Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt appears to be betting on a short-term government shutdown, saying he doesn't see the need to commit to longer-term plans unless it extends beyond next Friday.
"At this time, EPA has sufficient resources to remain open for a limited amount of time in the event of a government shutdown," Pruitt said Friday. "All EPA employees should follow their normal work schedule for the week of Jan. 22, 2018."
However, should the shutdown "occur and remain in place through Jan. 26, 2018, we will provide further updates on the agency’s operating status," he added.
The EPA has a thorough government shutdown plan on its website that was updated on December 2017. But an EPA spokesman advised reporters not to use details from that plan in filing stories.
“The plan on the website is required to be put on the site as a contingency plan, but it doesn't necessary accurately reflect what our current plans will be," said spokesman Jahan Wilcox. "To take that plan and deduce what is actually going to happen is not accurate reporting."
He said the agency's "plans are in flux," and its actions are consistent with that of other agencies.