FMCSA would still operate should government shutdown occur

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U.S. House of Representatives

Unless Congress reaches an agreement on 12 major spending bills, many functions of the U.S. government could shut as of 12:01 a.m. Sunday, Oct. 1.

However, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, the primary regulator of truckers and trucking companies, would continue on with business as usual. None of its 1,121 employees would be furloughed or have their pay delayed, like many federal employees in other agencies. 

Dave Heller, senior vice president for safety and government affairs at the Truckload Carriers Association, said FMCSA will see no disruption if funding for government operations is not extended.

"Most of the highway transportation sector, particularly FMCSA is funded through the Highway Trust Fund, which is an entirely different funding mechanism than is being spoken about right now," said Heller.

The same can be said for agencies within the Department of Transportation including the Federal Highway Administration, the Federal Transit Administration and the Great Lakes, and the St. Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation.

However, curtailed funding would cause a reduction in services and staffing to one degree or another in the Office of the Secretary of Transporation, the Office of the Inspector General, the Maritime Administration, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, the Federal Railroad Administration, and the Federal Aviation Administration. 

Services and enforcement at cross-border customs checkpoints would continue as normal.

In all, some 18,744 employees in the Department of Transportation would be furloughed if the government shuts down, according to the department's shutdown plan.

The possible disruption of many government services is being caused by disagreements between House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and members of the conservative Freedom Caucus, who are calling for significant reductions in government spending.