The Environmental Protection Agency might see its funding slashed by 25 percent under President Donald Trump's proposed budget, CNN reported.
Such a cut would be "devastating" to the agency, CNN quoted a former EPA official.
Trump said Monday his budget would increase defense spending by $54 billion and cut non-defense spending by the same amount. Details of the cuts were not provided, but Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney said Monday, while announcing the cuts, the White House would work with agency directors in the process.
EPA employees already were fearful about the future of their agency after the confirmation of EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt earlier this month. Pruitt, in his previous job as Oklahoma attorney general, sued the EPA multiple times.
CNN reported one current employee said the EPA likely will be dwindled to its most basic functions, and another source said the cuts are not expected to affect the EPA's main mission.
"You're not going to see cuts to programs that require us to build things like: building waste water facilities, building facilities for clean water. We are committed to capital investments," the source said.
"It is clear that big changes are on their way," said John O'Grady with the union that represents EPA employees. "It is going to have to mean layoffs or closing facilities or a combination of the two."
Some in the agency do not believe the Trump administration can make such cuts, O'Grady said.
"Technically, they have the authority to do it, but do they have the right to do it?" he said. "I think that moves into the realm of morality."
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