Federal workforce early target of Trump’s ‘deconstruction’ era

Federal workforce early target of Trump’s ‘deconstruction’ era

Specifically citing the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE), which represents VA staff members, Roe added that he wants to “eliminate the ability for unions to use existing grievance procedures to dispute major adverse actions,” which he said can take almost 350 days.

The disciplinary process certainly can be slow, sometimes too slow, as can democracy. But due process, a fundamental part of the democratic process, is designed to protect taxpayers, as well as employees, from a politicized government that plays favorites with services to the public and the people who perform them. Improvements to the system should reflect that, provide adequate employee response time and the resources adjudicating agencies need to improve efficiency while seeking justice.

The GOP targeting of federal employee unions was more overt in the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. It approved legislation Friday that would sharply cut “official time.” Rep. Jody Hice (R-Ga.), the bill’s sponsor, misrepresented the practice by saying that “paying federal employees to do union work interferes with providing the services that taxpayers deserve.” Continue reading “Federal workforce early target of Trump’s ‘deconstruction’ era”

Trump budget expected to seek historic contraction of federal workforce

 

March 12 at 7:47 PM

President Trump’s budget proposal this week would shake the federal government to its core if enacted, culling back numerous programs and expediting a historic contraction of the federal workforce.

This would be the first time the government has executed cuts of this magnitude — and all at once — since the drawdown following World War II, economists and budget analysts said.

The spending budget Trump is set to release Thursday will offer the clearest snapshot of his vision for the size and role of government. Aides say that the president sees a new Washington emerging from the budget process, one that prioritizes the military and homeland security while slashing many other areas, including housing, foreign assistance, environmental programs, public broadcasting and research. Simply put, government would be smaller and less involved in regulating life in America, with private companies and states playing a much bigger role.

The cuts Trump plans to propose this week are also expected to lead to layoffs among federal workers, changes that would be felt sharply in the Washington area. According to an economic analysis by Mark Zandi, chief economist for Moody’s Analytics, the reductions outlined so far by Trump’s advisers would reduce employment in the region by 1.8 percent and personal income by 3.5 percent, and lower home prices by 1.9 percent.

“These are not the kind of cuts that you can accommodate by tightening the belt one notch, by shaving a little bit off of a program, or by downsizing a few staff here or there,” said Robert Reischauer, a former director of the Congressional Budget Office. “These are cuts that would require a wholesale triage of a vast array of federal activities.”

Continue reading “Trump budget expected to seek historic contraction of federal workforce”

Denver EPA office could be at risk in Trump’s plan for cuts

 

Denver EPA office could be at risk in Trump’s plan for cuts

March 6, 2017 Updated: March 6, 2017 at 7:12 pm

The EPA’s Denver office could be a target for closure as the Trump administration looks to make deep cuts in federal regulatory programs.

The environmental newsletter InsideEPA.com reported Monday that the Office of Management & Budget had instructed the EPA to study the potential of two regional offices being merged with others as a means toward “efficiencies.”

Denver could be the recipient of merged offices, as well.

Continue reading “Denver EPA office could be at risk in Trump’s plan for cuts”

Drastic EPA budget cuts threaten Great Lakes cleanup efforts

 

Drastic EPA budget cuts threaten Great Lakes cleanup efforts

President Trump budget plan would slash funds from $300 million to $10 million

Posted: 5:35 PM, March 06, 2017Updated: 5:35 PM, March 06, 2017

Efforts to clean up the Great Lakes could soon hit a massive speed bump as President Donald Trump’s budget plan would slash funding for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative from $300 million to $10 million.

The proposed cuts have upset both environmental groups and mayors of cities that rely on the Great Lakes.

The Clinton River spillway project began last year and with the aim of increasing the flood plain and wetland potential for fish habitat.

The project is being funded by the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, a program started in 2010 that funds state and local projects that combat invasive species, restores wildlife habitats and cleans up watersheds that have been polluted by a rust belt legacy.

The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative focuses on the areas surrounding the Great Lakes.

Continue reading “Drastic EPA budget cuts threaten Great Lakes cleanup efforts”

What We Know About Trump’s Proposed Budget Cuts So Far

What We Know About Trump’s Proposed Budget Cuts So Far

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin (right) listens to  President Trump during a February meeting about the budget. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin (right) listens to President Trump during a February meeting about the budget. Evan Vucci/AP

The Trump administration has promised massive cuts in its preliminary budget later this month, including $54 billion in spending reductions to domestic agencies.

The White House will not provide the details and distribution of those cuts until next week, when it submits to Congress the topline suggestions for agency spending. Overall, non-defense agencies would collectively see their discretionary spending cut by about 10 percent in fiscal 2018. That is on top of a restoration of spending limits set by the 2011 Budget Control Act.

Office of Management and Budget officials have been careful to say the White House and agencies are currently engaging in the “passback” phase of the budgeting process, and discussions of specific programs to cut or eliminate are preliminary in nature. Still, leaked memoranda have demonstrated at least initial thoughts on how Trump and OMB Director Mick Mulvaney envision the reductions taking place. OMB has said “most federal agencies” will face cuts.

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Continue reading “What We Know About Trump’s Proposed Budget Cuts So Far”

Deep cuts to environmental research in Trump’s budget proposal

 

Deep cuts to environmental research in Trump’s budget proposal

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JIM LO SCALZO/EPA

The first draft of President Trump’s proposed budget is out and it’s heavy on cuts to government science. This is the first step in a long budgeting process so these numbers aren’t final, but they are a clear indication of the value the Trump Administration places on science-based policy.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is facing reductions to its research arm totaling $126 million, or 26 per cent of its current budget, according to reports by the Washington Post.

NOAA’s SeaGrant program, which funds coastal research in 33 states and supplied the Gulf Coast states with science-based guidance during the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, is up for elimination entirely.

“The proposed draconian cuts to NOAA’s budget would be devastating to the economy, jobs, and to the safety and livelihoods of Americans in every state,” says Jane Lubchenco, former NOAA Administrator under President Obama.

Continue reading “Deep cuts to environmental research in Trump’s budget proposal”

Leaked document details plan to starve an already malnourished EPA budget

Leaked document details plan to starve an already malnourished EPA budget

In this Jan. 20, 2015 file photo, a plume of steam billows from the coal-fired Merrimack Station in Bow, N.H.

A leaked version of a US Environmental Protection Agency budget proposal sent out by the Trump administration last week is dominated by cuts that would ravage the agency’s ability to function, reducing funding for many of its core programs by 20-30% each and zeroing out others altogether.

The proposed budget would also eliminate about 3,000 EPA jobs, on top of the program-funding cuts, reducing staff to numbers not seen since 1985. The agency’s science office, responsible for the research that helps set pollution standards, would “implode,” according to a senior EPA official who spoke with Science, and in several areas, like climate change mitigation and pollution reduction, budgets would be so reduced that the agency would likely be unable to do major parts of its job.

To a lesser degree, that’s been happening for a long time. The EPA’s budget—just 0.22% of the national budget—has mostly stayed flat or declined for the last 10 years, aside from a notable stimulus spike in 2010. That trend kept the EPA from fully doing its job for years, according to George Wyeth, an attorney on staff at the agency for 27 years before leaving January 2017. When he was with the EPA, he says, there wasn’t enough money or resources at times to fully implement every rule and regulation. So staff were already making decisions about what rules to not fully enforce. Continue reading “Leaked document details plan to starve an already malnourished EPA budget”

Trump Administration Seeks to Cut NOAA Budget by 17%

 

Trump Administration Seeks to Cut NOAA Budget by 17%

March 4, 2017 

NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer

The White House is seeking cuts to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to the tune of 17% as part of its FY 2018 budget proposal.

The Washington Post reported the proposed cuts after it obtained the relevant portion of the Trump administration’s budget proposal. According to the report, the budget cuts to NOAA would be among the following:

  • Cut the Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research by $126 million
  • Cut its satellite data division by $513 million
  • The National Marine Fisheries Service and National Weather Service, two agencies within NOAA, would see budget cuts of 5%

As written, the budget proposal would reduce NOAA’s parent agency, the Commerce Department, by 18%.

Layoffs and… Pay Raises?

Continue reading “Trump Administration Seeks to Cut NOAA Budget by 17%”

Climate, other programs get deep cuts in EPA budget proposal

 

JOHN FLESHER, MATTHEW DALY and CATHERINE LUCEY
Associated Press March 3, 2017
FILE - In this March 21, 2016 file photo, the Flint Water Plant water tower is seen in Flint, Mich. The Trump administration would slash programs aimed at slowing climate change and improving water safety and air quality, while eliminating thousands of jobs, according to a draft of the Environmental Protection Agency budget proposal obtained by the Associated Press.  (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio, File)
FILE – In this March 21, 2016 file photo, the Flint Water Plant water tower is seen in Flint, Mich. The Trump administration would slash programs aimed at slowing climate change and improving water safety and air quality, while eliminating thousands of jobs, according to a draft of the Environmental Protection Agency budget proposal obtained by the Associated Press. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration would slash programs aimed at slowing climate change and improving water safety and air quality, while eliminating thousands of jobs, according to a draft of the Environmental Protection Agency budget proposal obtained by The Associated Press.

Under the tentative plan from the Office of Management and Budget, the agency’s funding would be reduced by roughly 25 percent and about 3,000 jobs would be cut, about 19 percent of the agency’s staff.

President Donald Trump has said he plans to pay for billions of dollars more for the military by cutting spending on domestic agencies and departments. Trump plans to submit his budget to Congress the week of March 13.

Continue reading “Climate, other programs get deep cuts in EPA budget proposal”

Critics Assail White House Proposal for Steep Cuts to EPA

 

Critics Assail White House Proposal for Steep Cuts to EPA

Even EPA administrator Scott Pruitt, a longtime critic of the agency, said that he disagrees with the White House about some of the planned cuts.

By 16 hours ago

A reported proposal by the White House to sharply cut the budget and staff of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and to zero out a number of agency programs has drawn a sharp rebuke from Democrats, scientists, and environment groups.

The proposed plan from the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for fiscal year (FY) 2018 would reduce EPA’s budget by about 25%, from about $8.2 billion to $6.1 billion annually, and trim staff by about 20%, from about 15,000 to 12,000, according to the Washington Post and confirmed by Eos.

The plan, which comes at an early stage of the budget process, recommends zeroing out many agency programs and grants, including initiatives focused on global change research, implementation of the Clean Power Plan, clean diesel funding under the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act, environmental justice, and environmental education. Funding for other programs that address human exposure to radon, the cleanup and reuse of “brownfield” properties, and energy conservation through Energy Star grants also vanishes in the proposal. In addition, the Chesapeake Bay cleanup project would drop from $73 million to $5 million in FY 2018, according to the Post.

Continue reading “Critics Assail White House Proposal for Steep Cuts to EPA”