In an unprecedented attack on government programs to fuel a military buildup, the White House budget overview released today shows that guns overwhelmingly trump butter when it comes to this administration’s priorities. Our food, water and climate are under attack in this budget, which will heat the planet, slash our environmental protections, and starve communities of needed resources to remain healthy and thriving.
While many pundits predict the worst of this budget will not come to pass, no doubt the Republican-led Congress will see an opportunity to drown the parts of government it doesn’t like in the bathtub. Chief among them is the EPA, which has been under assault from right-wing forces for years. Where the EPA is concerned, we must remain vigilant. It is the first on the chopping block in service to Bannon’s vision to ‘dismantle the administrative state’. If this happens, it will be open season on our environment, our climate, and our communities.
The budget proposes a 31 percent cut to the EPA, including a 45 percent reduction in grants to states for activities to protect the environment, a 30 percent cut to the Superfund program, and a 23 percent cut to the Office of Enforcement. It would eliminate specific efforts to protect the Great Lakes, the Chesapeake Bay, and other geographic programs, as well as infrastructure assistance to Alaskan Native villages and Mexico border towns. It obliterates climate-related programs, including the Energy Star program that helps consumers find energy-efficient appliances, the Clean Power Plan, international climate change programs, and climate change research and partnership programs.
At the USDA, Trump’s budget would eliminate a rural water and wastewater loan and grant program, which helps fund clean water and sewer systems in communities with less than 10,000 people. The USDA is also slated for a significant overall cut, including reduced staffing for service centers that would seriously impact farmers and rural communities who need to access its programs.”
Trump’s budget, as expected, is a gut punch to protections to our food, water, environment and communities—including the rural communities that helped put him in the White House.