Consumer groups tell senators to reject piecemeal funding bills

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“This would lead to the most visible programs being funded, while other essential services are ignored,” wrote Katherine McFate and Robert Weissman, the coalition’s co-chairs and the presidents of the Center for Effective Government and Public Citizen, respectively.

They note that agencies like the Environmental Protection Agency, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Consumer Product Safety Commission might not perform the most front-and-center work, but are necessary to make sure Americans have clean air and safe products. Some of those agencies are operating with less than 10 percent of their staff, since the vast majority has been furloughed by the shutdown.

“Congress should not be asked to cherry-pick from menus of federal programs and agencies during a self-made budgetary crisis when Americans need all federal agencies up and running to protect them,” they wrote.

On Tuesday, the House approved a measure to fund Head Start programs, the tenth short-term spending bill the chamber has sent to the Senate.

Democrats have opposed the effort, and President Obama has pledged to veto each of the individual funding bills. To resolve the government shutdown, they say, Congress should renew funding for the entire government.