Trump's EPA cuts run into Democratic and Republican foes | KUOW News and Information

Trump's EPA cuts run into Democratic and Republican foes

Jun 16, 2017

President Donald Trump's proposal to slash funding for the Environmental Protection Agency faced a tough crowd Thursday.

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt had come to Congress to sell the budget.

But both Democrats and Republicans at a House Appropriations subcommittee hearing said they would not approve the proposed 31 percent cut.

Democrat Derek Kilmer of Gig Harbor told Pruitt it was "indefensible."

"I’m all for partnership with the states, and I agree with fact there isn't one size fits all,” Kilmer said. “But my question is this, why should states and rural communities be stuck holding the bag for the federal government?"

Pruitt replied: "They shouldn’t, and the EPA has a very important role. We won't abdicate responsibility."

Kilmer: "But the budget you’ve produced zeroes out funding for Puget Sound recovery."

The Trump budget proposal would eliminate EPA funding to clean up places like Puget Sound and the Great Lakes.

Pruitt called those regional EPA grants "important," even as he defended eliminating them. 

Pruitt said he thought the agency could accomplish its core mission with a "trim" budget.

GOP Rep. David Joyce of Ohio said he opposed the cut in the budget for restoration of the Great Lakes.  He noted that 3 million people in Ohio receive drinking water from Lake Erie.

"For us, cleaning up the Great Lakes isn't just about correcting mistakes of the past, but creating new economic opportunities and a brighter future," he told Pruitt. The budget “would cripple our collective efforts, halt the progress we have are making and undermine the investments we have made.”