White House Proposes Expanded Cuts to EPA Budget

Mick Mulvaney, the director of the Office of Management and Budget, initially penciled in a 24% budget cut for the Environmental Protection Agency, but he had second thoughts when the White House released its budget request to Congress for fiscal year 2018. Instead of 24%, OMB is going to send Congress an EPA budget that is $5.7 billion, or 31% below current funding of $8.1 billion.

To achieve a 31% cut, OMB recommends eliminating fifty or so programs at EPA, including all climate programs, and reducing employee levels by 3200, or 20% of the agency’s workforce. See pages 41 and 42 of President Trump’s budget blueprint for more details.      

The 31% cut for EPA is the largest percentage reduction requested for any federal department or major agency. The State Department is a close second at 29%. OMB wants to cut the Department of the Interior by 12% and the Department of Energy by 6%.

The Washington Post headlined its story, “Trump’s budget takes a sledgehammer to the EPA,” and quoted Mulvaney: “You can’t drain the swamp and leave all the people in it. So, I guess the first place that comes to mind will be the Environmental Protection Agency. The president wants a smaller EPA. He thinks they overreach, and the budget reflects that.”