Speed Reads

Money Matters

Rick Perry dodges whether he'd fight against budget cuts at the Energy Department

President-elect Donald Trump's administration is reportedly planning massive cuts to the Energy Department's budget, and former Gov. Rick Perry (R-Texas), Trump's nominee for energy secretary, was faced with the tough question of how he'd push back at his Senate confirmation hearing Thursday. Sen. Angus King (I-Maine) asked for Perry's commitment to fight for the department's research budget, telling Perry that Trump's administration would be "cutting the legs out from under you" if they made the "devastating" and "absolutely nuts" budget cuts.

Perry cited his "rather interesting background" of "defending budgets," but didn't exactly commit one way or the other. In fact, all Perry said in response to King's question was that he knows "what the Department of Energy should be good at." Earlier in the hearing, Perry joked that maybe Trump's team would "forget" the cuts they'd proposed.

Per The Hill's report, Trump's team is reportedly planning to slash funding "for nuclear physics and advanced scientific computing research to 2008 levels, eliminate the Office of Electricity, eliminate the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, and scrap the Office of Fossil Energy, which focuses on technologies to reduce carbon dioxide emissions."