billion.
• Automobile safety defect inspectors have also been suspended indefinitely by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. While on furlough inspectors will not be able to investigate alleged defects in Nissan transmission; fires in the passenger seats of Jeep Grand Cherokee cars and some braking issues on Honda minivans.