Michigan’s Democratic senators slammed Donald Trump’s new budget for cutting EPA funds to a Great Lakes restoration program by 97 percent. The proposed budget would slash the EPA’s Great Lakes cleanup fund from $300 million to just $10 million.
Debbie Stabenow took to Twitter to write:
It's outrageous that President Trump's budget plan includes a 97% cut in bipartisan Great Lakes funding! https://t.co/89mn02Sxcr
— Sen. Debbie Stabenow (@SenStabenow) March 3, 2017
Michigan’s junior senator, Gary Peters, also expressed concern about the funding cuts:
Severe cuts to the Great Lakes Restoration fund reported to be in Trump’s budget would have devastating effects. https://t.co/34usclQfmS
— Senator Gary Peters (@SenGaryPeters) March 3, 2017
The Great Lakes touch eight states, but Michigan has the largest share of Great Lakes coastline. More than 30 million people live the Great Lakes basin.
The EPA’s Great Lakes restoration work combats invasive species, habitat degradation, and toxic pollution in the lakes. Overall, the EPA could lose about 25 percent of its current funds. The cuts come as part of an effort by the White House to cut non-defense spending while increasing security and military spending by 10 percent – an increase of $54 billion dollars.
In an interview today, Michigan Rep. Dan Kildee said:
“Support for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative has always been bipartisan. … I’m hopeful that that same support will keep this program intact. … If the White House is moving forward on this (and it looks like they are), it would be a huge mistake for them to pursue this.”
Michigan Rep. Bill Huizenga agreed, saying that Trump’s decision to cut Great Lakes funding so drastically would “face strong bipartisan opposition” in Congress.
Indeed, that bipartisan opposition may have already begun. In a press release published Friday, Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.) said:
“We have previously communicated with the new administration that our Great Lakes must be a priority and the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative must be fully funded. Congress will have the final say on all budgetary matters and we are only at the first step in the appropriations process which actually funds the program. As we move forward, I will be fighting hard alongside colleagues on both sides of the aisle so we can turn this around and make sure our Great Lakes are properly protected.”
Featured image via YouTube video.