The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) issued a press release earlier this week stating that it will suspend operations midday today due to running out of funding caused by the partial shutdown of the federal government.
In a notice released on Wednesday, January 2, the FCC outlined the impact of the shutdown to its operations. The notice states that many of the FCC’s operational functions will be unavailable. The FCC will remain open to for spectrum auction activities, as they are funded by the auctions and not impacted by the government shutdown, and for emergencies.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) remains closed due to lack of funding from the partial shutdown. The shutdown makes the FTC’s Do Not Call Registry, Complaint Assistant, and Identitytheft.gov unavailable.
The partial shutdown began on December 22, 2018. Today, the newly-elected members of congress will be sworn in. With the new Congress in place, there is a shift of power in the House of Representatives, which is likely to have an impact on the shutdown.
For the many people and entities seeking clarity from the FCC regarding the TCPA, the partial shutdown is not good news. The Ninth Circuit turned the TCPA world on its head when it issued its Marks v. Crunch San Diego, LLC decision, leaving everyone confused about what is and is not an automatic telephone dialing system. The FCC’s partial closure during the shutdown only means one thing: delay to those waiting for answers.