Thu August 1, 2013
U.S. Rep. Sean Duffy Opposes Big Cuts To Great Lakes Group's Funding
U.S. Rep. Sean Duffy, R-Wisc., says he’ll fight to stop a massive cut to a Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI).
The House Appropriations Committee amended the subcommittee’s cut this morning, restoring most but not all of the money. Funding is now set at $210 million.
The GLRI began four years ago, and has received a total of $1.3 billion in federal funds in that time. It’s been cleaning pollution hot spots and restoring regions of the Great Lakes back to their natural state. Duffy says a House subcommittee that slashed funding from $300 million this year to $60 million next year — an 80 percent cut — shouldn’t fly.
“I don’t support that kind of a cut,” says Duffy. “I believe that we have to look at the program, even in sequester, and see where we can find some additional resources. But [the] sequester was 2.5 percent, not 80 percent.”
As co-chair of the bi-partisan Congressional Great Lakes Task Force, Duffy’s got some clout. He expects to rally support even from members of Congress who don’t have ports in their district.
“This doesn’t just benefit those that have districts on the lakes,” says Duffy. “Our Great Lakes benefit our country as a whole. We’re not talking about a huge sum of money. It’s a very small piece of the pie as we look at our federal budget.”
Great Lakes Coalition Campaign Director Todd Ambs says $210 million is still too steep of a cut. He’s hoping to get the House to restore the funding to $300 million.
Economy and Business