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Michigan's congressional delegation pushes back against proposed Great Lakes funding cut

steve carmody
Michigan Radio
U.S Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) talks to reporters inside a sporting goods store in Fenton.

Michigan’s congressional delegation is showing bi-partisan opposition to reports the Trump administration plans to slash funding for the Great Lakes.

Published reports say the White House wants to slash spending on the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative by 97%, from $300 million to $10 million.  The initiative is part of an Environmental Protection Agency program for funding that pays for pollution cleanup. 

U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) said there’s too much at stake to cut the funding. 

“The resources from the Great Lakes Initiative are what we use to stop Asian Carp.  So this is very serious,” says Stabenow, who also notes the potential impact on Michigan’s $16 billion boating industry, $7 billion fishing industry and tourism in general.

Freshman Republican Congressman Paul Mitchell also opposes any cuts, saying the “program is critical to preserving our beautiful Great Lakes.” He's one of several dozen lawmakers who signed a letterto President Trump in support of funding for Great Lakes restoration.

Flint Democrat Dan Kildee says “Protecting the Great Lakes has never been a partisan issue and it shouldn’t be now under a new administration.”

The White House plans to release its final budget plan later this month. 

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
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