White House eyeing even deeper EPA cuts: report

White House eyeing even deeper EPA cuts: report
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The Trump administration is weighing even deeper cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency than previous versions of their budget outline suggested, according to a new report.

The EPA and agency chief Scott Pruitt did not fight the 25 percent cut the White House proposed in its first budget draft last month, Axios reported Tuesday, and officials are now considering cutting the agency’s $8.1 billion budget even further. 

In talks with the administration, Pruitt only fought proposed cuts to the agency’s clean-up budget, something he told a group of mayors earlier this month he would do.

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Instead, the ax looks set to fall hardest on EPA's climate change programs, with the staff there expected to leave the agency. Pruitt has repeatedly challenged the scientific consensus on human-caused climate change, saying he doesn't believe carbon-dioxide is a major factor driving it.

"[EPA employees] just have to deal with it, because this was coming," one person told Axios.

But given Pruitt's acceptance of the rest of Trump’s budget plan, the administration is looking to cut the agency’s budget and its regulatory programs even deeper than before, according to the report. 

An EPA official did not immediately respond to a request for comment. 

Trump’s EPA budget proposal is likely to run into opposition in Congress. 

Even though Republicans have roundly criticized the agency’s regulatory work, Trump has proposed cuts to EPA programs that many lawmakers support.

Key House appropriators this month said they were uneasy with the depth of the cuts proposed for the agency. The GOP has cut the agency’s budget by about 20 percent since taking control of the House in 2011, but it's never proposed a one-year cut as deep as the one pitched by the White House.