AGU Responds to White House’s Budget Proposal for FY 2020

11 March 2019

Washington, D.C.—The following statement is attributable to American Geophysical Union (AGU) Executive Director/CEO Chris McEntee:

President Trump asserts that his fiscal year 2020 budget is an investment in America’s students and workers, and that it aspires to turbocharge “the industries of the future.” However, those claims quickly fall flat when you realize that his proposal imposes damaging cuts to the science programs, which can protect our environment, public health and national security, as well as secure and grow our economy.

The President’s budget would also pit increases in crucial national security programs against funding not just for science, but also for health, education and other pivotal programs. Specifically, the proposal would cut nondefense discretionary funding to $563 billion (a nine percent drop from FY19) while increasing funds for national defense nearly five percent above FY19 levels. As a result, federal science agencies that play a key role in driving the economy and building the nation’s science, technology, engineering and math pipeline — including USGS, Department of Energy’s Office of Science, NASA, and the National Science Foundation — are pared back dramatically. At the same time, education initiatives like Sea Grant and Space Grant and NASA’s educational programs are slashed to levels that would stymie support for young and emerging scientists and research innovation. President Trump also committed to addressing and ameliorating large scale threats to public health, yet his budget proposes to cut 25% from the EPA and 15% from the National Institutes of Health, two of the agencies at the forefront of environmental health and protections.

In addition to its numerous mismatches between stated priorities and suggested funding, the President’s proposal is unlikely to find significant support in Congress. AGU continues to work with Congress to provide robust funding for science to protect public health, grow the economy, preserve our national security, and build a workforce equipped for the 21st century.


Founded in 1919, AGU is a not-for-profit scientific society dedicated to advancing Earth and space science for the benefit of humanity. We support 60,000 members, who reside in 135 countries, as well as our broader community, through high-quality scholarly publications, dynamic meetings, our dedication to science policy and science communications, and our commitment to building a diverse and inclusive workforce, as well as many other innovative programs. AGU is home to the award-winning news publication Eos, the Thriving Earth Exchange, where scientists and community leaders work together to tackle local issues, and a headquarters building that represents Washington, D.C.’s first net zero energy commercial renovation. We are celebrating our Centennial in 2019. #AGU100

AGU Contact:

Joshua Speiser