The FCC will prepare to shut its doors Tuesday as Congress failed Monday to meet a midnight dealine for funding the government, which has resulted in a government shutdown.
The FCC posted to its website a Plan for Orderly Shutdown, which states that "all FCC activities other than those immediately necessary for the protection of life or property will cease."
The government-wide lapse in funding has suspended the commission's informal 180-day time clock for review of transactions. The individual time clock for each pending transaction will be stopped on the day of review that coincides with the last business day before the lapse in funding, which is September 30, 2013.
Suspended activities include, among many others: Consumer complaint and inquiry phone lines cannot be answered; consumer protection and local competition enforcement must cease; licensing services, including broadcast, wireless, and wireline, must cease; management of radio spectrum and the creation of new opportunities for competitive technologies and services for the American public must be suspended; and equipment authorizations, including those bringing new electronic devices to American consumers, cannot be provided.
All FCC employees will report to work Tuesday if necessary to conduct the orderly shutdown of operations. The FCC said it estimates that the time required for each employee to accomplish an orderly shutdown will be not more than four hours with very rare exceptions.
The shutdown comes as the Republican controlled House wrangles with the Democrat controlled Senate over implementation of the Affordable Care Act, which goes into effect today. Republicans tried to tie a proposal that would delay implementation of President Obama's healthcare law to the funding bill. Democrats refused to sign the short-term spending bill, arguing that the included stipulations as part of routine government funding extension amounted to the taking of hostages.