183 House Republicans Voted To Not Resume Food Safety Inspection

Mexican agricultural workers cultivate romaine lettuce on a farm on October 8, 2013 in Holtville, California.
John Moore / Getty Images

While the ongoing federal government shutdown has most notably impacted approximately 800,000 furloughed employees — who have been affected financially due to a lack of a regular paycheck — the fallout from the shutdown continues to grow as each day passes.

As previously reported by the Inquisitr, charities around the country have been severely impacted, as an influx of government employees have flocked to local food banks to offset their lack of income. National parks have also gained widespread media attention due to the accumulation of trash, a side-effect of having no government employees available to handle garbage disposal duties, as noted by USA Today.

Another consequence of the government shutdown has recently come to light: food safety. As reported by ThinkProgress, due to the ongoing shutdown, the Food and Drug Administration has ceased a majority of its food safety inspections, a potential issue which is compounded by recent E. coli outbreaks across the country, which have contaminated harvests of romaine lettuce.

In an effort to respond to this issue, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill yesterday. This particular piece of legislation, H.R. 265, would provide funding to small portions of the federal government, allowing for a reopening of both the Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). These offices directly handle food safety, agriculture, and rural development.

While the bill was passed following a vote yesterday, ThinkProgress notes that the legislation was approved by a margin of 243 to 183. Breaking down the votes a little further, 233 Democratic representatives voted in favor of the bill, with 10 Republicans joining them. With eight congresspersons abstaining from voting, this leaves a total of 183 Republican representatives, who voted against the bill.

In total, 10 Republican representatives voted across party lines, including Washington’s Jaime Herrera Beutler, Illinois’ Rodney Davis and Adam Kinzinger, Pennsylvania’s Brian Fitzpatrick, Texas’ Will Hurd, New York’s John Katko and Elise Stefanik, New Jersey’s Chris Smith, Michigan’s Fred Upton, and Oregon’s Greg Walden.

As ThinkProgress details, Alabama Representative Robert Aderholt led the opposition of H.R. 265. Aderholt took issue with the lack of funding for President Donald Trump’s proposed border wall, as well as a program to address the lack of rural broadband internet access.

In regards to the border wall, Trump has recently come under fire for his funding plan. As previously reported by the Inquisitr, Trump’s goal of seeking federal funding to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border directly contradicts campaign promises he made in 2016, which explicitly stated that the border wall would be paid for by Mexico. During a speech he delivered in Texas, Trump explained that he did not intend for constituents to believe that Mexico would directly pay for the construction of a border wall.

“When I said Mexico would pay for the wall in front of thousands and thousands of people… obviously I never meant Mexico would write a check,” he explained.