The U.S. Senate last night passed the 2014 spending bill, which contains strong funding for Great Lakes programs. The $1.1 trillion appropriations package, which the U.S. House of Representatives passed Wednesday, contains $300 million for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative and more than $1.44 billion for the Clean Water State Revolving Fund.
The bill passed the Senate 72-26 and was supported by U.S. Sens. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Bob Casey (D-Pa.), Dan Coats (R-Ind.), Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Al Franken (D-Minn.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Carl Levin (D-Mich.), Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), and Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.).
Three U.S. Senators from the region did not vote for the bill: U.S. Sens. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), Rob Portman (R-Ohio), and Pat Toomey (R-Pa.).
The bill passed the U.S. House of Representatives 359 to 67. A list of how members voted can be found on the New York Times website.
“This spending bill,” said Todd Ambs, campaign director for the Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition, “represents a significant victory for the millions of people who depend on the Great Lakes for their drinking water, jobs, and quality of life. This investment will help support programs that are delivering results in communities across the region.”
The bill now heads to the desk of President Barack Obama, who is expected to sign it today or tomorrow.