USGS Director Says No Job Cuts, Despite Trump Budget Calling For Them

Feb 21, 2020
Originally published on February 23, 2020 12:36 pm

Earlier this month, the Trump administration released its budget proposal for next year. It included significant cuts to the U.S. Geological Survey, but that agency’s director told the Mountain West News Bureau that’s not going to happen.

The USGS is the largest federal source of climate science. The president’s proposal would cut nearly $300 million and more than 800 jobs at the agency — almost 20% of the current workforce.

“There’s no cuts anticipated in terms of jobs,” said Jim Reilly, the agency’s director.

The Trump administration is proposing changes to the way appropriations are organized within USGS, saying it will increase efficiencies among departments and programs. But, as the Mountain West News Bureau previously reported, environmentalists are concerned that shifting money around would result in less climate scientists on the payroll.

“There are some realignments and some efficiencies, which is something we wanted to do anyway. And that’s really to focus better on how we collaborate, not only internally, but also with our partners,” Reilly said.

Like most presidential budgets, this is unlikely to be passed as is. House Democrats have already expressed concerns, as have some Republican lawmakers.

This story was produced by the Mountain West News Bureau, a collaboration between Wyoming Public Media, Boise State Public Radio in Idaho, KUER in Salt Lake City, KUNR in Nevada, the O’Connor Center For the Rocky Mountain West in Montana, and KRCC and KUNC in Colorado.

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