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Here’s why one Southern California Republican congressman took issue with part of Trump’s budget

By in Press Enterprise on July 15, 2017

By Jeff Horseman

Like other Republican members of Congress, Ken Calvert of Corona, through his words and votes, largely supports President Donald Trump’s agenda.

But in recent weeks, Calvert, the Inland Empire’s longest-serving congressman and chairman of California’s GOP House delegation, objected to at least two Trump administration proposals for the fiscal 2018 federal budget, which Congress is currently working on.

A woman walks her dog past a broken block wall in Fullerton after a 5.1-magnitude earthquake hit Orange County in this March 2014 file photo. GOP and Democratic lawmakers objected to a Trump administration plan to cut money from a project to develop an earthquake early warning system.

Calvert opposed a planned funding cut for a West Coast earthquake early warning system and aproposal to end a waiver that allows California to impose strict regulations on auto emissions. The congressman’s view on these issues is important because he chairs the House appropriations subcommittee that oversees spending by the Environmental Protection Agency and Department of the Interior.

As such, he holds considerable sway over how the EPA and Interior Department do their jobs. And with the GOP controlling Congress, Calvert can do more to change the budget than his Democratic counterparts.

Calvert’s panel July 11 approved a draft spending plan. The full House Appropriations Committee will take up the bill Tuesday, July 18.

In a telephone interview Thursday, Calvert, a congressman since the mid-1990s, said he’s “never agreed with any president’s budget proposal 100 percent.” He praised Trump’s budget for strengthening the military and bolstering border security.

The appropriations bill approved by Calvert’s subcommittee allocates $31.4 billion for interior and environmental spending, down $824 million from the current fiscal year but $4.3 billion above the president’s request. The EPA’s budget would be cut by $528 million.

Penny Newman, executive director of the Jurupa Valley-based Center for Community Action and Environmental Justice, […]    

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