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How Could ‘Sequester’ Affect FCC, Licensees?

The short answer is that it’s too soon to tell

The short answer is it’s too soon to tell, though the agency is working hard to mitigate the impact on consumers, the communications industry, and commission staff, according to a spokesman.

As the clock ticks toward midnight, when the so-called “sequester” would take effect, government agencies are bracing for the impact of across-the-board cuts.

Without some last-minute agreement between the White House and Congress, $85 billion in automatic federal spending cuts are set to go into effect across the next several months.

How would that affect the FCC and its licensees?

The FCC’s total budget is $340 million. If the cuts occur, the agency would see its budget cut by $17 million, or 5% of its budget, according to The Hill.

The cuts would be spaced out over seven months.

��We have been developing plans to try to mitigate the impact of these cuts on consumers, the communications sector, and our staff,” a spokesman told the Hill, who adds the cuts would likely occur in travel budgets, office supplies and outside contracts.

Readers may remember in a similar situation about a year or two ago, anticipated cuts to the FCC’s travel budget meant that some employees who had been scheduled to speak at the NAB Show couldn’t travel at the last minute, causing at least one panel to be cancelled and others to be changed. It remains to be seen how any travel budget cuts may impact agency employee’s ability to attend out-of-town conferences.

At the moment, the commission doesn’t plan to furlough or lay-off employees, according to the account.