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Portman And Brown Oppose Federal Budget Cuts To Great Lakes Funds

Lake Erie shore line in Sandusky, Ohio.
Andy Chow
Ohio Public Radio
Lake Erie shore line in Sandusky, Ohio.

Lawmakers on Capitol Hill are sifting through President Donald Trump’s budget proposal, which has gotten a lot of heat from Democrats. There’s one issue that has riled up some of Ohio’s leaders on both sides of the aisle.

The White House’s budget proposes eliminating the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, which works to clean the lakes and protect them from long-term threats.

Democratic U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown says Lake Erie will be especially harmed because it’s the most vulnerable to pollution.

“It seems the president has turned his back on our state when you consider he won the election with the Great Lakes industrial states, and these are the state that seem to be hardest hit by his budget on opioids, on Appalachian regional commission, on the Great Lakes,” he said.

Republican U.S. Sen. Rob Portman also opposes the plan to eliminate the Great Lakes environmental funding, but adds that President Obama once proposed cutting the initiative’s funding.

The Ohio Republican Party defended the president’s budget as fulfilling many of the promises he made to Ohio voters.