President Donald Trump’s budget would shrink the Environmental Protection Agency’s expenditures and staffing to Reagan-era levels, according to a George Washington University study published Tuesday.
Trump’s 2018 Budget of the United States Government draft cuts EPA expenditures and its personnel by about a quarter each. Outlays are reduced from $5.5 billion in 2017 to $4.1 billion in 2018. The EPA’s staff is cut from 15,500 to 11,689, according to the study.
If Trump’s budget were adopted, expenditures would be the lowest the EPA has seen since 1987. The agency hasn’t employed below 12,000 people since 1984.
Former President Ronald Reagan’s administration built up the EPA during his tenure. The agency budget grew from $3 billion in 1981 to $5.2 billion in 1989, according to the EPA.
EPA Staffing declined between 1981 and 1983 while Anne Burford, Supreme Court Neil Gorsuch’s mom, served as EPA administrator. After she resigned, personnel increased every consecutive year until the end of Reagan’s presidency, except 1989 when it fell by just 72 employees.
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