President Trump on Monday issued his latest proposal to dramatically scale back the funding for Chesapeake Bay cleanup programs.
In his fiscal 2020 budget request, Trump suggested cutting federal spending for the Chesapeake Bay Program from its current level of $73 million to $7.3 million.
This isn’t the first time the Trump administration has proposed slashing the Chesapeake Bay program. During his first year in office, Trump sought to eliminate funding for the program entirely. And in 2018, he suggested cutting funding from $73 million to $7.3 million — a 90 percent reduction.
But as with many of the proposed cuts outlined by the White House, Congress refused to comply with the president’s request. The program received $67.5 million in the fiscal 2018 budget and $73 million in the fiscal 2019 budget.
Members of Congress who support the program – including Republicans and Democrats from states along the Chesapeake Bay and in its watershed – are expected to fight to keep those funds in place, as they have in past years.
House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.) called Trump’s proposal a “nonstarter.”
The president’s $4.75 trillion budget request proposes increased spending on military programs, but recommends massive cuts to domestic programs. The Environmental Protection Agency would see its overall budget cut by about 31 percent. It suggests cuts to Medicaid and inclusion of $8.6 billion in funding for a wall along the southern U.S. border.
“Just months after inflicting a painful and costly 35-day shutdown, the President is putting our country at risk of yet another shutdown by demanding billions of dollars for an unnecessary and ineffective border wall,” Hoyer said in a statement.
“Furthermore, the President’s budget once again attacks our hardworking federal workforce by freezing their pay and threatening their retirement savings. The President’s proposal also seeks to repeal the Affordable Care Act and fails to invest in infrastructure, education and workforce development, and programs to improve the health of the Chesapeake Bay.”
Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) said the Trump budget “makes it clearer than ever where his priorities lie – in protecting millionaires and billionaires while cutting investments in health care, education, and the environment.”
“Families in Maryland and across the country deserve better,” Van Hollen said.