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Holcomb: Indiana prepared for possible federal government shutdown


Holcomb: Indiana prepared for possible federal government shutdown

Sep 27, 2023 | 1:13 pm ET
By Whitney Downard
Holcomb: Indiana prepared for possible federal government shutdown
Gov. Eric Holcomb talks to reporters about a potential federal government shutdown Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2023. (Leslie Bonilla Muñiz/Indiana Capital Chronicle)

Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb told the press Wednesday that the state was prepared for what appears to be an imminent federal government shutdown that would impact nearly 24,000 Hoosiers — most of whom are employed by cabinet-level agencies.

“I hope it doesn’t (happen) … this is avoidable if cooler heads prevail,” Holcomb said at a biodefense event at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. “But we’ve got the means to get through probably at least a month without any(thing).”

Food benefits for low income families at risk in a government shutdown, White House says

The brunt of any long-lasting impact could be felt by hundreds of thousands of Hoosiers receiving supplemental food benefits, such as SNAP. Holcomb noted that employees would still get their pay but Hoosiers relying upon the safety net system don’t have the same guarantee.

“If you’re looking at the 605,000 Hoosiers are getting SNAP benefits, we hope it’s going to be baked in before the shutdown would occur … we can operate because the dollars mostly are already allocated for our state program,” Holcomb said. “But that’s not to say there won’t be a disruption.”

A shutdown appears likely as Congress continues to debate spending bills. On Monday, the White House warned that a government shutdown would also impact programs like the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC), which has 148,179 Indiana participants — three quarters of whom are minors.

Combined with an ongoing strike against Detroit car manufacturers, which has already triggered ‘temporary’ Stellantis layoffs in Kokomo, and the resumption of student loan payments, Holcomb said the state leaders were “keeping a close eye” on economic conditions.

“All of our projects that we’re investing in and attracting the businesses of the future (that are) not just tethered to one specific sector or industry … we think that will help us weather any cycle,” Holcomb said.