Rep. Schneider: Deep Cuts to Critical Great Lakes Restoration Funding are Irresponsible
U.S. Congressman Brad Schneider (IL-10) released the following statement in response to the House Interior and Environment Appropriations Subcommittee’s consideration of a bill that would cut the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative by nearly 80 percent.
“These devastating cuts to the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative are irresponsible and would dramatically hurt efforts to preserve the Great Lakes. The Great Lakes are one of our nation’s greatest national treasures, an essential source of clean drinking water for our families and an important part of our local economy. Draconian cuts to this critical funding are unacceptable and leave our Great Lakes vulnerable to toxic waste, coastal erosion, decreasing water levels and invasive species. I urge my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to stand up in defense of the Great Lakes and protect this essential funding.”
Schneider has been vocal about the need to protect the Great Lakes. Earlier this month, Schneider offered a measure to ensure the Great Lakes are protected from the continued threat of invasive species. In June, he offered a measure that would safeguard the Great Lakes from oil and gas drilling. To view video of Schneider’s speech on this measure, click here.
He also joined more than 30 of his colleagues in advocating for a funding level of $300 million for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. To view a copy of this request, click here. Schneider also reaffirmed his commitment to fully funding the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative as a featured speaker at this year's Great Lakes Commission Annual Meeting in Washington.
The Great Lakes contribute more than $200 billion each year in economic activity for Illinois. Lake Michigan alone provides drinking water for seven million Illinois residents. The House Interior-Environment Appropriations bill would cut funding for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative nearly 80 percent, from $285 million to $60 million.