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CEI Reacts to Trump's FY19 Budget Proposals for CFPB, EPA, and Regulatory Reform

CEI experts react to provisions in President Trump’s fiscal year 2019 budget proposal released on February 12, 2018.

Read more suggestions from CEI on how to shrink the government’s ever-growing bureaucracy here.

CEI Senior Fellow John Berlau said the following about Trump’s proposal to subject the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) to the congressional appropriations process:  

President Trump’s budget rightly recognizes that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has not only limited options for consumers and devastated Main Street banks, credit unions, and entrepreneurs, it has also been a huge drain on the taxpayers. The hundreds of millions of dollars it has gotten from the Federal Reserve for its operations would otherwise be sent by the Fed to the Treasury to reduce taxpayers’ burden.

Because of this clear impact on the budget, Congress should defund the CFPB through the budget reconciliation process, which only requires a simple majority. Then Congress can debate whether to put the CFPB under appropriations or give its core consumer protection functions to other agencies and departments. Both options would restore needed accountability.

>> Read the CEI report: "The Case against the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau."

Myron Ebell, director of CEI’s Center for Energy and Environment, said the following about Trump’s budget proposal for the Environmental Protection Agency:

Cutting the EPA’s budget by 23 percent is a good start, but unfortunately, members of Congress like to spend taxpayers’ money, so it’s going to take a lot of work to convince Congress to make even half of the proposed cuts. The best news is that big budget cuts require big reductions in the number of employees, and fewer regulators at the EPA mean less overregulation.

The president’s budget request also zeroes out more of the climate programs created by earlier administrations. These programs have proliferated and grown, so if other climate programs that haven’t been eliminated are discovered, we hope Congress will get rid of them as well. 

Additional funding was added to the EPA request as a result of the budget agreement recently passed by Congress. In general, the administration has done the right thing by directing additional funds to cleaning up Superfund toxic waste sites and pass-through grants to the states for safe drinking water projects. 

>> Read more CEI recommendations for EPA reforms here.

CEI Vice President for Policy Wayne Crews on Trump’s regulatory reform provisions in latest White House budget proposal:

It’s heartening to see a regulatory reform section in President Trump’s latest budget, and we look forward to learning more in March about the administration’s plans to streamline and restructure functions across federal agencies in “The President’s Management Agenda.”

We cannot ignore the mounting debt and the astonishing reality that the deficit will be nearly $1 trillion this year. Given a federal debt topping $20 trillion, rising interest rates can kill the progress the administration has made on boosting economic growth. If spending isn’t cut, further regulatory reforms may be the only hope. Although Trump has taken steps to make cutting red tape a priority, the administration needs to recognize that to truly roll back government bureaucracy, spending and regulation cuts must go hand in hand.

>> Read more CEI recommendations on how the Trump administration can rollback red tape here.