WASHINGTON – Congressman Dave Joyce, the Ranking Member of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment and Related Agencies, issued the following statement on the Trump Administration’s Fiscal Year 2020 budget request:
“While I commend the President for his continued commitment to challenges facing our nation like battling the opioid crisis and providing better healthcare to our veterans, I was disappointed to learn that the Administration’s Fiscal Year 2020 budget request does not treat our Great Lakes as the natural treasure they are.
“The Great Lakes system is one of the greatest natural resources and economic powerhouses in the United States. Having grown up in Northeast Ohio, I know full-well how important it is to ensure we protect and preserve it for future generations. That’s why I have long fought for programs like the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI). Unfortunately I’ve had to fight for adequate resources for this important program ever since I got to Congress, as Presidents Obama and Trump have both proposed cuts to it in past budget requests. This year is no different, with the Administration suggesting a $270 million reduction in GLRI funding.
“We can do better than $30 million for the system that provides over 1.5 million jobs, provides 90% of our nation’s supply of fresh water, supports 3,500 species of plants and animals and generates $62 billion in wages annually. I look forward to working with my colleagues on the House Appropriations Committee and the Trump Administration to properly fund the GLRI, address the threats facing the Great Lakes and ensure that we make the necessary investments to protect them to the fullest extent possible.”
The GLRI is an effective, bipartisan program that cleans up the most polluted Great Lakes sites, addresses threats of Asian carp and other invasive species, combats Harmful Algal Blooms, restores habitats for valuable fish and wildlife, creates jobs and paves the way for economic development in waterfront communities. In fact, it’s estimated that for every $1 invested in the GLRI, it produces $3 in long-term economic activity.
Dave, who authored the language formally authorizing the GLRI at $300 million annually for the first time in 2016, has long been a fierce advocate of protecting the Great Lakes. Just last month, Dave voted to fully fund the GLRI at $300 million for the remainder of Fiscal Year 2019. In December, Dave led a bipartisan letter urging the Trump Administration to fully fund programs like GLRI that address harmful algal blooms in his Fiscal Year 2020 budget request. Previously, Dave was able to prevent President Obama’s suggested reduction of $50 million in Fiscal Year 2017 and was similarly successful in securing the full $300 million for the program when the Trump Administration zeroed out its funding in Fiscal Year 2018.