For the most part, every politician in Michigan understands the importance of the Great Lakes and will defend them, to one degree or another. Of course, some politicians —— particularly Democrats —— are more likely to vigorously fight for initiatives that keep the water clean and invasive species from running rampant in them. But when push comes to shove, Michigan Republicans are also likely to step up and protect the Great Lakes.
But not Congressmen Justin Amash (R-MI3) and John Moolenaar (R-MI4). They are the only Congressmen in Michigan’s 15-person congressional delegation to refuse to sign a letter pushing back against Trump’s proposals to defund Great Lakes protections.
This is what Trump is up to when it comes to our lakes:
The White House eliminated the popular regional restoration program in its skinny 2018 budget as part of $2.6 billion in proposed cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency that will cut 3,200 jobs from the federal agency as part of an effort to find money for a $54 billion hike in defense spending.
Trump also this week requested an immediate $50 million cut to this year’s already-allocated funds to help make a down payment on his campaign promise of a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.
Most of Michigan’s delegation in Congress are part of a group of 63 lawmakers who signed a letter telling Trump to get it right when it comes to the Great Lakes.
The letter said the GLRI is “showing real and measurable results” but noted the Great Lakes are still vulnerable to pollution, invasive species and chronic problems like the harmful algal blooms in Western Lake Erie each year.
“The federal government commits significant resources each year to address the challenges the Great Lakes face,” the letter read.
“In particular, GLRI resources have supplement agency budget to fund coordinated efforts to protect and restore the Great Lakes ecosystem and we must ensure that important work continues. Halting this commitment would reverse years of progress, dramatically reduce the GLRI’s impact and jeopardize the environment and economic health of the region.”
It’s not clear what Amash and Moolenaar have against the Great Lakes. Especially odd, since Moolenaar penned an editorial in support of the GLRI earlier this month.