EPA accused of snubbing Trump with Presidents' Day message

Alex Woodward
AFP via Getty Images

The Environmental Protection Agency forgot a crucial word in its well wishes on Washington's Birthday, appearing to snub Donald Trump by celebrating presidents "past and future" and not the one presently sitting in the White House.

On Twitter, the agency posted the message: "EPA joins the nation this #PresidentsDay in celebrating all our presidents past and future."

It's not likely an intentional snub — the agency's current administrator Andrew Wheeler is a Trump ally and former coal lobbyist who worked in the Senate to reduce emissions regulations and was a longtime aide to Senator Jim Inhofe, who famously brought a snowball to the senate floor to deny the existence of global warming.

But the message follows the president's dramatic cuts to the agency in his $4.8 trillion budget proposal, which would gut the EPA's annual budget by 27 per cent from $9 billion in 2020 to $6.6 billion in 2021 while laying off more than 1,500 employees.

Those cuts also represent the loss of millions of dollars in grant funding for safe drinking water and clean water programmes, as well as testing and enforcement efforts.

In a press release celebrating the budget, the EPA said it aims to reduce "regulatory overreach" and "place an emphasis on reducing unnecessary or duplicative burden to the regulated community".

Formally Washington's Birthday, Presidents' Day is a federal holiday on the third Monday of February to mark the birthday of the first US president and, informally, Abraham Lincoln, whose birthday is 12 February, as well as other commanders in chief.

Meanwhile, the president failed to make the federal holiday about anyone other than himself, thanks to the addition of an apostrophe: "HAPPY PRESIDENT'S DAY!"