President Trump released an outline of his first budget proposal on Thursday, March 16 calling for large cuts to numerous federal programs in order to offset a big uptick in military and defense spending.
The document requests drastic downsizing for several domestic departments, including the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Department of the Interior.
These projected cuts, however, call for a, “seismic disruption in government-funded medical and scientific research,” wrote The Washington Post.
We listed a few of the science initiatives that could be impacted based on the information found in the President’s plan.
Environmental Protection Agency
Proposed Cuts: 31 percent budget reduction.
Estimated Impact: Achieving this goal would call for eliminating an estimated 3,200 staff positions, cutting funding for enacting the Clean Power Plan, slashing regulations to prevent greenhouse gas emissions, and ending financing for a variety of climate change programs. Also, the document seeks to eliminate funding for local programs like the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative and cleanup of the Chesapeake Bay.
Health and Human Services
Proposed Cuts: 17.9 percent budget reduction.
Estimated Impact: More than a third of these cuts would affect the National Institutes of Health, according to another Washington Post report. This would involve reorganizing the Institutes and Centers to focus on the highest priority research and training activities, through tactics like eliminating the Fogarty International Center and consolidating the agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.
However, the President’s team wants increase spending by $500 million to combat the opioid epidemic, while also creating an emergency fund to help respond to disease outbreaks.
Department of Energy
Proposed Cuts: 5.6 percent budget reduction
Estimated Impact: The Office of Science could lose 900 million, hindering research support at 300 universities and 10 of the nation’s 17 national labs. Other programs that could be abolished are the Advanced Research Projects-Energy, the Title 17 Innovative Technology Loan Guarantee Program for projects working on low-carbon energy tools and the Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing program. The document states that the private sector would be better equipped to advance disruptive energy research and development.
The budget of the National Nuclear Security Administration—which manages the country’s nuclear arsenal— is set to be increased as part of the new budget proposal, while another $120 million has been allotted to restart activities at the Yucca Mountain Storage Facility, which is designed to host nuclear waste.
Proposed Cuts: 16 percent budget reduction.
Estimated Impact: The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration could lose over $250 million in research grants for tasks like supporting coastal and marine management and education. The administration wants to maintain the development of current polar orbiting and geostationary weather satellites along with investing over $1 billion in National Weather Forecasting capabilities.
These budget changes aren’t set in stone. The President needs to submit the reminder of his budget in May while Congress works on a number of other spending measures, explained CBS News