Trump Administration Seeks to Cut NOAA Budget by 17%

The White House budget proposal for FY 2018 includes an overall 17% cut to the budget of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

The White House is seeking cuts to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to the tune of 17% as part of its FY 2018 budget proposal.

The Washington Post reported the proposed cuts after it obtained the relevant portion of the Trump administration’s budget proposal. According to the report, the budget cuts to NOAA would be among the following:

  • Cut the Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research by $126 million
  • Cut its satellite data division by $513 million
  • The National Marine Fisheries Service and National Weather Service, two agencies within NOAA, would see budget cuts of 5%

As written, the budget proposal would reduce NOAA’s parent agency, the Commerce Department, by 18%.

Layoffs and… Pay Raises?

Pay raises for NOAA employees are a possibility in the budget proposal.

According to the Washington Post, the White House’s Office of Management and Budget (OMB) is seeking cost information from the Commerce Department for laying off NOAA employees. However, while layoffs may be included in the budget cuts, OMB also said that remaining NOAA employees should get a 1.9% pay increase beginning in January 2018.

According to data from, in FY 2015, the latest available salary data, the average salary for NOAA employees was $99,559.94 for 11,501 employees.

EPA Budget Cuts

The White House’s FY 2018 budget proposal also includes proposed cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency of 25%.

The cuts to both EPA and NOAA are part of a broader effort by the new administration to scale back spending on climate change initiatives.

The cuts to these and other agencies also pave the way for increased spending on the military. One of the key initiatives of President Trump’s budget proposal is increasing military spending by $54 billion.

The budget proposal from the White House is not final, and individual agencies are instructed to send detailed budget requests to Congress. These requests can and most likely will argue for more funding and push back against the proposed cuts. Finalized spending plans for the coming fiscal year must be approved by Congress.

About the Author

Ian Smith is one of the co-founders of He has over 20 years of combined experience in media and government services, having worked at two government contracting firms and an online news and web development company prior to his current role at FedSmith.