President Donald Trump has unveiled the first budget proposal of his administration. The budget outline calls for cuts in funding to several government agencies, include the National Park Service.
Now, Rep. Raul Grijalva, a Democrat from Arizona, and the ranking member of the House Natural Resources Committee, is calling the administration out for its proposed cuts to the NPS.
"Closing national parks, hobbling critical federal agencies and blinding ourselves to natural disasters is beyond reckless," Grijalva said on March 15 of the proposed 10 percent cut to the agency's budget, reports the Washington Examiner. "This president is trying to run the federal budget like it's a first-grade math problem. Instead of trying to comprehend the complexities of a budget for a country this size, he just wants to subtract 10 percent and go to lunch early."
Even some inside the Trump administration are speaking out against the budget proposal. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has stated the budget cuts to the National Park Service left him "not happy."
"[If] implemented evenly across [Interior Department] agencies, a 10 percent reduction would eliminate funding equal to the budgets of the 12 largest National Park Service units, including Yosemite, Yellowstone, Grand Canyon, Everglades and Great Smoky Mountains national parks," Grijalva's office added.
The budget proposal includes cuts to a number of departments and agencies to pay for the president's planned increase of $54 billion to the Defense Department budget.
"Gutting our environmental agencies to pay for bombs, tanks and missiles we don't need is immoral, and the voters won't forget it," Grijalva continued. "Before they sign off on that program, Republicans might consider what happened in Washington after the American people got fed up with the Bush administration."
Meanwhile, others within Trump's administration are defending the proposal.
“We can't spend money on programs just because they sound good,” said Mike Mulvaney, director of the Office of Management and Budget, reports the Los Angeles Times.
“We are going to construct a way forward that allows us to be much more effective, much more efficient and be able to do a lot with fewer dollars," Secretary of State Rex Tillerson added.
Following the budget proposal's release, Republican Speaker of the House Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin signaled that he was ready to work with the plan.
"Do I think we can cut spending and get waste out of government?" Ryan asked. "Absolutely. Where and how, and what numbers, that’s something we’ll be figuring out as time goes on.”