President Donald Trump will ask Congress to cut funding from the EPA and Department of State to boost defense spending, according to senior administration officials.
Trump wants “a budget with tens of billions of dollars in reductions to the Environmental Protection Agency and State Department,” officials familiar with the plan told The New York Times. He will leverage these cuts to ask for more defense spending.
The real target could be EPA and State global warming programs. Trump promised to “cancel billions in global warming payments to the United Nations, and use that money to support America’s vital environmental infrastructure and natural resources.”
The transition team asked the State Department in December how much it gave to environmental groups working on climate issues. Trump’s team clarified the president would “cancel all wasteful climate change spending,” and auditors estimate federal agencies spent $77 billion on climate programs from 2008 and 2013.
Trump will likely halt funding to the United Nation’s Green Climate Fund (GCF). President Barack Obama handed $1 billion to the GCF, which is one-third of his $3 billion funding pledge. The State Department already deleted its climate policy webpage.
Obama’s last budget proposal for EPA asked for $1.1 billion to spend on global warming programs. A leaked transition team memo called for $513 million in cuts to the “states and tribal assistance grants,” $193 million in savings from eliminating agency global warming programs and another $109 million in savings cutting “environment programs and management.”
But that’s not all Trump looks to cut, according to NYT.
“Social safety net programs, aside from the big entitlement programs for retirees, would also be hit hard,” NYT reported.
The budget proposal is a “product of a collaboration between the Office of Management and Budget director, Mick Mulvaney; the National Economic Council director, Gary Cohn; and the White House chief strategist, Stephen K. Bannon.”
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