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Trump's EPA-gutting budget impresses major hardliner

Myron Ebell, the man who led the transition process for Trump's Environmental Protection Agency, calls the budget blueprint "very ambitious."

Why this matters: It takes one heck of an EPA gutting to impress Ebell. He's such a hardliner on the EPA that even Trump folks who love him roll their eyes and say they'll never fully satisfy his demands to strip down the agency. If Ebell likes the 31% budget cut — the biggest percentage cut of any agency — you can bet it's a non-starter, even in a Republican-controlled Congress.

"It is very ambitious, which indicates that President Trump and OMB Director Mulvaney are aware that they need to get as much done as quickly as possible before the swamp can push back," Ebell tells me Thursday. "And of course, the most of the appropriators in Congress are the leading defenders of the swamp."

Ebell welcomes the fight with Congress, saying the body "needs to fulfill its constitutional responsibilities to appropriate — or, as I hope, in this case to appropriate a lot less."

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