Although the budget for fiscal year 2016 has not yet been finalized in the U.S. Congress, members are putting together a push to encourage President Obama to commit to fiscal year 2017 funding for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. As part of this push, members are circulating a Dear Colleague letter for members to sign on to urging President Obama to fund the GLRI at $300 million in FY 2017. Please contact your member and urge them to sign on, if they haven’t already. Read the letter to President Obama here.
So far there are 9 cosigners: Reps. Sander Levin (D-Mich.), David Joyce (R-Ohio), Louise Slaughter (D-N.Y.), Marcy Kaptur (D-Ohio), Dan Benishek (R-Mich.), Gwen Moore (D-Wis.), Shelia Jackson Lee (D-Texas), Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.), and Mark Pocan (D-Wis.)
You may contact your Member of Congress via the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121.
- The Great Lakes provide drinking water and a way of life for over 30 million people
- The GLRI has enjoyed robust bipartisan support in past years
- President Obama’s budget cuts GLRI funding and we’d like to see it restored to $300 million
- GLRI projects are already producing results (local success stories can be found here: http://live-healthy-lakes.pantheon.io/map)
- There is still more work to do, and current problems will only get worse and more costly the longer we wait
- There are many on-the-ground projects ready to go that need funding
The current budget battle is expected to resume now that members are back from their August recess, but the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative likely won’t be a contentious issue