White House wants to eliminate Great Lakes Restoration Initiative in detailed budget proposal
On Tuesday, the White House released the president's full budget proposal, which details proposed cuts to many programs, including drastic cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency, Medicaid, and welfare programs.
The budget proposes that the EPA be slashed by nearly $3 billion, including the total elimination of the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, which received $290,000 in the 2017 federal budget.
Many, including Michigan's congressional representatives, say those cuts will significantly harm the Great Lakes. The GLRI is currently tasked with combating invasive species, cleaning up toxic waste, and restoring natural habitats.
The White House says that cutting the GLRI and projects like it will encourage state and local governments to invest more in water clean-ups. Supporters of the initiative point out that inter-state cooperation is necessary to successful clean-ups, and that the EPA is crucial in building agreements between states.
The president's budget would also cut the Superfund clean-up program and the lead risk-reduction program.
The plan is not a formal bill for Congress to vote on. Rather, it provides an outlook that President Trump would like to see in the final budget for 2018.
The White House released a so-called 'skinny budget' in March, which was widely criticized by lawmakers and advocates on both sides of the aisle. The latest release isn't so skinny (it totals 62 pages), but is still drawing much ire.
Great Lakes representatives are expected to fight against any drastic cuts to the GLRI, which remains immensely popular among voters.