FCC Faces Near Total Shutdown If Government Doesn't Reopen

The regulator said it “will suspend most operations in the middle of the day on Thursday" unless the shutdown is resolved.

The government shutdown, in its 12th day on Wednesday, will force the Federal Communications Commission’s work to a near-total halt if it continues for another day.

Without funding, the regulator said in a statement this week, the FCC “will suspend most operations in the middle of the day on Thursday, January 3.”

“At that time, employees will have up to four hours to complete an orderly shutdown of operations,” the statement said.

The FCC’s general shutdown plan specifies that more than 80 percent of staff would be furloughed. However, the FCC assured that “work required for the protection of life and property will continue, as will any work related to spectrum auctions, which is funded by auction proceeds.”

“In addition, the Office of the Inspector General will continue operations until further notice.”

The FCC said it would give public notice on Wednesday explaining the impact of the imminent partial closure. The notice will address “electronic filing and database systems, filing deadlines, regulatory and application fee payments, transaction shot clocks, and more,” the FCC said.

The government has been partially closed since Dec. 22 over President Donald Trump’s demand that border wall funding be included in any spending bill passed by Congress. Democrats, who take control of the House on Thursday, have promised to pass spending legislation that would allow the government to reopen without wall funding.