Shutdown would choke flow of federal regulations


“Documents related to normal or routine activities of Federal agencies, even if funded under prior year appropriations, will not be published,” the Office of the Federal Register (OFR) said in a notice Monday.

According to the office, individual agencies would be tasked with deciding whether their notices would qualify as protecting life or property.

“An agency wishing to submit a document to the OFR during a funding hiatus must attach a transmittal letter to the document which states that publication in the Federal Register is necessary to safeguard human life, protect property, or provide other emergency services consistent with the performance of functions and services exempted under” federal law, the office said. 

That duty might be more difficult for some agencies than others.

Most workers at the Environmental Protection Agency, Labor Department and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, for instance, would be sent home and prevented from coming into work. The Federal Reserve and Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, however, which aren’t funded by congressional appropriations, would be largely unaffected by a shutdown.

Additionally, other aspects of the Federal Register, such as the currently updated online Code of Federal Regulations, would be suspended immediately during a shutdown, according to an office blog post