Wisconsin Rep. David Obey (D) has one of our most historic Areas of Concern in his backyard, the St. Louis River and Bay habitat, which has been eroding since pioneer days with the latest assaults leaving hazardous waste behind in leaky landfills. Even so, Obey is one of two House Members who has not cosponsored the Great Lakes Legacy Act that would provide the funds needed for cleaning up this mess. But Rep. Obey is in a peculiar position as Chair of the very powerful Appropriations Committee and HOW has been assured that a decision not to co-sponsor in no way indicates a lack of support for the Legacy Act.
“You can look at his record. It is not a matter of cosponsoring – it is a matter of votes and actions and as Chairman, and before that as Ranking Member, Obey has supported the Great Lakes massively,” explains Ellis Brachman, a spokesman for Rep. Obey. “The Congressman is much more about action than co-sponsorship.” Thank goodness. HOW is happy to learn that Obey will be supportive of the legislation, especially since it triples the previous funding and an authorization means much more than just agreeing to approve the legislation.