Bush Budget Punishes Environment with Deep Cuts
For immediate release
Washington, DC—The Bush administration’s 2006 budget uses the ballooning federal deficit as cover to target the environment and other domestic programs with deep and punitive cuts. The budget, released today, would slash spending on environmental and natural resource programs ten percent below last year’s level.
Drains clean water funds. The budget provides a meager $730 million for the Clean Water State Revolving fund, significantly below last year’s level of $1 billion. This program protects public health by helping communities across the nation improve their wastewater infrastructure. EPA itself has concluded that capital needs for clean water infrastructure could reach $450 billion by 2019.
Derails Amtrak funding. The budget eliminates support for Amtrak, jeopardizing the viability of passenger rail and threatening a cleaner, more environmentally friendly mode of transportation.
Abandons pretense of fully funding the Land and Water Conservation Fund. The budget falls far short of meeting the president’s promise to fully fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF). The budget completely eliminates funding for the stateside LWCF grants, which states use to protect open space and promote recreation.
Threatens the Arctic Refuge. Once again, the budget cynically assumes $2.4 billion in revenue from drilling the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, even though the majority of Americans oppose opening the Refuge to drilling and the Senate has rejected the plan.
In addition, the budget includes a package of unbalanced budget process reforms that lock in deep spending cuts while allowing future tax cuts to be approved without being paid for. By abandoning the principle of shared sacrifice needed to truly address the deficit, these proposals would punish the environment and other priorities while allowing the deficit to grow unchecked.
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