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Gage Skidmore

Trump's Budget is "A Kick in the Teeth"

The budget would cut all non-defense budgets by 5% and layoff 2,000 EPA employees

Brian Young's picture
Mar 13, 2019

With the budget fight over the border wall concluded for now, Trump has decided to look ahead. To do this, he has released his proposed budget for 2020. As expected, the budget provides little money for big infrastructure projects and includes cuts for federal workers who are continuing to struggle after a month long government shutdown.

As UCOMM reported yesterday, major infrastructure projects like the Gateway tunnel have failed to receive any funding under Trump, keeping thousands of union workers sitting on the sidelines. Trump’s 2020 budget would also have major cuts to Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security, as well as a 5% cut across the board for all non-defense agencies.

At the EPA, a favorite whipping boy of Trump and the Conservative right, funding will be so low that only 12,415 jobs would be funded, 2,000 less than in Fiscal year (FY) 2019. It is also 32% lower than the union that represents EPA workers, AFGE Council 238 recommends for FY 2020.

"The EPA is the front line of defense in protecting drinking water and clean air for every single American. This budget proposes to slash 2,000 positions, reducing the number of environmental emergency first responders nationwide at a time they are critically needed," said Council 238 President Gary Morton. "We are the people who come to disaster sites like hurricanes to monitor the safety and toxicity of the water flooding local communities, and we save lives. Congress must fully fund our budget, and should be boosting our resources – not drastically cutting them."

Employees at the EPA were also some of the hardest hit by the government shutdown as they were locked out of work for weeks and missing two paychecks.

"This budget is a kick in the teeth to the federal employees who have suffered through years of pay freezes, cuts to their benefits, and attacks on their rights at work. Federal workers have lost more than $200 billion from cuts to their pay and benefits since 2011, and today, the average federal employee makes 7 percent less – when adjusted for inflation – than they did at the beginning of the decade,” said AFGE President J. David Cox Sr. "Under President Trump's proposed budget, agencies like the Environmental Protection Agency, National Institutes of Health, and Social Security Administration – which are already woefully underfunded and understaffed – would be further starved, challenging our government's ability to protect our environment, continue researching lifesaving medical treatments, and look after our most vulnerable citizens.”

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