March 15 2019
In a document released Monday, the White House unveiled President Donald Trump’s proposed budget for the 2020 fiscal year. Some of the largest cuts went to the Environmental Protection Agency, the Army Corps of Engineers, and the State Department, and a $8.6 billion increase in funding for a southern border wall was proposed - a clear signal that the President does not intend to back down from his long-standing campaign promise. Regardless of whether or not the budget plan is put into action, it gives the American people a look into the Trump administration's agenda for the upcoming years.
Here are some of the most significant department cuts proposed in the White House’s budget plan:
- National Science Foundation
The National Science Foundation supports research and education in all non-medical fields of science, such as engineering, computer science, and social sciences. The foundation funds approximately 24% of all federally-backed basic research conducted by colleges and universities in the United States. Established in 1950, its mission statement is "to promote the progress of science; to advance the national health, prosperity, and welfare; and to secure the national defense." If implemented Trump’s budget would cut the National Science Foundation funding by $1 billion dollars.
- Environmental Conservation
With climate change and environmental safety already shaping up to be one of 2019’s most-discussed topics, Monday’s budget proposal saw a 31% ($2.8 billion) cut to the Environmental Protection Agency. This agency, established in the 1970’s, educates and conducts environmental assessment, as well as monitors and enforces environmental laws across the United States. The EPA also works with all levels of government on pollution prevention programs and energy conservation efforts.
- The Department of Education
The proposal suggested decreasing ED funding by $7.1 billion. Some of those cuts would be made in after-school and summer programs for students in high poverty areas. They also suggested allocating $700 million for school safety measures from multiple agencies including the Justice Department and Health and Human Services. An additional $60 million was requested for the Charter School Program.
As immigration and refugee aid continue to be fiercely debated, another key point in the Trump budget was a 24% cut to the State Department and the United States Agency for International Development. This would take three funds, collectively worth $9 billion, and combine them into a single, smaller International Humanitarian Assistance Fund, worth about $6 billion. The budget for global health programs would also decrease from $8.7 billion to $6.3 billion, or a 28% cut.
Here are some other key takeaways:
- Trump is seeking more funds for his southern border wall.
After a 35-day government shutdown which saw federal workers furloughed and working without pay, Congress eventually agreed on an amount of $1.375 billion for a southern border wall in late January. However, this new budget proposal would set aside an additional $8.6 billion in new funds for the project. $5 billion of that would go to the Department of Homeland Security, and $3.6 billion would come from military construction accounts.
- The budget isn’t likely to be implemented by Congress.
With Democrats now sharing the grip on the federal purse strings, it’s unlikely that Trump’s budget will be passed. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi called the President’s budget cuts “weak,” “shortsighted,” and “a roadmap to a sicker, weaker America.”
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