The US is once again hours away from another federal government shutdown as Democrats and Republicans in Washington failed to pass a government funding grant bill and vote to raise the country’s debt ceiling.
Funding for the fiscal year ends at midnight on September 30 and the new fiscal year begins October 1, reports USA Today. It would be the second shutdown since 2019 if Congress doesn’t take action.
What do you need to know ?:The federal government could close this week. This is how it could affect you.
A failure in funding could result in leave of absence for hundreds of thousands of federal employees, including those in Indiana. It could also disrupt some non-essential government services and functions.
Americans rely on the federal government to provide food and clothing for their families, help buy homes, get medical and social benefits, and look after federal parkland, among other things.
Here’s how a state shutdown could affect three areas that Hoosiers could take advantage of.
What happens to mortgages, loan approvals, and housing benefits?
During a government shutdown, the Internal Revenue Service is unable to verify income and social security numbers, according to a paper by the Federal Responsible Budget Committee, a DC-based nonprofit public organization. This can cause delays in mortgage and loan approval.
“At least 26,000 IRS employees on leave were called back to work during the 2018-2019 closure in preparation for tax season, but 14,000 did not show up for work without pay,” wrote the Federal Responsible Budget Paper.
The effects may not be felt on the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority or IHCDA.
“IHCDA will continue normal operations in the event of a government shutdown,” said housing authority spokeswoman Lauren Houck. “Our programs such as rental and utility support will continue to operate at their normal capacity.”
What will happen to our national park?
During the 2019 closure, some parks were completely closed while others remained open but not manned or serviced. This led to overcrowded toilets and devastated parks.
Indiana received its first national park, Indiana Dunes National Park, after it closed in 2019, meaning it was not affected in 2019.
The Office of Management and Budget has a contingency plans page for each agency, but the Home Office’s plan wasn’t released Tuesday, so it’s unclear how national parks, including Indiana Dunes National Park, would be affected during this closure.
The National Parks Service did not respond to IndyStar questions.
What happens to the benefits of TANF and SNAP?
To date, federal agencies that work with the state to manage payments for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, also known as grocery stamps, and the Temporary Aid to Needy Families that provides cash assistance and support programs, don’t anticipate any changes, Jim Gavin said , Director of the FSSA Communications and Media Bureau.
Indiana recipients should expect to still receive the SNAP and TANF benefits in a timely manner – unless something changes, Gavin added.
As part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s contingency plan for federal funding shortfalls, the SNAP program, which helps low-income families with food purchases, is expected to continue.
The plan reflects the continuation of the essential activities and funding required to maintain core programs such as SNAP, the Child Nutrition Program, and the Special Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC).
However, the Federal Responsible Budget Committee said in a paper on the shutdown that the longer the government shutdown the longer the government shutdown may affect the ability to send SNAP payments. The nonprofit said ongoing resolutions authorize the USDA to send benefits for 30 days after a shutdown begins.
Visit again:Shutdown means 585,000 Hoosiers will receive food stamps early in February
âDuring the 2018-2019 shutdown, the USDA paid the SNAP benefits in February early on January 20, just before the 30-day window expired, but it would not have been able to pay the benefits in March if the Closure would have continued, âreads the committee’s paper. “In addition, stores cannot renew their Electronic Power Transfer (EBT) card licenses during a closure, so those whose licenses expire cannot accept SNAP benefits during a closure.”
Contact IndyStar reporter Alexandria Burris at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 317-617-2690. Follow her on Twitter: @allyburris.