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President’s Budget Hollows out Critical Components of Security

Feb 16, 2018

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The President’s budget once again fails to recognize that our security depends on much more than military might and building walls. Effective security requires diplomacy and foreign aid to prevent war and to broker the peace in times of conflict; law enforcement to keep our communities safe; oversight to protect our food supply, the air we breathe, and the water we drink; innovation in science and technology to keep our edge over competitors; programs to mitigate the destabilizing effects of climate change; and investments in education and infrastructure to keep the economy – the source of our strength – growing. Unfortunately, the President’s budget hollows out all these areas, leaving the country more vulnerable.

Diplomacy and foreign aid — The budget cuts funding for diplomacy and foreign aid by $17 billion (30 percent) below the 2017 level, despite the calls of dozens of retired generals and admirals to fully fund these efforts aimed at avoiding conflicts and stabilizing global hotspots.

Law enforcement and first responders — The budget cuts criminal justice assistance by $566 million (22 percent) below the 2017 level; these funds help localities hire and equip police officers, among other law enforcement activities. It also cuts FEMA federal assistance by $379 million (13 percent) below the 2017 level – funds that pay for security-related activities, including securing ports and preparing first responders for terrorism and other catastrophic events.

Clean air and water — The budget cuts the natural resources and environment budget function by $7 billion (18 percent) below the 2017 enacted level, including a 25 percent cut to the Environmental Protection Agency.

Climate change — The budget eliminates funds for international efforts to combat climate change and cuts programs that would help reduce carbon emissions – including a $1.3 billion, or 65 percent, cut to the Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy program.

Science and technology — The budget eliminates the Advanced Research Projects Agency at the Department of Energy, which does cutting-edge research on energy technology. Its elimination cedes a competitive edge in an important industry to other countries such as China.

Education and infrastructure — The budget makes college less affordable by cutting student loans by $203 billion and proposes a woefully inadequate infrastructure plan that asks state governments to finance most of the investments, money they do not have. This will leave our workforce underprepared and our infrastructure inadequate to compete in a 21st Century economy.