BCFP Open for Business, but FCC May Suspend Operations


Congress is slated to vote on funding to reopen the government Thursday, but the industry may want to review policies for collecting from consumers impacted by the shutdown.

12/31/2018 12:00

The controversial sticking point about the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection’s funding source kept the organization open during the government’s much-publicized partial shutdown that began Saturday, Dec. 22. As most industry watchers know, the BCFP is funded by the Federal Reserve—not  Congressional appropriations—therefore it was business as usual around the office as its recently-confirmed director Kathy Kraninger settled into her new job.

Meanwhile, on New Year’s Eve, the Federal Communications Commission released a statement confirming that it would suspend most operations in the middle of the day Thursday, Jan. 3, 2019, “in the event of a continued partial lapse in federal government funding.”

Because of available funding, the FCC remained open throughout the partial government shutdown, previously noting that it had necessary funding to pay staff through Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2019.

But, the long holiday might conclude later this week as the 116th Congress is expected to vote Thursday on funding appropriations to end the partial shutdown.

Roll Call reports, after Congress votes on a new Speaker of the House—with Nancy Pelosi as the front runner—the House will vote on “six full-year appropriations bills” and a short-term resolution to continue operations at the Department of Homeland Security. Congress is also slated to vote on a rules package to reopen the government.

“The rules package will make the aforementioned appropriations legislation in order so that the Rules Committee does not have to adopt a separate rule to bring up the bill for debate,” according to Roll Call.

The votes will mark the first with the new Democrat majority in the House since the midterm elections.

The partial government shutdown primarily impacted agencies with federal employees that rely on federal funding, such as the U.S. Department of Commerce and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Earlier this week, Roll Call reported nearly 800,000 federal employees were furloughed or without a paycheck.

Similar to when a natural disaster occurs, agencies in the accounts receivable management may want to consider reviewing their internal policies for collecting from consumers experiencing financial hardship.

Similarly, the Office of Personnel Management issued letters for federal employees to communicate with their creditors about rent, mortgages or other bills during the government shutdown, Roll Call reports.

Read more on the impact of the shutdown on the economy in USA Today and ACA International will provide updates relevant to the accounts receivable management industry as Congress begins it 116th session in ACA Daily.

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