The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission will not investigate any charges of discrimination or respond to questions from the public during the shutdown. It will request delays in ongoing court proceedings and will not hold any hearings or mediations. The National Labor Relations Board, which investigates and remedies unfair labor practices, has virtually ceased to exist during the shutdown. More than 99 percent of its staff has been furloughed, postponing nearly every pending hearing, investigation and union election.
The Internal Revenue Service says more than 12 million taxpayers who filed for automatic extensions in the spring have tax returns due on Tuesday. Those returns, the agency says, are still due, regardless of the shutdown.The IRS suspended all audits and will not be processing any tax refunds during the shutdown. Got questions? Sorry, IRS call centers will not be staffed, though automated lines are still running. ECONOMIC DATA How well is the economy faring? That's harder to tell given the array of economic reports measuring the health of the nation's economy that have been postponed. The reports measure such things as monthly unemployment, inflation, imports and exports, and retail sales. HOUSING Some borrowers are finding it harder to close on their mortgages. The delays could worsen if the shutdown continues and possibly undercut the nation's housing recovery. Some lenders are having trouble confirming applicants' income tax returns and Social Security data due to government agency closures. Furloughs at the Federal Housing Administration are slowing the agency's processing of loans for some low- to moderate-income borrowers and first-time homebuyers. About 15 percent of new loans for home purchases are insured by the FHA. The Department of Housing and Urban Development won't be able to provide any additional payments to the nation's 3,300 public housing authorities during the shutdown, but those authorities should have enough money to continue providing rental assistance through the end of December.