What They are Saying: Environmental, Conservation, and Public Health Groups on President Trump’s Budget Outline

Clean Water Action on the President’s Billionaires Budget

Washington, DC – Today President Trump released the details of his budget outline. Clean Water Action President and CEO Bob Wendelgass released the following statement.

“This is a reckless and dangerous budget. It’s also completely unsurprising. President Trump has made his priorities perfectly clear – he will put polluters first at all costs. The massive cut to the Environmental Protection Agency’s budget would devastate protections for drinking water and public health. It not only undermines EPA’s ability to carry out our laws, but any reduction in EPA’s financial support to the states would have a huge impact on states’ ability to safeguard our families and stop pollution. ”

“It’s fitting this travesty was released on the first day of March Madness  – it is the opposite of everything  Americans want. Poll after poll shows that Americans expect their elected officials to do more, not less to protect clean water and clean air.”

“This budget is so outrageous that even Republicans in Congress are skeptical. These are the same Republicans who have been strangling EPA’s budget for years. While we are likely to see a big cuts to EPA, because Republicans are committed to putting corporate profits before public health, the President’s proposal most likely doesn’t have a chance in Congress.”

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President’s Budget Puts Clean Water and Rivers at Risk Nationwide (American Rivers)

Washington — President Trump’s proposed budget cuts to clean drinking water and river restoration efforts would cause serious harm to the nation’s health, economy, and quality of life, American Rivers said today.

The President’s budget proposal includes deep cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency, proposing to cut the agency by almost one third by slashing funding for vital environmental initiatives including EPA’s enforcement and compliance program for bedrock environmental laws.

The budget virtually eliminates funding for regional restoration efforts, including the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative and the Chesapeake Bay Program, each of which provide resources to states and communities trying to restore and protect the rivers that flow into these iconic waterways.

The budget also slashes funds for all National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration grants and programs supporting coastal and marine management, research, and education. The programs support river restoration, scientific research, and fisheries recovery that are essential to communities who care about their rivers.

The Trump Budget also virtually eliminates the popular Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) which allows the Interior Department and the Forest Service to expand access to public lands.

Incredibly, the Trump Budget eliminates the Pre-Disaster Mitigation program at the Federal Emergency Management Agency which helps communities prepare for disasters.

Bob Irvin, President of American Rivers, made the following statement:

“This budget is a reckless proposal that threatens the health of American families and puts businesses and communities that rely on clean water and healthy rivers at risk.”

“Healthy rivers fuel our economy, enrich our communities and provide our drinking water. We need to take care of the rivers that take care of us. Americans must call their Members of Congress and insist they reject the Trump Budget.”

“President Trump’s budget is a blueprint for dried up streams and rivers choked with pollution. Budget cuts to the very initiatives that keep communities safe make no sense at all. Healthy rivers make for healthy people. President Trump’s budget takes us in the opposite direction.”

“These budget cuts would trigger a cascade of health and economic impacts in communities nationwide: more drinking water crises like the one in Flint, Michigan. More water-shutoffs spurred by pollution like the one in Toledo, Ohio in 2014. More river-dependent businesses closing because of dwindling fish runs and dried up rivers. More communities devastated by flooding. This is not the vision for our country that Americans want.”

“Congress has a responsibility to toss this proposal and craft a budget that ensures rivers and communities get the safeguards they need. If together we speak with one voice for our rivers, Congress will have to listen.”

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Budget Proposal Threatens National Parks (NPCA)

Cuts to Interior Department, EPA Puts Parks, Park Resources in Jeopardy

WASHINGTON – The Trump Administration’s FY2018 budget proposes serious cuts to the Department of the Interior and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that, if enacted, would jeopardize the protection, maintenance and operation of national parks across the country.

The budget blueprint proposes a 12% cut to Interior and a 31% cut to EPA. While the Interior proposal includes an increase in funding for park maintenance, it cuts Interior construction programs. It also includes deep cuts to land acquisition and historic preservation programs that are essential to national parks.

National parks rely on the EPA to implement and enforce laws like the Clean Water Act and Clean Air Act so visitors can breathe healthy air, swim in clean water and enjoy scenic vistas unmarred by haze pollution. However, the massive cut to the agency’s budget would jeopardize those efforts. The proposed budget cuts to EPA will make it impossible to protect and restore our national parks from air and water pollution and climate change by eliminating critical programs like the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative and the Chesapeake Bay Restoration Initiative.

The budget proposal comes as the Park Service faces many challenges, exacerbated in part by years of underfunding. They include a $12 billion deferred maintenance backlog, reduced staffing that has made it harder for parks to handle record-breaking crowds and reductions in visitor services and interpretive programs essential to the park visitor experience.

Below is a statement by John Garder, Director of Budget and Appropriations for National Parks Conservation Association:

“The Administration’s proposed budget is a non-starter for our national parks, our environment, and our cultural heritage, and should be dead on arrival in Congress. Agencies like the National Park Service and EPA cannot take care of our treasured landscapes and historical landmarks with further cuts to what are already shoestring budgets.

“Many details are lacking, and while it does include increased funding to tackle parks’ $12 deferred maintenance backlog, the deep cuts to the Department of the Interior and key EPA clean water and enforcement programs demonstrate how irresponsible this budget is. The cuts to land acquisition, water restoration and historic preservation programs are nothing short of alarming. Cutting this funding fails to recognize how essential these programs are to protecting national parks, our natural resources and our cultural heritage.

“Our parks face many challenges that require more funding, not less. This budget proposal, if enacted, would threaten the air, water, wildlife habitat, historic protections and interpretative services critical to national park sites. We all want our children and our grandchildren to be able to experience national parks the way they deserve to. It is up to Congress to stand up for them and reject any additional cuts that would jeopardize America’s treasures.”

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Sierra Club Response To Trump’s Rigged Budget Proposal

 WASHINGTON D.C.– Today, the Trump Administration released its 2018 budget proposals for discretionary spending. Among those proposals, Donald Trump has called for attacks that would dismantle the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of the Interior. Trump’s  plans for the EPA’s budget includes decimating its staff and life-saving programs. The proposals for the Department of the Interior sharply reduce the budget to protect America’s parks, public lands and wildlife — the foundation of the $646 billion outdoor recreation economy — while other cuts undermine valuable programs to engage kids in service and learning outside.

Trump’s proposed budget eliminates funding used to protect America’s most iconic bodies of water, like the Great Lakes, Chesapeake Bay and Puget Sound. It would slash support for Superfund sites and hinder EPA’s ability to monitor air quality and check for signs of deadly and toxic pollution like sulfur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide.

Trump also would strip funding that enables the U.S. to meet its commitment to the Green Climate Fund, hampering our ability to continue to lead the world in climate action. He would also try to jumpstart making Yucca Mountain a nuclear waste dump, slash innovating clean energy research efforts (ARPA-E), eliminate funding for after-school and summer programs for at risk and underserved youth run by park and recreation agencies ( 21st Century Community Learning Centers program), put the EPA programs that respond to crisis like Flint at risk, and make additional cuts in order to funnel billions into the ineffective boondoggle of a border wall.  

In response, Sierra Club’s Executive Director Michael Brune released the following statement:

 “Money talks, and Trump’s budget proposal screams that the only thing that matters in his America is corporate polluters’ profits and Wall Street billionaires. If Trump refuses to be serious about protecting our health and climate, or our publicly owned lands, then Congress must act, do its job, and reject this rigged budget. The American people are watching, and they will continue to demand that their voices are heard and protected. Any member of Congress that fails to put the American people first will need to start updating their resume.”

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LCV Statement on Trump Administration’s Rigged Budget Proposal

Washington, DC: In response to President Trump’s budget proposal, the League of Conservation Voters issued the following statement from LCV President Gene Karpinski:

“Trump’s ‘Polluters First’ budget is rigged against everyday people by slashing clean air and water protections that safeguard all communities from Big Oil. More mercury in our air and more lead in our water may help the bottom lines of corporate polluters, but they would cause enormous health problems for people all across this country, especially low income and communities of color. We will fight tooth and nail to protect all people in this country from dirty drinking water, unhealthy air, and an unsafe climate that would result from Trump’s proposals being enacted.”

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Proposed Budget Blueprint, a Disaster for Wildlife, Should be Dead on Arrival (NWF)

Washington, D.C. (March 16, 2017) – The Trump administration released its budget blueprint today, with massive cuts to a wide range of programs that protect wildlife, public lands, clean air and water, and public health and safety.

Collin O’Mara, president and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation, said:

“America’s wildlife are facing an unprecedented crisis, battered by challenges of habitat degradation and impaired water quality, exacerbated by disease, drought, invasive species, and climate impacts, all at a scale inconceivable thirty years ago. Nearly a decade of budget austerity has done little to ease this crisis and the massive cuts outlined in this budget would be the opposite of what scientists say is needed to reverse America’s wildlife decline.

“These cuts would be devastating for America’s outdoor economy, which supports 6.1 million jobs and generates $646 billion in consumer spending every single year. America’s National Parks and Refuges — indeed the very legacy of Republican conservationist President Teddy Roosevelt — would see mass layoffs and perhaps even closures, sending shockwaves through the local communities that depend on these special places to support hotels, outdoor shops, and guide businesses.

“I hope this budget starts a national conversation about the kind of conservation legacy we want to leave. Do we want to tell our children and grandchildren we stood by while monarchs, moose and Florida panthers die off? Will we tell that that we fulfilled President Roosevelt’s challenge “of leaving this land even a better land for our descendants than it is for us?” Will we tell them that when the world came together to curb climate change, unlike every crisis of the last 100 years, this time America wouldn’t do its part? We hope Republicans and Democrats can work together on developing a sensible spending blueprint that makes smart investments to build a better America.”

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NRDC: Trump’s Misguided Budget on Energy, Oceans, Climate and Environment

March 16, 2017

WASHINGTON – President Trump released his proposed 2018 federal budget today, and experts at the Natural Resources Defense Council made these comments on budgets for the Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Interior, Department of Energy and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Additional materials are below.

Environmental Protection Agency

“Trump’s budget proposal to eviscerate the EPA is a direct assault on our future,” said Scott Slesinger, NRDC’s legislative director. “It would return us to smog-choked cities, oil-soaked rivers, and toxic drinking water, threatening our health from every quarter. No American wants that. This ridiculous proposal deserves to be, and will be, dead on arrival in Congress.”

Department of Interior

“Take it from our new Interior Secretary, Ryan Zinke: Cuts to his agency are a bad idea,” said Sharon Buccino, director of NRDC’s Land and Wildlife Program. “Americans love our public lands and wildlife. But this agency’s budget is already on life support. Our national parks are huge generators for the economy with more than 300 million visits last year, yet there’s a $12 billion backlog in maintaining these special places. Instead of investing in conservation, this budget eliminates important funding and paves the way for dirty energy development.”

Department of Energy

“This proposal is a disaster for the many Americans who struggle to pay their energy bills, for the fast-growing clean energy job sector and for America’s global competitiveness,” said Kit Kennedy, director of NRDC’s Energy and Transportation Program. “Trump’s steep proposed cuts will gut programs that have a strong record of growing jobs, supporting U.S. clean energy businesses, and saving American families billions of dollars in lower energy bills. Congress needs to block this train-wreck proposal. It even goes so far as to cut weatherization assistance for the country’s neediest households, and the ENERGY STAR program, which has 18,000 private partners who help consumers and businesses save money by choosing the most efficient appliances, equipment, and buildings.”

NOAA

“America can’t afford risky cuts to NOAA. All of us – including our military, airlines, farmers and fishermen – depend on its satellite data and weather forecasts,” said Sarah Chasis, director of NRDC’s Oceans Program. “NOAA protects the lives and property of millions of people along our coasts, and affects an estimated one-third of the country’s gross domestic product. Cutting corners here won’t keep America safe, our ocean and coasts healthy, or our economy strong.”

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America’s clean air, water, health come in dead last in “America First” Budget (Environment America)

Today, President Trump released his first proposed budget to Congress. Below is a statement from Margie Alt, Environment America executive director, on the president’s budget proposal.

“President Trump’s budget is dirty and dangerous and fails to protect our health or our planet. This budget virtually eliminates funding for proven programs needed to clean up the nation’s great waterways from the San Francisco Bay to the Puget Sound, from the Great Lakes to the Chesapeake Bay. This budget also fails to address the Flint water crisis or dozens of other lead in drinking water disasters. Slashing EPA’s overall budget by more than a third means the agency cannot adequately enforce our clean air and clean water safeguards. It is basically a “get out of jail free card” for polluters. In addition Trump’s proposed budget underfunds environmental issues that matter to millions of Americans—like climate action, clean energy, and our national parks.”

“Congress should reject this budget. America’s clean air, water and our health come in dead last in this so-called “America First” budget. this is not the future our families or the planet deserve.”

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Trump Budget Shuts Down Chesapeake Bay Clean Up

President’s proposed budget puts drinking water sources at-risk for 13 million Bay residents

(Annapolis, MD) – Today, the President has released his budget for Fiscal Year 2018, which recommends that the $73 million budget for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Chesapeake Bay Program be eliminated and shutdown.This would stop the clean up of Chesapeke Bay in its tracks and undo the tremendous progress we have made to date.

The budget also includes massive spending cuts for programs related to clean air and water, environmental justice, climate change, and other vital programs that protect our environment.

The Chesapeake Bay watershed is made up of a network of hundreds of thousands of rivers and streams, and are important sources of recreation, food, and drinking water for millions of people. Tens of thousands of members of the tourism and fishing industry depend on the Bay to provide for their families, with the Bay’s economic worth estimated at over $1 trillion. In addition, over 13 million people from six different states and the District of Columbia rely on the Bay’s rivers and streams to provide the water that they drink. The Chesapeake Bay restoration effort is not only about saving an iconic estuary, it is about protecting the water that residents depend on for life.

“The President’s proposed budget would mean an end to a coordinated Chesapeake Bay restoration effort,” said Hilary Harp Falk, Mid-Atlantic regional executive director of the National Wildlife Federation and co-chair of the Choose Clean Water Coalition. “With no federal funding for the Chesapeake, projects that are reducing flooding, improving communities, bringing back fish and wildlife, and cleaning drinking water will come to a halt.”

Bay Program funding supports on the ground restoration efforts that are improving communities and protecting local waterways around the watershed. The 226 organizations that make up the Choose Clean Water Coalition are just some of the organizations responsible for implementing these restoration projects, and with no funding, grant programs that help sustain and support critical work would disappear, leaving many organizations with little to no support to implement projects.

“Support from the Bay Program is essential to continuing to reduce pollution in our local rivers and streams.” said Chante Coleman, director of the Choose Clean Water Coalition. “With such a drastic cut in funding, some of the most basic needs that people and wildlife depend on, like clean drinking water, will be threatened.”

The Bay Program is a classic example of “cooperative federalism”, where federal agencies and states work collaboratively, with EPA providing critical resources and expertise to the states, who are ultimately responsible for cleaning their own waters. Just a few weeks ago, 17 members of the House, both Democrat and Republican, sent a letter to the President Trump requesting full funding for the Chesapeake Bay Program. The Coalition will work with Members of Congress from both sides of the aisle to continue to push back on this proposed budget, and secure the essential funding that is necessary to return clean water to the Chesapeake Bay.

The Choose Clean Water Coalition, an organization that harnesses the collective power of more than 226 local, state, regional and national groups to advocate for clean rivers and streams in all communities in the Chesapeake region.

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White House Cuts to Budget Hurt Economy and Strip Health, Safety Protections for Southeasterners (SELC)

Washington, D.C. – The Southern Environmental Law Center (SELC) released the following statement after the White House released its budget outline calling for deep cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Department of the Interior (DOI), and critical infrastructure investments, threatening thousands of jobs and health and safety protections for millions of Southeastern families. 

“It has been 40 years since we spent this little to protect the clean air and clean water that all residents of the Southeast—and all Americans—now take for granted,” said Nat Mund, SELC Legislative Director. “The Administration’s draconian budget cuts would cripple the Environmental Protection Agency’s ability to enforce basic protections, jeopardize critical transit projects, endanger the National Parks we love, and hurt local economies by eliminating jobs. These cuts would especially impact the Southeast, where so many state protections and budgets have already been gutted.

“Instead of working to protect American families and build a 21stcentury economy, President Trump’s plans put the interest of big-money special interests over people. The President claims to support clean air and clean water for all Americans and promises to boost critical infrastructure investments, but his budget says otherwise.” 

Across the Southeast, the EPA has upheld our nation’s most critical and longstanding environmental protections, the Department of the Interior has protected special areas that attract locals and tourists alike, and vital transit services provide access to jobs while promoting clean air and growing the economy. The administration’s reported cuts would threaten these essential services and others, including: 

  • Cleanup: EPA has coordinated and funded the cleanup of the Chesapeake Bay, an economic boon for the region and a beautiful and special place for residents and visitors alike. The budget blueprint eliminates that funding for this long-needed program. 
  • EnforcementThe proposed budget cuts critical enforcement funding by 24 percent. When North Carolina’s Department of Environmental Quality was under criminal investigation for its cozy relations with Duke Energy and not enforcing the law, the Environmental Protection Agency conducted the criminal investigation that resulted in Duke Energy pleading guilty 18 times to nine Clean Water Act crimes at its leaking, unlined coal ash sites across the state.
  • Oversight: After substantial and systemic failures of Alabama’s water pollution permitting program and the agency’s abysmal enforcement of clean water safeguards, the EPA stepped in and worked closely with the Alabama Department of Environmental Management to make improvements to protect human health and the environment for the citizens of Alabama.
  • GrantsThe Diesel Emission Reduction Program, which helps communities purchase cleaner school buses, may be completed defunded.
  • National Parks: Our region is home to some of the most cherished National Parks in America—from Shenandoah National Park and Congaree National Park to Great Smokey Mountains National Park, the most visited national park in the nation. They attract visitors from near and far and provide an incredible boost to our local economies. These cuts might force our parks to close for part of the year, threatening an important part of our tourism, outdoor recreation, and sportsman industries. 

Transit: Federal funding has been extremely important for successful transit projects throughout the Southeast. These proposed budget cuts would eliminate all new transit funding, threatening initiatives such as the following:

  • Voters in Atlanta approved a sales tax increase in November 2016 that is expected to raise $2.5 billion for expanded transit service in the City.  However, the list of transit projects needed in the City is expected to cost more than that amount and was based on the expectation that the federal government would continue to partner with local governments in building these projects.
  • In North Carolina, Wake County voters passed a half-cent sales tax last fall to fund an ambitious new transit plan that will include expanded bus service, bus rapid transit, and commuter rail. The plan has been heavily supported by the business community, which knows that a strong transit system is imperative for attracting the highly skilled workers it needs. Without federal investment, however, the plan will not come to fruition.
  • Numerous other plans and projects throughout the Southeast, such as Nashville’s $6 billion Motion Plan and the Richmond Region’s Transit Vision Plan, will require federal transit funds to make them happen.
  • While the Trump Administration has said it wants to abandon longstanding federal environmental protections and turn the job of enforcement over to the states, the recent trajectory of Southeastern states’ budgets and staffing show that the states are not positioned to take on this critical role. In North Carolina, the state environmental agency’s budget decreased 40% from 2011 to 2013; Virginia’s environmental budget went down 20% from 2009 to 2017. In Tennessee, from 2010 to 2014, the state legislature slashed the base budget of the state Department of Environment and Conservation by $20 million and cut nearly 500 jobs. 

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Earthjustice President Trip Van Noppen issued the following statement:

“Taking a sledgehammer to the EPA’s budget would be a giant gift to polluters and a devastating blow to the health and well-being of our children and communities across the country, particularly low income communities, communities of color and indigenous communities that bear the biggest pollution burdens and suffer the resulting health disparities.

“This dangerous proposal is designed to do one thing: cripple the agency charged with protecting the air we breathe and water we drink.
Gowanus Canal in Brooklyn, NY.

In 2010, the EPA added the Gowanus Canal in Brooklyn, NY, to the Superfund National Priorities List. The Gowanus Canal has become one of the nation’s most seriously contaminated water bodies. Without funding and research from the EPA, this cleanup project may not move forward.

“The Trump budget deliberately eviscerates enforcement of our environmental laws—which would let many law-breakers operate with little fear of prosecution—and dismantles programs that support our most vulnerable communities from environmental hazards.

“We call on members of Congress to stand up for the communities they represent and vigorously oppose this irresponsible plan.”

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Standing Up for Environmental Justice in the Latino Community

By: Juan Perez, LULAC National Environmental Policy Fellow

This morning, the Trump administration outlined their budget that includes deep cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). According to the budget outline, the EPA budget will be cut by approximately 30%, leading to a one-fifth staff reduction within the agency. Additionally, 50 federally funded programs ranging from the cleanup of brownfields and industrial sites to climate change initiatives focused on expanding clean water and clean air efforts may be terminated.
LULAC rallied with other environmental groups at the Environmental Protection Agency to call attention to budget cuts that would have detrimental effects on environmental protections for Latino communities across the country.

The elimination of such programs would be detrimental to ensuring that all Americans have access to clean air and water. In particular, local programs that provide services in areas where Latinos are disproportionately impacted by higher levels of pollution and contamination could be on the chopping block.

The environmental community is facing one of the toughest fights in ensuring the protection of climate change initiatives. Despite overwhelming scientific evidence, President Trump and his cabinet refuse to acknowledge the harsh realities that Latinos face as a result of climate change. President Trump’s proposed budget will prohibit the EPA to properly carry out its job and will further exacerbate the negative effects of climate change across the globe.
Congressman Keith Ellison (D-MN) joined demonstrators outside of the EPA to oppose budget cuts.

During the first weeks of the new administration, President Trump signed an executive order addressing the Waters of the United States Rule, which ensures that the federal government protects major bodies of water, rivers, streams, and wetlands from pollution. The executive order will allow the EPA to reevaluate the clean water protections as they pertain to economic growth, rather than ensuring safe and clean water. Most recently, Congress voted to repeal the Bureau of Land Management Planning 2.0 regulation, which allowed public involvement in the planning process of federal land use and planning process. The repeal now gives increased power to oil and gas companies in establishing drilling projects on public lands.

LULAC stands with communities and workers on the front lines of our fight for environmental justice. We stand in solidarity with those communities feeling the effects of pollution and climate change. Despite what President Trump does, we will continue to make it clear that we will NOT allow him to put the interest of Big Polluters over the environmental concerns and public health issues in our communities.

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Trump’s ‘Rigged’ Budget Would Endanger American Families and Communities

Statements From the Clean Budget Coalition

March 16, 2017

Contact: David Rosen, drosen@citizen.org, (202) 588-7742
Karilyn Gower, kgower@citizen.org, (202) 588-7779

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Clean Budget Coalition is blasting President Donald Trump’s skinny budget, unveiled today, which would slash critical public services and protections, endangering American workers, consumers, families and our environment. Republicans are proposing a budget rigged for billionaires and big corporations, the coalition maintains. Formed in 2015, the Clean Budget Coalition is an alliance of hundreds of public interest groups that have joined together to call on Congress and the White House to pass a clean budget with no ideological riders that funds and protects thriving families and communities.

Below are statements from coalition members:

“It’s bad enough that the president is proposing deep and painful funding cuts to the agencies that protect our health and safety, our workplaces and wallets, as well as our environment and our economy in his budget, but we also expect the GOP to attempt to attach harmful policy riders as giveaways to the wealthy special interests. Our system of safeguards is designed to prevent tragedies that can spell disaster for individuals, families, businesses and communities, and must not be attacked in the budget and appropriations processes.”
Lisa Gilbert, vice president of legislative affairs, Public Citizen

“Since the president wants to increase funding for such things as border security, homeland security and veteran’s health, all of which are within the non-defense discretionary part of the budget, that will make cuts to biomedical research, education, environmental protection, workforce training, children’s programs and more that much worse. Funding for domestic programs is currently at an all-time low as a percentage of GDP, and further cuts will only damage if not destroy programs Americans rely on every day to improve their quality of life and well-being.”
Emily Holubowich, founding co-chair, NDD United

“It’s fitting for President Trump to release his budget in March, because this is simply madness. This budget would decimate the very foundation of what makes America great: our parks, public lands and historic leadership on conservation. Instead of investing in conservation programs that provide clean drinking water, protect public health and support a booming outdoor recreation economy, Trump is rigging the system to solely benefit oil executives and private developers at the expense of essential conservation programs that benefit all Americans.”
Cameron Witten, government relations and budget specialist, The Wilderness Society

“Trump’s budget will accomplish nothing besides making it easier for corporate polluters to boost their profits at the expense of our families and the places we love. Plans to gut the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of the Interior clearly show that Trump’s billionaire budget is only helping Wall Street and corporate polluters, not our wildlife and natural legacy, our nearly $650 billion outdoor economy or the air our children breathe and the water they drink.”
Melinda Pierce, legislative director, Sierra Club

“Polluters won’t police themselves and water pollution doesn’t stop itself. President Trump’s billionaires’ budget makes huge cuts to the EPA that would strain its ability to enforce landmark laws like the Safe Drinking Water Act and Clean Water Act. This reckless budget would make it harder to stop polluters from destroying sources of drinking water and threaten EPA’s ability to identify water pollution threats, to set strong protections for our rivers, lakes, bays, streams and wetlands, and to enforce laws that protect public health.”
Bob Wendelgass, president and CEO, Clean Water Action

“Trump’s cuts in funding for key environmental laws would make it nearly impossible to protect human health and imperiled wildlife. By crippling crucial safeguards, Trump will help his corporate cronies reap windfall profits while the rest of us breathe dirtier air, drink more polluted water and watch endangered species vanish from our planet.”
Kieran Suckling, executive director, Center for Biological Diversity

“There is a national shortage of 7.4 million homes affordable and available to the lowest income people, and just one in four of the poorest seniors, people with disabilities, families with children and veterans get the housing assistance that they need. At a time when the housing crisis has reached historic heights and the lowest income people suffer the most severe impacts, proposals to slash HUD funding are unconscionable and unacceptable. These severe cuts put more than 200,000 families and seniors at immediate risk of evictions and homelessness and will starve local communities of the funding they need to build and repair affordable homes and revitalize distressed communities.”
Diane Yentel, president and CEO, National Low Income Housing Coalition

“The Republican budget threatens our health – it will block, weaken or repeal critical clean air and public health protections. Clean air is essential for all communities. Air pollution contributes to asthma attacks, hospitalizations, low birthweight and premature deaths. Congress must reject any budget that seeks to gut the programs that protect our health.”
Kathy Attar, toxics program manager, Physicians for Social Responsibility

“These budget cuts threaten the health of American families and put businesses and communities that rely on clean water and healthy rivers at risk. Rivers fuel our economy, enrich our communities and provide our drinking water. We need to take care of the rivers that take care of us. Every American should call their members of Congress and demand that the Trump budget be rejected.”
Bob Irvin, president, American Rivers

“Members of Congress owe it to their constituents to consider laws through fair procedures and open debate. Using budget riders to shove through policies that could never pass on their own is fundamentally undemocratic. Americans deserve better from our elected officials.”
Marissa Liebling, legislative director, Project Vote

“Birds and public lands are both immensely popular with the American people. The proposed budget cuts and development plans for public lands threaten to harm the one-third of bird species already in decline, and will make it more likely that more species will be in need of conservation.”
Steve Holmer, vice president of policy, American Bird Conservancy

“This budget proposal is yet another Trump administration attack on women and families. Because women still face significant workplace discrimination and are more likely than men to hold low-wage, low-benefit jobs while also doing the bulk of unpaid caregiving at home, policies that make food, child care and other necessities affordable are especially essential to women and their families. Cuts like these directly hurt women’s ability to thrive and contribute to the American economy.”
Anna Chu, vice president for income security and education, National Women’s Law Center

“President Trump’s budget paints a bleak picture for small business in America. Main Street small business owners rely on a basic level of safe infrastructure in order to thrive. This means safe roads and bridges to get to work, clean water and air, and regulatory protections for health and safety. But with this budget, Trump proposes gutting $54 billion in essential programs and reneging on his promise to invest in infrastructure and create jobs. A federal training program that serves more than 23 million employees could also be cut, weakening the skilled workforce small businesses need. At its core, Trump’s proposal starves the agencies that protect our economy, our environment and our health and safety.”
Amanda Ballantyne, national director, Main Street Alliance

“At the same time that the Trump administration and Congress are looking for new ways to pursue aggressive drilling on and offshore of Alaska, they also are slashing the funding that coastal and rural communities rely on to assist with the drastic effects of that development from pollution and our changing climate. Alaska Native villages are falling into the sea, coastal communities are reeling from the impacts of pollution and remote Arctic communities will be left without support from agencies in the tragic event of an oil spill or to address the ongoing realities of climate change. We’re calling on Congress and the White House to pass a clean budget that reflects the funding levels necessary for the safety and security of Americans from all walks of life.”
Kristen Miller, interim executive director, Alaska Wilderness League

“The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights strongly believes that ideological policy riders have no business being included in must-pass spending bills. Ideological policy riders come in all shapes and sizes, and have in recent years included attempts to undermine an accurate Census so that not everyone who should be included is counted, provisions that would roll back efforts to prevent housing discrimination and riders that would undermine the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and hurt working families. If members of Congress want to adopt these kinds of ideological provisions, they should do so in the light of day, in full view of the public and with proper debate, rather than jamming them through as riders to spending bills.”
Nancy Zirkin, executive vice president, The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights

“The Trump budget sells out our nation’s lands and wildlife. It is a bitter irony that even as this budget starves wildlife conservation efforts in the name of fiscal frugality, it also proposes billions for an unnecessary border wall that will cause irreparable harm to people and wildlife. The Trump budget flies in the face of Americans’ strong commitment to protecting our wildlife heritage for future generations.”
Bob Dreher, senior vice president of conservation programs, Defenders of Wildlife

“Donald Trump is using his office to hand the reins of government over to corporate polluters. History has repeatedly shown that corporations cannot be trusted to protect public health. Yet the Trump administration has used its budget to assault the agencies tasked with protecting America’s public health.”
Ben Schreiber, senior political strategist, Friends of the Earth

“The president’s ‘skinny budget’ is a particularly apt description for a proposal that would leave crucial protector agencies too emaciated to safeguard our health, safety and environment. Whether it’s pipeline inspectors to protect our land and water from oil spills, or workplace safety inspectors to ensure our family members return home safely from their jobs, or environmental inspectors to prevent air pollution and toxic chemical disasters, many agencies simply don’t have sufficient resources to conduct the level of enforcement needed to safeguard all Americans. Slashing their budgets even further would be the height of irresponsibility, and Congress should reject Trump’s proposal and give agencies the resources they need to police corporate special interests that cannot be trusted to police themselves.”
Matthew Shudtz, executive director, Center for Progressive Reform

“Trump’s ‘skinny budget’ is lean for Americans, but fat for the oil, gas and coal industry. President Obama called for the elimination of taxpayer handouts to the fossil fuel industry in each of his eight presidential budgets. Trump’s budget shortchanges the American people while continuing to hand out billions of dollars of government subsidies to fossil fuel companies.”
Janet Redman, U.S. policy director, Oil Change International

“This budget is incredibly harmful. It harms children, seniors, people with disabilities and low-income people. It harms programs that protect the environment, respond to natural disasters, provide affordable housing, feed the hungry and contain epidemics. It calls into serious question the role of government – why it exists and whom it is supposed to serve.”
Deborah Weinstein, executive director, Coalition on Human Needs

“Wall Street never tires of trying to gut financial regulations through backroom deals. That’s because they know that most Americans – from all places and all parties – think we need to be tougher on Wall Street, not create more loopholes. No members of Congress should allow policy riders that will make it easier for predatory lenders to rip people off, or threaten another financial crisis. If Congress want to considering giveaways to Wall Street, the American people need to have the chance to weigh in.”
Lisa Donner, executive director, Americans for Financial Reform

“Trump’s ‘polluters first’ budget is rigged against everyday people by slashing clean air and water protections that safeguard all communities from big oil. More mercury in our air and more lead in our water may help the bottom lines of corporate polluters, but they would cause enormous health problems for people all across this country, especially low income and communities of color. We will fight tooth and nail to protect all people in this country from dirty drinking water, unhealthy air, and an unsafe climate that would result from Trump’s proposals being enacted.”
Gene Karpinski, president, League of Conservation Voters

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