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WASHINGTON — Two former Food and Drug Administration lawyers have a creative possibility for how the agency could continue to do some of its work if the shutdown drags on: argue that reviewing certain drugs is essential to protecting people’s lives.

Parts of the federal government, including the FDA, have already been shut down for five weeks, and there’s no sign yet that President Trump and congressional leaders are nearing a deal to reopen it.


Normally, government agencies that don’t have federal funding can only do work that’s necessary to protect lives or property. That’s because of a 1982 law called the Antideficiency Act, which prohibits federal employees from working during a shutdown, “except for emergencies involving the safety of human life or the protection of property.” The FDA is currently doing some work, like inspecting manufacturing facilities and screening imports, under this exception.

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  • the only ongoing federal work is that which is deemed essential to protect people and property.
    If the above is true, then why is the coast guard assigned to homeland security and not the navy???
    during WWII it was the coast guardsmen that drove the landing craft on the longest day and other landings.
    We have guardsmen going with out pay here in Oregon, to feed their families!
    what a bunch of hovno! if there is any reason to stip any payments, it should be to all of the reps and senators,let them go hungry !

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