Both the US House and US Senate committees that deal with the budget found Great Lakes restoration important enough to include the President’s $475 million Great Lakes restoration initiative in their budgets resolutions.
“This budget resolution charts a path for congressional action to restore the Great Lakes and revive the economy,” said Tom Kiernan, co-chair of the Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition.
This success came about because of the impressive work of the Great Lakes Congressional Task Force and our Great Lakes Representatives and Senators. Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) led the effort to include the initiative in the Senate budget resolution.
“Our Great Lakes are an inseparable part of our history and culture, and provide us with an economic resource unique to our region,” said Sen. Stabenow. “That’s why I was proud to lead the effort and outline critical funding to combat the key threats facing our lakes and our way of life. I will continue to work closely with President Obama and his administration to make sure that the commitment made toward the Great Lakes becomes a reality.”
House Committee on the Budget members Reps. Marcy Kaptur (D-Ohio) and Gwen Moore (D-Wisc.) and Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-N.Y.) led the effort to include Great Lakes restoration funding in the House budget resolution.
Those Senators who signed the letter include Sens. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Russ Feingold (D-Wisc.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Carl Levin (D-Mich.), Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), Arlen Specter (R-Pa.), Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) and George Voinovich (R-Ohio).
And House members who leant their names include: Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisc.), John Conyers (D-Mich.), Kathy Dahlkemper (D-Pa.), John D. Dingell (D-Mich.), Vernon Ehlers (R-Mich.), Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), Brian Higgins (D-N.Y.), Peter Hoekstra (R-Mich.), Dale Kildee (D-Mich.), Carolyn Kilpatrick (D-Mich.), Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), Gary Peters (D-Mich.), Dennis J., Kucinich (D-Ohio), Steven C. LaTourette (R-Ohio), Chris Lee (R-N.Y.), Sander M. Levin (D-Mich.), Gwen Moore (D-Wisc.), James L. Oberstar (D-Minn.), Thomas Petri (R-Wisc.), Tim Ryan (D-Ohio), Mark Schauer (D-Mich.), Louise M. Slaughter (D-N.Y.), Bart Stupak (D-Mich.), and Betty Sutton (D-Ohio).
The full House and Senate are expected to vote on the budget next week.
“We look forward to the full House and Senate passing a budget that advances Great Lakes restoration and economic recovery before the problems get worse and the solutions more costly,” said Kiernan.