EPA to "Effectively Shut Down" Without Budget Deal

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The head of the Environmental Protection Agency says the agency will "effectively shut down" unless Congress approves stopgap funding by Oct. 1.

EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy says the agency won't be able to pay employees. She says only a core group of people will remain on duty in case the EPA has to respond to a "significant emergency." The vast majority of employees will stay home.

That means that most of EPA's functions, like drafting regulations and enforcing laws to protect the environment, will likely remain stalled until government operations fully resume.

Congress has a week left to reach a deal to avoid the first shutdown since 1996. Lawmakers are at odds over a Republican plan to defund President Barack Obama's health care law as part of the stopgap measure.

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