June 23, 2017 — U.S. EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt testified on the White House's proposed budget in a hearing before the House Appropriations Interior-EPA subcommittee this week and House Republicans and Democrats alike took turns letting him know that these budget proposals were not likely to be "retained."

"These are all proposals we are unlikely to retain,” said Rep. Ken Calvert (R-Calif.), chairman of the House Appropriations subcommittee in charge of the agency's budget. (Bloomberg BNA, 6/16/17)

Earlier this spring, President Trump released his complete FY 2018 budget. The biggest cuts proposed are to the Environmental Protection Agency, which will be cut by 31.4 percent  -- a $2.6 billion cut from the agency’s FY17 CR budget of $8.3 billion -- and its lowest level in 40 years. According to Trump's Budget Director, Mick Mulvaney, "the president wants a smaller EPA. He thinks they overreach."

While many Republicans broadly share those goals, they also object to some of the budget's specific cuts, especially plans to eliminate programs that help restore waterways, including the Chesapeake Bay, Great Lakes, Puget Sound and Long Island Sound.  Appropriators have already indicated they will not cut EPA's budget as severely as the White House's proposal, particularly on state grants and popular programs cleaning up the Great Lakes, the Chesapeake Bay and other regions. 

Pruitt defended the administration's approach, arguing the budget request “significantly reduces or eliminates funding for mature programs that no longer need a federal presence or can be implemented by others."  

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Claudio Ternieden
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