Shared from the 3/27/2018 Sandusky Register eEdition


Great Lakes funding restored

$300 million for Great Lakes Restoration Initiative included in $1.3 trillion spending bill

The new federal omnibus spending bill, which President Donald Trump reluctantly signed Friday, includes an important provision for the Sandusky-Port Clinton area.

The 2,232-page, $1.3 trillion spending bill, funding the federal government for the rest of the federal fiscal year, has the full $300 million for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative sought by supporters of the cleanup of Lake Erie.

The Trump administration had sought to cut 90 percent of the funding for the program.

The program has enjoyed bipartisan support from Ohio’s delegation in Congress.

Ohio’s two U.S. senators, Sherrod Brown, a Democrat, and Rob Portman, a Republican, both said they were pleased the program was fully funded:

Brown: “Efforts to slash funding for GLRI were met again with fierce opposition from all the Ohioans who rely on Lake Erie for a job, a source of water or a place to be outside with their families. I’m glad to continue working with Senator Portman to ensure GLRI has its full strength as communities continue their important work to keep Lake Erie clean.”

Portman: “The Great Lakes are an invaluable resource to Ohio, and the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative has been a successful publicprivate partnership that helps protect both our environment and our economy. I am pleased that the final bipartisan funding agreement fully funds this critical program, and I will continue to work Senator Brown to protect and preserve Lake Erie and all the Great Lakes.”

The executive director of the Ohio Lake Erie Commission, Karl Gebhardt, met Friday with journalists at the Sandusky Register.

Commenting on the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, Gebhardt said: “A lot of that money comes to Ohio.”

Much of Ohio’s Great Lakes Initiative funding has been spent to fight harmful algal blooms in the Western Basin of Lake Erie, Gebhardt said.

President Trump Tweeted Friday he was considering a veto of the budget bill.

“I am considering a VETO of the Omnibus Spending Bill based on the fact that the 800,000-plus DACA recipients have been totally abandoned by the Democrats (not even mentioned in Bill) and the BORDER WALL, which is desperately needed for our National Defense, is not fully funded,” Trump tweeted.

But the president relented and signed the bill and sent out another Tweet to explain his reasoning.

“As a matter of National Security, I’ve signed the Omnibus Spending Bill. I say to Congress: I will NEVER sign another bill like this again. To prevent this omnibus situation from ever happening again, I’m calling on Congress to give me a line-item veto for all govt spending bills!” Trump tweeted.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 1998, by a 6-3 vote in Clinton v. City of New York, that a line-item veto is unconstitutional.

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