McCollum Condemns Trump’s EPA Budget Cuts at Pruitt Hearing
Congresswoman Betty McCollum (DFL-Minn.) condemned President Donald Trump’s cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency and vowed House Democrats will strongly oppose them during an appropriations hearing with EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt today.
“The Environmental Protection Agency is responsible for protecting human health and the environment and ensuring clean air and clean water for families and children. Yet the budget you have come before us to support today would endanger the health of millions of Americans, jeopardize the quality of our air and water, and wreak havoc on our economy,” Congresswoman McCollum told Administrator Pruitt. “The Trump Administration’s fiscal year 2018 budget abandons the EPA’s responsibility to the American people by proposing a $2.4 billion cut— a 30 percent cut! The last time an EPA appropriation was this low was in 1990. This Administration would set the Agency back 30 years, ignoring the complex environmental challenges we face today.”
Congresswoman McCollum specifically addressed the Trump administration’s devastating climate agenda, which has included the United States’ withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement. In the fiscal year 2018 budget for the EPA, President Trump and Administrator Pruitt have proposed cutting climate change programs by 91 percent.
“The most recent and most reckless action was his withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement, which has made the United States an environmental rogue nation,” Congresswoman McCollum said. “This budget is the latest expression of the Administration’s willful denial of climate science. The EPA’s website states ‘Earth is currently getting warmer because people are adding heat-trapping greenhouse gases to the atmosphere.’ Yet this budget ignores that science, and cuts funding for climate change programs by 91 percent.”
In her opening statement, Congresswoman McCollum noted strong bipartisan opposition to many of President Trump’s proposed cuts to the EPA. Congresswoman McCollum also laid down her marker for EPA spending, insisting on nothing less than funding at fiscal year 2017 levels.
“President Trump can propose this destructive budget and Administrator Pruitt can promote it. But it is Congress and this committee that will determine the EPA’s funding,” Congresswoman McCollum said. “As Members of Congress, we cannot allow the harm to the American people that this budget would inflict. I will strongly oppose anything below the current fiscal year 2017 funding level for the EPA, and I will do everything I can to ensure another 192 Democrats are standing with me.”
The full text of Congresswoman McCollum’s opening statement is available here.