The Environmental Protection Agency is poised to receive a 24-percent funding cut and a reduction in staff of 20 percent under the Trump administration's first proposed budget, according to multiple news reports Tuesday.
The EPA received $8.1 billion in the current budget but is expected to receive just $6.1 billion in the new one. The agency's workforce, currently at about 15,000 federal employees, is expected to be cut to about 12,000, according to the reports.
Myron Ebell of the Competitive Enterprise Institute, a libertarian think tank, led the Trump transition team's EPA "landing team." He also played a big role in developing the proposed budget cuts for the agency.
According to The Daily Caller:
Trump's plan to cut EPA' budget 24 percent mirrors recommendations given to him by the agency transition team. That plan advised cuts outside of state and tribal grants, which make up about 43 percent of EPA's budget.
In that case, EPA will have to cut 24 percent from its $4.6 billion budget for federal programs, payroll and contracts. That's effectively a 42 percent budget cut once state and tribal grants are excluded.
Ebell said Trump will likely cut EPA climate programs, like he promised on the campaign trail, but could also end up laying off agency staffers in D.C. or reduce the size of field offices. Top officials told Axios to expect "massive, transformational cuts, particularly to climate-change programs."
"Businesses have to do this all the time," Ebell said. "The federal government never has to undergo this market discipline."
These cuts appear to align with Trump's campaign promise to scrap his predecessor's "Climate Action Plan" and to refocus the EPA on its original mission: air and water quality regulations. In a press conference Monday, Office of Management & Budget Director Mick Mulvaney noted the notifications sent out to federal agencies this week was not the full budget, which will likely be completed in May.
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