WASHINGTON – American Federation of Government Employees National President Everett Kelley issued the following statement after the House GOP passed legislation eviscerating funding for the Environmental Protection Agency and other related agencies like the National Park Service:
“To suggest cutting EPA’s budget by nearly 40% is breathtaking in its irresponsibility. Make no mistake: cuts of this magnitude to the EPA budget undermine the agency’s ability to protect our air, food, and water. House Republicans’ disregard for the health and well-being of Americans is truly astounding.
“The Biden administration’s request for a 19.2 percent increase in EPA funding demonstrated an acknowledgement that the agency needs increased resources and more professional staff after years of dangerous neglect. The House Republicans’ EPA budget takes the agency back to levels not seen since 1991
“For more than 50 years, the professionals at EPA have ensured the safety of our water and our air through scientific research, standard setting, and enforcement of critical environmental laws.
“As our country charts our response to the existential threat posed by the climate crisis, these dangerous cuts would not only put the jobs of thousands of hard-working employees at risk but would also allow polluters to run rampant, exacerbating climate risks to human health. While we are forced to watch our forests burn, severe storms devastate our coastlines, and rising seas threaten our cities, it is no time for political gamesmanship.
“These extreme cuts to EPA have nothing to do with fiscal prudence. They’re about nothing more than creating chaos and pain for the American people.”
AFGE Council 238 President Marie Owens Powell released the following statement:
“Budgets reflect priorities, and, once again, it’s clear that the priorities of Republicans in the House are to protect polluter industry allies and ignore the public health and economic crisis posed by climate change and environmental destruction. The GOP’s dirty budget proposal aims to gut EPA by more than a third, by far the largest cut among all other federal agencies. The cut, which translates into nearly $3 billion, will further hamstring the agency’s already hobbled enforcement capacity, severely undermine lifesaving health protections, and nearly dissolve groundbreaking clean energy research programs.
“The budget proposal underscores the GOP’s refusal to accept the warnings by nearly every organization monitoring our climate. We must transition to a clean energy economy in order to address the threat climate change poses to our health, economy, and national security.”
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