Houstonians face impact of partial government shutdown

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by Jeremy Desel / KHOU 11 News

khou.com

Posted on October 1, 2013 at 5:45 PM

Updated Tuesday, Oct 1 at 6:00 PM

HOUSTON – Some Houstonians expressed frustration Tuesday as they faced the impact of a partial government shutdown.

Michelle Ford said she was trying to reach the Internal Revenue Service to pay a bill.

“Could not do any business with them,” she said.

There is a trickledown there too that could, over the next days and weeks, impact everyone trying to close any mortgage loan.

Banks have to verify IRS data as a part of each application and to do that they request a form from the IRS.

“It is sad, unfortunately, a lot of people are dealing with a lot more than I am dealing with today which is jobs and livelihoods,” Ford said.

The biggest impact to jobs in the Houston area is in Clear Lake where at NASA’s Johnson Space Center virtually all of its employees and contractors are furloughed.

Only those working to keep the International Space Station running are working, in all, just 360 of NASA’s more than 18,000 workers nationwide.

The federal courts were up and running, at least for now, because there is money left over in that budget—enough to stay functioning for about ten days. Then the gavel will fall there too.

Problems crop up where you least expect them.

“You worry that you could run into problems, especially if it is time sensitive,” said Ben Crook, who is trying to get a new passport.

The state department says that is possible. The last time the government shut down there were 200,000 backed up passport applications.

Like so many others, Crook hopes it doesn’t last long.

“Ideally it gets done today, or tomorrow, but you never know the way the political systems work,” he said.

When asked, ‘Who is to blame?’ His answer was simple: “Everybody.”

 

 

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