Throughout 2019, leaders like our own Rep. Betty McCollum worked to defeat the Trump administration’s dangerous dirty water agenda. At the end of the year Congress, led by McCollum, rejected the Trump administration’s cruel 2020 budget proposal that would have dismantled clean water, clean air and clean energy programs. This was a significant victory and we thank the representative for her leadership — and we’re asking her to continue to stand strong for the things that matter to Minnesota.
Trump’s toxic agenda continues, and there are signs the administration is accelerating its attacks on common-sense protections for our water, lands, and families. The president recently announced a proposal to weaken the National Environmental Policy Act, the “Magna Carta of environmental laws.” EPA also finalized its dirty water rule to strip Clean Water Act protections from more than half the nation’s wetlands and millions of miles of streams. It’s as if the president and the former industry insiders at the Environmental Protection Agency and Department of the Interior want to check off as many special-interests priorities as possible in case they are voted out of office in 2020.
Used power to reject Trump proposals
McCollum knows how to beat the Trump administration. Last year she used her power as chair of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies to reject Trump’s dangerous budget proposals. Instead, she worked to increase funding to agencies like EPA and ensure that the programs states like Minnesota count on to protect our lakes and drinking water and communities are adequately funded. Minnesota receives roughly $50 million a year from EPA to provide clean drinking water and address water pollution, which saves Minnesotans millions of dollars in taxes. And this bill increases funding for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative by $20 million. While Trump has proposed slashing these programs, McCollum made sure they were fully funded.
We’re looking to McCollum to build on her success with this funding bill to make sure Congress does more to protect our water and take on climate change in 2020 and beyond. We’re fortunate to have such a staunch ally. She has played a critical role in developing a commonsense spending plan and staving off budget cuts and policy attacks from the most anti-environmental administration in history. But the climate crisis and attacks on our water will continue, so we need more action.
Leadership from Congress important right now
The Trump administration is doing everything it can to make it harder to protect our water and climate, which is a big problem in the Land of 10,000 Lakes. That’s why leadership from Congress is so important right now, especially from our congressional delegation at home. We can’t afford to miss more opportunities for positive action. That’s why the continued leadership of elected officials like McCollum is vital.
We urge her to continue her efforts in protecting the environment and health, and hope Minnesota’s other elected officials join her in opposition to the White House’s dangerous agenda.
Deanna White is the state director for Clean Water Action and Clean Water Fund of Minnesota.
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