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Higgins critical of EPA funding cuts

Proposed funding cuts to the federal Environmental Protection Agency are coming under fire by Democrats on the House Budget Committee.

At a committee meeting this week, Congressman Brian Higgins expressed his opposition, saying Trump administration cuts would harm the nation's air and drinking water.

The Buffalo Democrat said this area has experienced first-hand the effectiveness of the EPA.

"Thirty years ago, the Buffalo River was declared biologically dead and ecologically destroyed because of industrial dumping of toxic waste," Higgins said.  "Today, the river has been remediated and transformed into a recreational waterway with vastly improved water quality."

Higgins said he and other Democrats proposed an amendment that prioritizes protecting the air and water over tax breaks for the wealthy.

House Republicans responded their appropriations bill would fund the EPA's core duties while streamlining the agency.