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After a prolonged debate over the Congressional budget and the effective date of the new healthcare law, Democrats and Republicans have failed to reach an agreement on appropriations bills for the coming year. That means the federal government has effectively shut down for the foreseeable future, closing all non-essential government agencies, sending home an estimated 1.2 million federal employees, and potentially delaying paychecks for the remaining workers kept on staff. The shutdown will also stymie climate research, close all national parks, and reduce the EPA’s workforce by 93.5%. Read on to learn what the US government shutdown means for the environment.