CAGW Recommendations for Trump Administration's Nickel Plan- DOI

November 1, 2018

The Honorable Ryan Zinke
Secretary, Department of the Interior
1100 Ohio Drive, S.W.
Washington D.C. 20242

Dear Secretary Zinke,

During a meeting on October 17, 2018, President Trump directed you and other members of his Cabinet to cut their department budgets by 5 percent in fiscal year (FY) 2019.  With a national debt of more than $21 trillion and the budget deficit soaring to its highest level since 2012, President Trump’s initiative will help to improve fiscal responsibility.

Since 1993, Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) has annually published Prime Cuts, a comprehensive account of options the federal government possesses to reduce waste, fraud, abuse, and mismanagement.  The 2018 edition has 636 recommendations that would save $429.8 billion in the first year and $3.1 trillion over five years.  Since CAGW was established in 1984 following the release of the Grace Commission report under President Reagan, the implementation of recommendations similar to those in Prime Cuts has helped save taxpayers $1.8 trillion.

I urge you to consider the following recommendations for President Trump’s 5 percent spending cut directive that are included in Prime Cuts 2018, as well as proposed in whole or in part in the President’s Major Savings and Reforms for FYs 2018 and 2019.

  • Eliminate funding for grants to Appalachian states for economic development projects in conjunction with coal abandoned mine land reclamation

                1-Year Savings: $105 million        5-Year Savings: $525 million

  • Eliminate $20 million in funding for the Centennial Challenge Fund at the National Park Service

                1-Year Savings: $20 million          5-Year Savings: $100 million

  • Reduce federal land acquisition funding for the Department of the Interior to $8 million

                1-Year Savings: $146 million        5-Year Savings: $730 million

  • Eliminate the Heritage Partnership Program

                1-Year Savings: $20 million          5-Year Savings: $100 million

  • Cancel Southern Nevada Public Lands Management Act balances

                1-Year Savings: $83 million          5-Year Savings: $230 million

  • Reauthorize the Federal Land Transaction Facilitation Act

                1-Year Savings: $5 million            5-Year Savings: $35 million

  • Repeal enhanced geothermal payments to counties

                1-Year Savings: $4 million            5-Year Savings: $20 million

Secretary Zinke, thank you for your efforts to be a responsible steward of the taxpayers’ money.  Your work to fulfill President Trump’s 5 percent cut directive will show taxpayers that your department stands with them in rooting out wasteful spending in the federal government.


Tom Schatz
President, CAGW

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