February 25, 2019
In mid-February, Congress passed and the President signed a $333 billion package to fund the government through the end of September. The package included seven spending bills to fund nine departments and multiple agencies, $1.375 billion for border fencing, and an approximately two-percent raise increase for federal workers. In response, President Trump declared a national emergency to reallocate federal monies to build a wall at the U.S. Mexico border. Subsequently, 16 states filed a lawsuit challenging the president’s authority to do so.
As a result of the 35-day government shutdown, most federal agencies are a month or more behind in their work. This includes the Department of Energy (DOE) that is to review energy conservation standards for automatic commercial ice makers, commercial refrigeration equipment and walk-in coolers/walk-in freezers early this year. It also has delayed promised process improvements from DOE and EPA (see previous article).