By Jason Hopkins
President Donald Trump’s fiscal year 2020 budget calls for huge reductions in Environmental Protection Agency and Energy Department spending in order to pay for wall construction on the U.S.-Mexico border.
The Trump administration unveiled its 2020 budget proposal Monday, which calls for cuts in domestic spending while dramatically increasing infrastructure and defense spending. In one specific piece of the proposal, the president is asking to slash the EPA’s budget by 31 percent — the biggest cut for any of the agencies, according to the Washington Examiner.
Trump’s budget would cut the Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Office, an office within the Department of Energy, from $2.3 billion to about $700 million — a 70 percent reduction.
At the same time, the president is asking for $8.6 billion in funding for more border wall construction. The additional funds will allow the administration to reach its long-sought goal of completing 722 miles of barrier construction.
However, it’s likely dead-on-arrival in a Congress where Democrats now control the House of Representatives. The federal government just recently exited out of a historic 35-day shutdown over border wall funding, and those negotiations only produced $1.375 billion in funds for wall construction. Following the border wall compromise in February, Trump declared a national emergency, allowing him to allocate a total of $8 billion for wall construction.
Democrats of Capitol Hill immediately blasted the president’s latest budget request.
“President Trump hurt millions of Americans and caused widespread chaos when he recklessly shut down the government to try to get his expensive and ineffective wall, which he promised would be paid for by Mexico,” read a joint statement from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. “Congress refused to fund his wall and he was forced to admit defeat and reopen the government. The same thing will repeat itself if he tries this again. We hope he learned his lesson.”
The budget proposal for the 2020 fiscal year, which ends one month before the presidential election, will likely keep border enforcement a top issue during the presidential election season.
The president wants to spend $200 billion on infrastructure altogether and is also calling for a raise in defense spending to $750 billion — up from $716 billion in 2019.
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