Trump’s budget wants the US to stop watching the planet

February 12, 2018

Enlarge / You spent the money to build it and put it into orbit? Twice? Doesn’t matter, shut it down. (credit: NASA)

Today, the Trump administration released a proposed budget that called for massive cuts to science research across the federal government. But Trumps’s budget was accompanied by a second document that rescinded some of the cuts, even while complaining that doing so was a bad idea. Meanwhile, drastic cuts to environmental and renewable energy programs remain in both budget versions.

The confusion was caused by last week’s bipartisan budget deal, which raised caps on both military and domestic spending. The Trump administration had been planning on working within the caps and raising military spending while cutting back elsewhere, including on scientific research. The budget deal, however, raised military and domestic spending, which would suddenly infuse the latter with lots of extra cash. In response, the Trump administration released an addendum in which it reset a few of the priorities in light of the budget deal.

So what we have is a view into the Trump administration’s actual intentions for science, along with some indication of what it will do now that Congress has forced its hands.

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