Zinke defends Trump’s big budget cuts to his own agency

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke fully backs President Trump’s effort to slash his department’s funding. Appearing before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources committee, Zinke justified the proposed $1.6 billion (13.4 percent) budget decrease for the U.S. Department of the Interior. This includes cutting the budgets for national parks by $400 million, the Bureau of Indian Affairs by $370 million, and the U.S. Geological Survey by $163 million. Turns out Zinke also intends to downsize the agency by getting rid of 4,000 employees. “This is what a balanced budget looks like,” he declared. Trying (in vain) to balance the federal budget by reducing staff and robbing the Interior’s resources is misguided at best and, at worst, a dereliction of duty as the head of our nation’s premier land-management agency. Fortunately, senators pushed back against Zinke’s zeal to underfund his own agency, informing him that his reckless budget proposal is going nowhere on Capitol Hill.

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