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Congresswoman Slaughter bashes bill that would cut Great Lakes funding

Waters of Lake Erie, Basin Marina, Buffalo
WBFO News file photo by Eileen Buckley
Waters of Lake Erie, Basin Marina, Buffalo

By Eileen Buckley


Washington, D.C. – Western New York Congresswoman Louise Slaughter is bashing legislation that would ban Great Lakes funding. Slaugther is a ranking member of the House Rules Committee and co-chair of the Great Lakes Task Force.

"Any bill that stands up for foreign shipping magnates but won't provide a cent to help Americans should never see the light of day, and will never receive my vote," said Slaughter.

Congresswoman Slaughter spoke out against the Interior Appropriations bill introduced by the House Majority Monday. Slaughter bashed a provision inserted in the bill. She says it would punish New York for its regulatory standards that would keep invasive species out of the Great Lakes.

"The invasive species are damaging not just an ecosystem, but a way of life for the Great Lake communities that line the shore and as well endangering our fresh water. The EPA has come to the aid of these communities by dedicating funding to restore the Great Lakes. However, today's bill would bar New York State from receiving any restoration funding from the EPA, and leave the Great Lakes to be overrun by private polluters and the invasive species they have delivered from overseas," said Slaughter.

Slaughter accuses republicans of submitting a bill that is designed as a "giveaway to special interests". She said it puts private profits ahead of the economic and environmental well being of our country.

"One of the many riders inserted into the bill will effectively open up a million acres of national forest and other public land around Grand Canyon National Park to new uranium mining claims. Democrats have concerns about maintaining the integrity of the Grand Canyon and the effect of uranium mining on water quality, not to mention the spectacle of auctioning off a national treasure with the proceeds going to mostly foreign-owned entities," said Congresswoman Slaughter.

Slaughter said Russia and South Korea want to drill and mine for Uranium.

The Congresswoman said the bill calls to cut land and water conservation funding by 78%.

Slaughter told lawmakers they should be making sacrifices and working together to solve these issues, instead she says the bill is completely "devoid" of those values.