Hoosiers prepare for looming government shutdown

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David MacAnally/Eyewitness News

Indianapolis - The White House just announced that the President is canceling his visit to Indianapolis Friday. He is staying in Washington as a federal government shutdown is 24 hours away.

That federal government shutdown could have a major impact on the lives of Americans. House Republicans pushed through a band-aid bill to keep the government running with a two-percent cut in spending but the president threatened a veto.

The canceled trip shows both sides determined here to work out a compromise to the budget crisis, or at least not be blamed for a shutdown.

Meanwhile, tax filing deadline is days away.

"Whatever Mike tells me to do, I will do," said Nick Samuel, a client of Liberty Tax Service.

Tax preparer Mike Barley tells clients to file electronically. Experts say with a government shutdown looming, the 30 percent of taxpayers who mail in returns could have to wait longer for their refunds.

Barley says when taxpayers file electronically it all goes into a queue in the computer. But taxes filed by paper will just sit there until somebody can review them and there may not be anyone there to do that in a shutdown.

"I have had clients call and ask if it's going to affect them," said preparer Jim Batten. He tells these clients that it is unclear and says even in a shutdown the deadlines still apply for state and federal taxes.

At the airport, while flights would not be affected, travelers' plans could be. National parks and museums may also be shut down and passport applications could go unprocessed.

The day before the president's now canceled arrival, Republican Mike Pence flew back home.

"This is a fight worth making," he said.

Pence says Republicans don't want government shutdown but want budget cuts passed first. A package of $12 billion in cuts, including cuts in aid to Planned Parenthood and trimming the power of the EPA. He blames senate democrats for any shutdown by blocking those cuts.

"If they want to play political games and force a shutdown, then let's shut it down," Pence said. "No one wants a government shutdown."

From a traveler listening in on Pence, "You guys have to tell us the truth and if it's bad, it's bad."

Pence thanked her for her comment.