Federal agencies Chemical Manufacturing

Trump budget ‘blueprint’ proposes 21% funding cut for DOL; would eliminate CSB

Donald Trump

Photo: Gage Skidmore

Washington – The first budget proposed by the Trump administration would cut $54 billion in funding to various segments of the federal government, including the Departments of Labor and Transportation and the Environmental Protection Agency.

Released March 16, America First: A Budget Blueprint to Make America Great Again lists the Departments of Defense, Homeland Security and Veterans Affairs as the only entities that would receive funding increases in fiscal year 2018.

The budget also would eliminate funding for 19 independent agencies, including the Chemical Safety Board. CSB Chairperson Vanessa A. Sutherland issued a statement saying the agency’s investigations and recommendations “have had an enormous effect on improving public safety” and that “as this process moves forward, we hope that the important mission of this agency will be preserved.”

Among the proposed department cuts:

  • EPA: $2.6 billion – a 31 percent decrease from FY 2017
  • DOL: $2.5 billion – a 21 percent decrease
  • DOT: $2.4 billion – a 13 percent decrease

“A budget that puts America first must make the safety of our people its number one priority – because without safety, there can be no prosperity,” Trump wrote in the document’s introduction. “That is why I have instructed my Budget Director, Mick Mulvaney, to craft a budget that emphasizes national security and public safety.”

The document states that the blueprint “provides details only on our discretionary funding proposals,” and that the full budget, slated for release in the spring, will include specific mandatory and tax proposals.

Politicians from both sides of the aisle commented on the blueprint.

Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC), chair of the House Education and the Workforce Committee, voiced her support. “Crafting a budget is about setting priorities, and during the last eight years, it seems the only priority in Washington was to spend beyond our means and far more than hardworking taxpayers can afford,” Foxx said in a press release. “That approach isn’t sustainable for family budgets, and it is not sustainable for the federal government. President Trump has promised to begin getting our nation’s fiscal house in order, and this budget shows that he intends to keep his promise.”

Among those opposed to the proposed cuts are Rep. Bobby Scott (D-VA), ranking member of the House Education and the Workforce Committee. In a press release, Scott said the blueprint is “no way to grow the national economy or put people back to work.”

“Working families deserve a budget that invests in their health and futures, boosts wages, helps them balance work and family life, and levels the playing field for them and their children to succeed,” Scott said in the release. “President Trump’s budget proposal eliminates and reduces vital programs for students, teachers, and workers that will endanger public education, make college less affordable, and reduce the availability of workforce training.”

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