Every government agency pleads poverty when they fail... even when the argument is laughable.
Take education... they spend more on it every year and the test scores drop year after year. You can also point at schools that get much less money that do much better while looking at schools that get lots of money that do very poorly. There's no correlation between funding and success in public education.
And you can find similar patterns in a lot of other government services. Simply throwing money at something is not a reliable means to get quality service. And by the same token, cutting a budget does not mean you get poor service either.
In the case of the EPA, I think we can think of a lot of ways for the EPA to have done a better job here without actually having to spend a dime.
Claiming poverty is merely a dodge. If they had received all the money they wanted... they still could have f'ed it up. Look at the ACA scandal where they spent absolutely absurd amounts of money building a website... and it still failed.
Giant piles of money =/= success or competence.
And there are operations around the US and the world that do all sorts of amazing work on a shoe string.
The US needs to get away from this notion that budgets can be infinite. Belts need to be tightened and institutions that can't cope with that need to have the fat trimmed.
In my experience working with government agencies, there are a LOT of people working for the agency that do almost literally nothing. I mean... in some cases they literally are spending their days using the office internet to search for pornography and then jerking off in their offices. Literally all day every day. What makes this even somewhat work is that you have a small cadre of really dedicated hard working people that carry the water for the whole agency. THOSE people deserve to be paid. The people jerking off in their offices do not.
Saying the EPA couldn't error check some f' up at VW for 10 years because of budget problems is an insult to our intelligence and a condemnation of anyone's intelligence that buys that line of crap.
The EPA f'ed up. Period. No buck passing. No finger pointing. Just accept it.