Aerial view of the Washington Monument. (Wikimedia Commons)
The U.S. government has been operating under a partial shutdown since Dec. 22.
As NPR reports, the shutdown, driven by a political battle over President Trump's demand that Congress approve funds for a wall along the border with Mexico, is touching the lives of Americans in myriad ways.
Nine federal departments (and some smaller agencies like NASA) are affected, at least in part, by the lapse in funding: Agriculture, Commerce, Justice, Homeland Security, Housing and Urban Development, Interior, State, Transportation and the Treasury.
Here are some of the ways Hoosiers have been directly impacted by the shutdown.
Editor's note: have you been personally impacted by the government shutdown? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you'd like to share your story.
Hoosiers who receive food through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, will receive February benefits despite the government shutdown. The USDA directed states to apply and issue benefits early.
The Family and Social Services Administration says it will facilitate an early lump sum issuance on Jan. 19. Usually benefits are provided throughout the month. People on SNAP in Indiana are therefore encouraged to budget food benefits for next month.
Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore
Visitors still have access to the 15,000-acre Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, but all rangers except security staff have been furloughed and many programs have been cancelled.
Notably, the Visitor Center is operated by Dunes Tourism and remains open.
Hoosier National Forest
The U.S. Forest Service offices in southern Indiana are closed, as well as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services Field Office.
The Farm Service Agency, which processes federal subsidy payments to farmers, is closed. Those payments to Hoosier farmers could be delayed as a result.
East Chicago Public Meeting
The Environmental Protection Agency cancelled a public hearing on a cleanup plan at the USS Lead Superfund site in East Chicago due to the government shutdown. The meeting was set for Thursday Jan. 10 at 6 p.m. at the former Carrie Gosch School.
After a contentious meeting in November,residents asked for a second hearingon the EPA’s plans to remediate a portion of the site where the former West Calumet Housing Complex once stood.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced it must delay the release of key crop reports, leaving investors and farmers without vital information during an already tumultuous time for agricultural markets.
The reports detail the size of the 2018 harvests of corn, soybean, wheat and other crops and give an early estimate for what farmers will plant in the upcoming season.
Hoosiers traveling by air during the shutdown should be aware that many FAA safety inspectors aren't working. That means many planes are not being inspected and pilot training is not being certified, according to NPR.
TSA employees and air traffic controllers are still working because they're considered essential, but they aren't being paid.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration furloughed about 40 percent of its staff since the government shutdown. The agency has suspended all routine inspections of food processing facilities in the U.S., The Washington Postreports.
E15 Rule Change Delayed
Farmers are worried the shutdown might further delay a proposal to allow gasoline with 15 percent ethanol to be sold year-round. The Trump administration’s goal was to have it in effect this summer.
The Environmental Protection Agency originally decided not to allow E15 to be sold in the summer months because more ethanol in gasoline makes it evaporate more quickly, causing more smog. The shutdown is only making the process of overturning that ban longer.