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House Appropriations Bills Move the Needle Away from Trump's Agenda
News of action from the House Appropriations Committee this week moved forward budgetary considerations for two important infrastructure and environmental spending programs—both with key differences from the ambitions expressed by the very speculative "America First: A Budget Blueprint to Make America Great Again" proposal released by the Trump Administration in May 2017.
First, the "U.S. House Appropriations Committee released legislation today fully funding a Great Lakes restoration program, rejecting a proposal from President Donald Trump to eliminate the $300 million committed each year to the effort," reports Todd Spangler for Detroit Free Press. The legislation is the 2018 Interior and Environment Appropriations bill and it also "restores much of the $2.4 billion proposed to be cut from the budget of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, which had been targeted for a reduction of nearly a third."
Meanwhile, Andrew Taylor reports for the Associated Press that the same committee also released its $44 billion homeland security funding bill on the same day, including $1.6 billion in funding for a proposed wall along the U.S-Mexico border. That bill means Mexico will not be paying for the wall, as President Trump promised many times during the 2016 presidential election.
As noted by Spangler, the 2018 Interior and Environment Appropriations bill is "one of several that would fund government for the fiscal year beginning Oct. 1," and it "still has to be voted on in committee and passed by the full chamber before being considered in the Senate." For the purposes of the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, at least, that is good news for its chances of survival.