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PA's Environmental Protection Head Signs Letter Urging Against EPA Budget Cuts

Katie Blackley
90.5 WESA

Secretary Patrick McDonnell and 19 Attorneys General signed a letter to congressional leaders urging them to block proposed cuts to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's budget.

The letter was addressed to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy.

The proposed 2020 budget penned by the Trump administration would cut the EPA's budget by 31 percent, or nearly $2.8 billion.

"[These cuts], coupled with authorization for extensive workforce reductions, promise to undermine EPA's ability to do its job," the letter reads. "[The cuts] reflect a fundamental lack of appreciation for the essential role the Agency plays in supporting states and local communities, and protecting the health and environment of all Americans."

The letter argues that the cuts would be "debilitating" to efforts to combat climate change and ameliorate pollution and air quality.

"Cuts of the magnitude proposed by the Administration threaten to reverse decades of environmental and public health progress," the letter says.

The EPA's budget has been in a precarious situation before. The proposed 2019 budget proposed slashing the agency's funding by a third, compared to the 2018 budget. However, a federal spending deal signed by President Trump in February to avoid another partial government shutdown kept its budget at nearly the same level, $8.8 billion.