The U.S. House of Representatives has rejected an amendment to cut the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency by nearly 25%. The cut would have reduced the EPA budget by nearly $2 billion.
Rep. Fred Upton, R-St. Joseph, joined Stateside to talk about why he voted against the proposal. Upton said the budget cut would have ended vital programs that protect the Great Lakes.
This includes the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative and research programs that help assess the health of the Great Lakes, that fight invasive species, and those that try to solve pollution like the bacteria blooms in Lake Erie.
“We’ve got to protect our air and water, and the Great Lakes is mighty important," Upton said. "And thank goodness we defeated this amendment, which would have been catastrophic had it been allowed to pass.”
Some constituents in Upton's Republican district are not happy with his vote. But Upton said he did the right thing.
“I’d rather be on the side that I did, which protects the Great Lakes, than not and worry about what the consequences would’ve been.”
The amendment failed by a 260 - 151 vote.
Listen to the conversation with Upton above.