White House reportedly trying to halt some loans, grants
The White House is moving to halt Department of Energy work on loan guarantees and grants that the Trump administration wants to zero out next fiscal year, according to a leader of the DOE employee union.
“We are now getting reports from workers of DOE offices that are being told to cease activities, and this is of great concern,” said Jeff Eagan, president of the National Treasury Employees Union Chapter 213. “Offices are being told to stop grants, stop loans, stop your activities. They’re being told to put their tools down.”
Eagan said employees in three DOE offices reported in the last week that the Office of Management and Budget was telling them to halt grants and loans, even though their work is funded by congressional appropriations for fiscal 2017.
DOE declined to comment for the record. OMB didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment this morning.
Some loan guarantee and grant applications have been navigating a complex review and risk oversight process for more than a year, Eagan said.
“We don’t believe that follows the letter of the spirit of the federal process. All we have is a blueprint; we haven’t even seen the administration budget yet, much less what the ultimate product will be,” Eagan said. “The administration proposes, but Congress disposes. So from our perspective, this is extraordinarily premature and unprecedented.”
Reports of frozen programs for energy research and development have been surfacing as agencies prepare for President Trump’s proposed budget cuts to land on Capitol Hill next month.