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TSA conveyor belt at Indianapolis International Airport

Source: (Photo: Eric Berman/WIBC)

INDIANAPOLIS — Once again federal employees are likely going to be on the hook if lawmakers cannot agree to a spending plan to keep the government running.

Lawmakers are once again at odds over spending with many Republican lawmakers holding out demanding spending cuts that Democrats as well as other Republicans are likely not to abide by. They have until Saturday to pass some sort of deal to either fully fund the government or kick the can down the road with a stop-gap measure.

Regardless of what happens, federal workers, such as TSA officers, will likely feel the effect if the government shuts down.

“Even if they do pass a budget (after any kind of shutdown) and we get that back pay, our officers will still get those fines from late fees and credit cards,” said Myles Wagner, the vice president of the local union in Indianapolis that represents TSA workers.

Wagner said if a shutdown happens, travelers can likely expect long lines and waits to go through security at the airport because typically many TSA workers ask for time off.

“We do have some employees that approach management and ask for leave without pay for a period during the shutdown because they simply can’t afford to leave their house anymore,” he said. “If an officer can’t pay to come into work, they can’t afford that gas money, they might not be able to come in and help with screening operations.”

Wagner said lawmakers holding out on passing a budget are doing so at the expense of government employees who rely on the government being open for a steady paycheck.

TSA workers and other government workers typically receive a letter from the government during a shutdown that they can then show their mortgage lender or credit card companies explaining why they can’t make any payments. However, those companies are not legally bound to accept those letters.