Understanding the Budget

The federal budget determines what programs get funded—and what gets cut. Unfortunately, the current administration is targeting some of the most effective agencies and programs working on public and environmental health. Explore the issues by reading the posts below, and make sure to let your legislators how you feel by calling their offices and speaking at town halls (here is a list of upcoming events).


This Summer’s Gulf “Dead Zone” Could Be Bigger Than Connecticut—and Trump’s Budget Cuts Would Make It Worse

, senior analyst, Food and Environment

Summer is almost here, and you know what that means. Sun, sand, and…a watery wasteland devoid of all life? Yep, this is the time each year when a team of federal and university scientists predicts the size of the so-called dead zone that will develop in the Gulf of Mexico later in the summer. We’re waiting for that official prediction, but based on federal nitrate flux data and Midwest weather patterns this spring, it seems likely that it will be bigger than usual. Read more >

Bookmark and Share

The EPA Budget Cuts Are A Direct Attack on Our Air, Water, and Health

, senior climate scientist

UPDATE (June 26, 11:30 am): The next EPA Senate budget hearing is scheduled to start this Tuesday, June 27, at 9:30 am. UCS will begin tweeting about the hearing once it starts. For more on how you can stand up for science in response to President Trump’s proposed budget cuts, check out our local action toolkit.


Congress will have a chance this week to question why Scott Pruitt proposes to eviscerate the Environmental Protection Agency budget by 30%. Let that sink in—nearly a third of the agency’s activities could vanish.

Read more >

Bookmark and Share

Scott Pruitt testifies this week before the Senate for the first time as EPA administrator. Photo: Gage Skidmore/Flickr

Five Questions Scott Pruitt Should Answer at This Week’s EPA Budget Hearing

, executive director

This is the first time Mr. Pruitt will appear on Capitol Hill since his confirmation hearing, and the first time members of Congress will be able to publicly question him about the proposal to slash the EPA budget by 30%. Read more >

Bookmark and Share

Federal funding should help ensure that communities are better prepared before disaster strikes, instead of just picking up the pieces afterwards. Photo: chere/Shutterstock

4 Ways President Trump’s Budget Takes Aim at FEMA and Disaster Preparedness

, Policy Director and Lead Economist, Climate & Energy

The damaging cuts included in President’s Trump proposed budget make clear that the administration is willing to put Americans at risk by shortchanging investments in disaster preparedness. Read more >

Bookmark and Share

Mandating that there are no net carbon emissions from burning forest biomass to produce energy does not make it so in fact. Photo: Marcus Kauffman/Flickr

On Bioenergy, Budgets, and Why Legislating Scientific Facts Is Never a Good Idea

, director of science & policy

We need members of Congress to resist the Trump administration’s call for deep cuts to federal science and science-based environmental and public health protections in its proposed FY18 budget. We also need to keep them from adding anti-science special provisions, or ‘policy riders,’ in the budget bill they ultimately pass.

There is reason for both hope and concern. Read more >

Bookmark and Share