There are three significant votes expected today, Thursday June 18 on the $475 million President Obama set aside in his budget for Great Lakes Restoration. This is the first time any President has made such a commitment to Great Lakes restoration and it would be a shame if Congress failed the President. While the measure passed, fully intact, out of the US House Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment and Related Agencies it is rumored to be in danger in the equivalent US Senate Committee.
Some insiders have indicated that at least two well positioned US Senators on the US Senate Environment and Public Works Subcommittee would like to whittle away some of the money to deal with problems in California. There is no room for regionalism when it comes to restoring the Great Lakes that represent such a large amount of this nation’s surface fresh water – a vital commodity. The Senate subcommittee and possibly the full Senate Budget Committee is expected to vote on the $475 million today.
The US House Appropriations Committee is also expected to vote today on the $475 million initiative. The Committee is lead by none other than Great Lakes Rep. David Obey (D-Wisc.) who has been very supportive of this effort. We expect that Obey will make sure that the initiative is fully appropriated.