If Congress fails to strike a budget deal and the government shuts down Tuesday, the Federal Elections Commission will furlough nearly all of its employees -- just as all federal candidates are preparing to submit their third-quarter fundraising results.
According to the FEC's official shutdown plan, 335 of the commission's 339 employees will be told not to come to work for the duration of a government shutdown.
An FEC spokesperson declined further comment pending a statement by the commission.
The timing is inopportune for the FEC, as it will be on the receiving end of a crush of third-quarter filings from campaigns and committees beginning Tuesday through Oct. 15. Monday is the final day for candidates to raise money for the third quarter.
Among the employees furloughed by the commission will be "case workers" assigned to guide campaigns through the filing process and to help them avoid incurring penalties for mistakes.
It is yet unclear how the filing process itself could be affected. Members of the House of Representatives in particular might face challenges because they submit their filings electronically to the FEC, and some government websites will not be accessible during a shutdown. Senate filings are submitted by mail to the secretary of the Senate, who then delivers them to the FEC.
A Senate fundraiser confirmed that, as of Monday, the FEC had not reached out to campaigns to inform them of any changes to procedure during a government shutdown.