Bipartisanship Surfaces at Great Lakes
September 14, 2013 — As partisan gridlock has a federal budget set to expire in less than three weeks, a Great Lakes program is getting rare bipartisanship.
While Republicans in the Upper Midwest have been as enthusiastic as anyone about cutting federal spending, they are making one big exception: the Great Lakes.
In recent years Congressional Republicans from Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin have joined Democrats in supporting federal funding of President Barack Obama’s Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.
When a House subcommittee cut the program 80% in next year’s budget, Ohio Republican David Joyce led the push to restore most of the money, and Republicans with Tea Party support such as Sean Duffy of Wisconsin and Dan Benishek of Michigan are big supporters of the program.
They say cleaning up the lakes after a century of pollution is essential to attracting industry and jobs to the struggling region.