Today, the American Institute of Architects released a statement in response to the budget proposal released yesterday by the White House, which outlined large cuts in funding to the much of the discretionary federal budget, including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the State Department, and more. This follows a letter written and sent yesterday to EPA secretary Scott Pruitt, signed by nearly 800 firms, that urges that cuts to important EPA programs be revoked.
Below is the press release, in full:
AIA Comments on Proposed FY '18 Federal Budget
Letter Urges (EPA) to Keep Vital Programs
For immediate release:
Washington, D.C. - March 17, 2017 - The American Institute of Architects (AIA) today issued the following statement after the Trump Administration submitted to Congress its Fiscal Year 2018 federal budget.
Says AIA President Thomas Vonier, FAIA: "This budget includes many cuts that will have severe long-term ramifications for our communities and economy. It does away with programs that foster a cleaner environment and strong neighborhoods and it eliminates programs with a proven track record of job creation in the design and construction industry.
"We are concerned about a proposed 31 percent cut in the budget of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Within EPA alone, 50 programs and 3,200 positions would be eliminated. Future federal support for the National Endowment for the Arts, which provides grants to architecture programs and conferences sponsored by the AIA, is also being cut.
"The Federal government plays a vital role in promoting community development, performing research into sustainable and high-performing building technologies and techniques, and helping states and cities address congestion and sprawl through innovative grant programs. Drastic cuts to these initiatives impair the work that architecture firms do in our communities.
"We are ready to protect investments that affect the work we do on behalf of our clients. In fact, almost 800 design and construction businesses Thursday sent a letter coordinated by the AIA to EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, calling for the continuation of important programs. And we will echo these calls across all agencies for all of the programs vital to our work.
"Federal budgets always require making tough choices, and wasteful or ineffective programs should be ended. But this budget's short-term cuts to programs that work will end up costing us much more in the long-term.
"As the budget process continues, we urge the Administration to seek our guidance as leading experts in design and construction, before cutting the budget in ways that will hurt our communities."
About The American Institute of Architects
Founded in 1857, the American Institute of Architects consistently works to create more valuable, healthy, secure, and sustainable buildings, neighborhoods, and communities. Through nearly 300 state and local chapters, the AIA advocates for public policies that promote economic vitality and public wellbeing. Members adhere to a code of ethics and conduct to ensure the highest professional standards. The AIA provides members with tools and resources to assist them in their careers and business as well as engaging civic and government leaders and the public to find solutions to pressing issues facing our communities, institutions, nation and world. Visit www.aia.org.
And below is the 10-page letter signed by nearly 800 design and construction firms sent to Secretary Pruitt yesterday, that Vonier references above: