The White House’s full budget request for 2018, sent to Congress on Tuesday, seeks sharp cuts to cancer research, climate science and children’s health insurance. It would halve the EPA’s research funding and end NASA’s education office.
While President Trump’s budget proposal echoes many points made in the abbreviated — “skinny” — budget released in early March, this week’s full budget request covers a wider scope and more detail into the Trump administration’s fiscal views on the nation’s science and research infrastructure. The skinny budget, for example, omitted key departments and centers charged with science and health programs — such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Science Foundation. The full budget must be approved by Congress. But here’s a look at how the proposal would affect science, health and tech.
Environmental Protection Agency: 31 percent cut
2017: $8.2 billion
Skinny: $5.7 billion
Full: $5.7 billion
The full budget restates the earlier proposal to cut funding for the Environmental Protection Agency by 31 percent, creating deep cuts across the board. The EPA’s enforcement budget would drop by 24 percent ($548 to $419 million), while cleaning up hazardous Superfund sites would dip by 30 percent ($1.1 billion to $762 million). The agency’s research budget would be halved ($483 million to $249 million), with most of the remaining funds going to projects conducted in-house.
Geographic programs, such as the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative and Chesapeake Bay Program, lose the entirety of their $427 million funding. The Energy Star program, which sets efficiency standards for consumer appliances and other products, is also eliminated. The budget argues these standards can be implemented by the private sector.
Categorical grants, which are issued to states and Native American tribes for the purposes of developing environmental protection programs, get slashed 45 percent — dropping from $1.07 billion to $597 million. Such grants support projects to clean water, air, waste, pesticide and toxic substances from the environment. The White House issued a separate document on major saving and reforms, which justified this move by stating “many states have been delegated authority to implement and enforce Federal environmental laws including the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, and Safe Drinking Water Act.”