After three years of proposing massive budget cuts to the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI), President Donald Trump has had a change of heart.
In his latest budget proposal, Trump suggested a 90% reduction in the $300 million program, which provides resources to target threats to the Great Lakes ecosystem, including invasive species, chemical contamination, harmful algae blooms and to ensure safe drinking water and recreational opportunities. Trump had proposed cutting the GLRI the prior two years, as did President Barack Obama in his last two budget proposals. Congress, working in bipartisan fashion, has kept the GLRI fully funded the entire time.
However, at a campaign rally in Grand Rapids, Michigan Thursday, March 28, the president announced he would keep the current funding levels where they are.
Congressman John Moolenaar (R) of Michigan’s Fourth District says he and two other legislators convinced Trump to restore funding to the program. Moolenaar and Republican Congressmen Jack Bergmen and Bill Huizenga spoke with Trump in the presidential limousine prior to last night’s appearance in Grand Rapids. Moolenaar is on the House Appropriations Committee, which is responsible for funding federal programs, including the initiative.