Trump announced the agreement to break the 35-day impasse as intensifying delays at the nation’s airports and widespread disruptions brought new urgency to efforts to resolve the standoff. The deal would open the government for three weeks while negotiations continue over the president’s demands for money to build his long-promised wall at the U.S.-Mexico border.
The FCC said it plans to proceed with the scheduled Jan. 30 public meeting, but it will be pretty much of a pro forma exercise since there will be no votes on any of the agenda items. “There is a requirement in the Communications Act that the FCC meet monthly,” said an FCC spokesperson.
One downside of a government shutdown — or the present partial shutdown that includes the FCC — is the inability of technology companies to obtain the FCC certifications they need to market certain kinds of new products. Good news: the FCC has reopened a website that makes it possible for most (not all) new devices to obtain their certifications.
Vehicle certification is among the functions halted by the nearly four-week partial shutdown of the federal government, meaning automakers could face delays in launching new and updated models if the impasse in Washington drags on.
The effect of the government shutdown is now becoming clear — and it has the potential to put on hold a number of the FCC deadlines, including the filing of Quarterly Children’s Television Reports due on January 10 and the uploading of Quarterly Issues Programs lists, due to be added to station’s public inspection files on January 10. The FCC-hosted public inspection file database is offline, so those Quarterly Issues Programs lists can’t be uploaded unless the budget impasse is resolved this week. And there’s more.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer say they will respond to President’s Trump Tuesday speech on his proposed border wall. ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, Fox broadcasting, Fox News Channel, Fox Business Network and MSNBC all said they would air the rebuttal.
Stations have obligations that must be met even while the FCC is closed and for which a broadcaster has no option but to wait until the FCC reopens. The distinction is not always a common-sense one. For example, stations must still prepare various quarterly reports for placement in the Public Inspection File by Jan. 10, but those reports cannot actually be uploaded to the online Public File until the FCC reopens, as the FCC took its Public Inspection File database offline when it closed on Jan. 3, making it impossible for stations to upload those reports.
Proving once again that nature abhors a vacuum, we’ve just learned of another bit of fallout for broadcasters from the federal shutdown — scammers are apparently calling broadcast stations pretending to be calling on behalf of the FCC and seeking to collect “FCC fees” over the telephone. The first of these calls that we heard about occurred within six hours of the FCC shutting down.
Do you have a deal to buy a new station or a planned technical modification that needs FCC approval? Well, it looks like those plans may have to wait as the budget controversy in Washington has shut down the FCC. But what does the shut-down really mean for broadcasters? The FCC clarified some of the questions broadcasters have.
If the partial government shutdown continues through Thursday (Jan. 3), which appears likely, the FCC will shut down most operations midday Thursday. Employees will have about four hours to complete “an orderly shutdown.” One thing not affected, the FCC says, is the resumption of the 28 GHz spectrum auction.
A long-awaited federal probe into Facebook will be hamstrung when the agency conducting the investigation runs out of funding on Friday, according to former government officials. The investigation into Facebook’s conduct — and whether its handling of user data violated a 2011 consent order with the Federal Trade Commission — has stretched on for months. But now the government shutdown threatens to prolong the FTC’s investigation, even as Facebook’s mounting scandals have prompted calls for a swift and decisive response from the agency.
The partial government shutdown began at midnight Friday (Dec. 21) after Congress failed to agree on an appropriations bill or a stop-gap funding measure. The FCC announced that it had funding available to pay staff through at least the close of business Jan. 2 despite the shutdown.
A government shutdown was looking more likely late Thursday (Dec. 20) after the House passed an appropriations bill, with over $5 billion in “wall/steel slat” funding that the Senate is unlikely to pass. If so, the FCC could continue to operate if it has prior-year funding to tap into, but if not, it will scale back to activities “immediately necessary for the protection of life and property.”
Chuck Schumer and Mitch McConnell announce a deal to re-open the government after a three-day standoff. The Senate voted 81-18 to move forward on a bill to fund the government through Feb. 8 after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) agreed to end the shutdown and continue to negotiate on immigration and spending matters.
The commission on Friday announced that “In the event of a partial government shutdown, because of available funding, the Federal Communications Commission plans to remain open and pay staff at least through the close of business on Friday, Jan. 26.”
The FCC is delaying high-profile actions, including a key spectrum auction, as it plays catch-up after the government shutdown. Acting Chairwoman Mignon Clyburn had originally scheduled an auction for the so-called H-Block for Jan. 14. The auction, which will be the first major airwaves sale since 2008, is now slated to start on Jan. 22, the FCC announced today. That could push it into next year’s fiscal battles.
NEW YORK (AP) — The federal government shutdown damaged the reputations of Washington politicians but proved good business for the cable television news networks — and taught some reporters new benefits of virtually instant communications. CNN, Fox News Channel and MSNBC saw their viewership increase during the 16-day partial shutdown, peaking at more than five […]
The FCC, upon reopening after the government shutdown, suspended filing deadlines until it could sort out some rational way of returning to normality. Late Thursday night, the FCC announced its solution to that problem. After the past few weeks of uncertainty, those regulated by the FCC now know how to proceed (more or less). The FCC’s approach will win no points for elegant simplicity, but it is an earnest — and appreciated — effort to avoid merely going with a “one size fits all” approach.
The Senate voted first, a bipartisan 81-18 at midevening Wednesday. That cleared the way for a final 285-144 vote in the Republican-controlled House about two hours later on the legislation, which hewed strictly to the terms Obama laid down when the twin crises erupted more than three weeks ago. The legislation would permit the Treasury to borrow normally through Feb. 7 or perhaps a month longer, and fund the government through Jan. 15.
Officials said the Senate proposal called for the Treasury to have authority to continue borrowing through Feb. 7, and the government would reopen through Jan. 15. The White House welcomed the compromise. After abandoning their own plan on Tuesday, House members quietly awaited Senate action, resigned to the likelihood that they would have to back the deal or plunge the nation into default.
BERLIN (AP) — The United States government shutdown could have the unintended effect of making Germans go to bed earlier. Fans hoping for fresh episodes of a cult late-night German TV show featuring footage of Earth seen from space accompanied by ambient music have been told its relaunch will be delayed by at least two […]
The government shutdown could delay a Food and Drug Administration ruling that is expected to curb TV advertisements of e-cigarettes. The FDA had announced its plan to issue a decision in October on whether and how to regulate the booming e-cig industry. But the shutdown, now in its seventh day, has furloughed 45% of the agency’s employees, including some working on tobacco issues.