Trump’s proposed 2019 budget, released on February 12, is a terrible attack on critical programs in almost every corner of the federal budget. It slashes Medicaid, education, job training, heating assistance, and more while handing billions of additional dollars to defense contractors. It breaks Trump’s promise not to cut Social Security. And it would turn food assistance into a shell of what it is now by cutting billions of dollars out and taking choice away from families.
But it is also a disaster for protecting the environment. This budget:
- Cuts EPA funding by 23%. It also eliminates 3,200 staff positions—that’s 20% of the EPA’s workforce. It completely eliminates programs like Energy Star, intended to improve energy efficiency and save consumers money; grants to prevent pollution; and funding for environmental education programs. The budget would totally eliminate state grants for lead risk reduction, protecting beaches, and preventing pollution. But don’t worry—there’s still plenty of money in the budget for EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt to fly first-class and have an unprecedented round-the-clock security detail.
- Jeopardizes our clean water. The budget eliminates funding to clean up the Gulf of Mexico, Lake Champlain, Long Island Sound, Puget Sound, San Francisco Bay, the Everglades, and the Florida Keys. It also eliminates Water Quality Research and Support Grants, and cuts Public Water System Supervision grants by a third despite the crisis state for drinking-water systems in urban and rural areas alike.
- Endangers the air we breathe. According to the American Lung Association, 125 million Americans live in counties with unhealthy levels of air pollution. Nevertheless, the budget makes huge cuts to federal support for air quality management—funding that helps states clean up polluted air so they meet federal health standards. It also eliminates Targeted Airshed grants, which help reduce air pollution in some of the most polluted areas of the country.
- Makes us less prepared to deal with the effects of climate change. EPA is not the only target of Trump’s terrible budget of course—climate programs across the federal agencies are in the crosshairs. The budget would eliminate the Global Climate Change Research program, which coordinates scientific research on climate across 13 agencies; cut five climate change programs from NASA; and force five regional climate science centers to close.
Remember: Congress—not the President—Funds the Government
Trump’s budget proposal is just that: a proposal. It is non-binding. Congress will ultimately determine which programs are funded and at what levels, but we still need to send a strong signal that we won’t stand for the Republicans’ efforts to slash the government’s critical functions to line their donors’ pockets. Make sure your MoCs are sticking up for you and your priorities in the budget fight, and not for Trump.