President Donald Trump’s new budget for 2019 proposes even steeper cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency than the White House sought during 2017’s proposal.
Trump requested a working budget of $5.4 billion for the EPA, which constitutes a nearly $2.8 billion decrease from the 2017 enacted level, according to the White House’s budget proposal. He asked Congress to cut the agency’s budget $2 billion in 2017.
The higher cuts were not surprising. Trump’s Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney recently suggested the president would enact even steeper reductions than he did for the 2018 budget.
“You still are going to see some reductions in our proposals to the EPA,” Mulvaney said in an interview Sunday with “Fox News Sunday.” “There’s still going to be the president’s priorities as we seek to spend the money consistently with our priorities, not with the priorities that were reflected most by the Democrats in Congress.”
The budget, which was published Monday morning, also puts “duplicative” programs on the chopping blocks – the Climate Change Research and Partnership Programs; the Indoor Air and Radon Programs; the Marine Pollution and National Estuary Programs, among others are targeted in the request.
Trump and Mulvaney believe nixing these programs will save taxpayers approximately $600 million compared to 2017 enacted levels. The budget cuts represent a substantial departure from former President Barack Obama’s final year.
EPA had more than 15,300 employees and a budget of more than $8.1 billion in 2016. About half of EPA staff work at regional offices across the country, even though more than 90 percent of EPA programs are administered by state agencies.
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