USA — President Bush wants to cut funding for wildland fire management, agricultural research, the CALFED Bay-Delta and other programs important to California.
In his $3.1 trillion budget proposal released Monday, Bush also eliminates a program that reimburses state and local governments for the cost of incarcerating criminal undocumented immigrants.
At the same time, he wants to boost spending on defense and homeland security, aiming to spend an additional $500 million to hire 2,200 new Border Patrol agents and $35 million more on a program to detect bioterrorism.
The budget reflects the “misplaced priorities of the Bush administration,” Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., said in a statement.
“Defense is up. Homeland security is up,” she said. “But the remainder of the domestic programs that matter most to Americans are slashed.”
Environmental programs that help ensure air and water quality are among the domestic programs that would get cut under Bush’s budget, which proposes a $330 million reduction to the Environmental Protection Agency’s budget.
“The EPA’s job is to protect the health of our families, but with this budget, the president is once again sending a clear message that cleaning up our environment is not a priority for the Bush administration,” Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., said in a statement.
Rep. Mary Bono Mack, R-Palm Springs, said she plans to review the budget more closely in the coming days but said the increased strain on the U.S. economy “makes it critical that we take strong steps to ensure continued tax relief for American families and small businesses.”
Bush’s plan may have little impact when Congress begins work on appropriations bills. That’s because Bush is in the final year of his presidency and Democrats control both the House and Senate.
Bush’s plan would increase spending for defense nearly 8 percent to $515 billion in 2009, and funding for the Department of Homeland Security also would grow by about 8 percent.
Bush wants to cut discretionary Transportation Department spending by 26 percent, as well as trim $14.2 billion from the projected growth in Medicare and Medicaid.