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Funding for Great Lakes may be in jeopardy under Trump budget

BENTON HARBOR, Mich. -

President Trump's budget proposal is raising eyebrows in Southwest Michigan, with funding for the Great Lakes appearing to be in jeopardy. 

At issue is the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. Since 2010, $2.2 billion dollars has been allocated from that fund to improve and protect the lakes. The budget plan also calls for cuts in Environmental Protection Agency grants, which directly impact regulatory measures like the Clean Air and Water Act. 

Local lawmakers are responding. District 5 democrat Dan Kildee  

In a statement, Democratic Rep. Dan Kildee ripped the proposed cuts. 

“In eliminating Great Lakes restoration funding, President Trump is threatening our state’s jobs, our livelihood and our way of life," said Kildee. 

“Protecting our Great Lakes is not a partisan issue; the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative has always had the support of Republicans and Democrats in Congress. I will fight these terrible cuts by the President to our Great Lakes.”

Republican Rep. Fred Upton is also raising concerns. 

“The president’s budget proposal is just that: A proposal," said Upton. "Many of the proposed cuts to important domestic programs that many Michiganders rely on are, frankly, non-starters. Of particular concern is funding for our Great Lakes and the National Institutes of Health. This process is only beginning. I will continue to advocate for common-sense budgeting that reels in spending, makes government more accountable, but also properly funds essential programs the most vulnerable amongst us depend on.”

The president's budget proposal does not include cuts to the EPA's nine regional offices, including the Region V office in Chicago that oversees Michigan. 

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