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Report: Trump Budget Would Sharply Curb EPA Funding

The Environmental Protection Agency would reportedly see its budget slashed under a preliminary budget proposal from the Trump administration.

The Environmental Protection Agency would reportedly see its budget slashed under a preliminary budget proposal from the Trump administration.

The New York Times reports that the EPA and State Department would see billions in cuts as the White House seeks to pay for a 10 percent increase in defense spending without adjusting the largest factors in federal spending: Social Security and Medicare.

The proposal, known as a budget outline, is the first step toward a final budget that will be tweaked in discussions with agencies and altered by the Republican-controlled Congress.

Trump administration officials said that the document shows the president's willingness to take big steps to fulfill his campaign promises.

"This defense spending increase will be offset and paid for by finding greater savings and efficiencies across the federal government," Trump said Monday, according to USA Today. "We're going to do more with less."

Fiscal hawks in Congress, however, were already worried about Trump's promises to bolster spending in some areas — including a potential $1 trillion infrastructure initiative — without addressing entitlement programs.

Democrats and environmental advocates, meanwhile, warned of potentially dire consequences if the EPA's approximately $8 billion budget is significantly reduced.

“A cut this steep almost certainly means cuts to agencies that protect consumers from Wall Street excess and protect clean air and water," Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said in a statement.

Observers expect the administration to seek to roll back numerous environmental regulations and critics pointed out new EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt's frequent legal battles with the agency as Oklahoma attorney general.

A key member of Trump's transition team, meanwhile, previously suggested that half of the EPA's 15,000-employee workforce could be in line for cuts.

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