Government Begins Shutdown

The Office of Management and Budget at midnight Monday instructed agencies including the FCC, to begin an orderly shutdown after Congress failed to pass a continuing resolution (CR).

The Commissioners and some essential personnel will still come to work Oct. 1, the FCC said last week in outlining its plan, but the other 1,700 or so staffers will not be able to come in if a CR does not pass by tomorrow morning.

"Appropriations provided under the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2013 (P.L. 113-6) expire at 11:59 p.m. tonight," said OMB Director Sylvia Burwell, according to a copy of the memo to the FCC and others. "Unfortunately, we do not have a clear indication that Congress will act in time for the President to sign a Continuing Resolution before the end of the day tomorrow, Oct. 1, 2013. Therefore, agencies should now execute plans for an orderly shutdown due to the absence of appropriations. We urge Congress to act quickly to pass a Continuing Resolution to provide a short-term bridge that ensures sufficient time to pass a budget for the remainder of the fiscal year, and to restore the operation of critical public services and programs that will be impacted by a lapse in appropriations.

"Agencies should continue to closely monitor developments, and OMB will provide further guidance as appropriate. We greatly appreciate your cooperation and the work you and your agencies do on behalf of the American people."

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.