A bill (H.R. 1716) has been introduced in the House of Representatives to prohibit the Administration from imposing its government wide hiring freeze on the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The bill’s sponsor is Rep. Nydia Velazquez (D-NY-7), and co-sponsored by Rep. Jared Huffman (D-CA-2).

Support for this bill would be an important signal to the Administration of congressional opposition to its proposed budget cuts at EPA. The Administration is proposing a funding cut at EPA of 31%, the largest of any major federal agency. EPA would receive $5.7 billion in fiscal 2018 under President Trump’s request — down $2.6 billion from current funding levels. Such a cut would require reducing staffing levels by about 3,200 positions, something that would be impossible to do through attrition and therefore certainly would require RIFs, layoffs, and furloughs.

NTEU has been a key supporter of this bill, and ESC Local 20 will join them in continuing work on Capitol Hill and to protect the important work done at the EPA and the staff who make it all possible.