Ahead of Presidential Visit, South Florida Members of Congress Call on Trump to Fully Fund Everglades Restoration
Ahead of Donald Trump's visit to the Lake Okeechobee area, U.S. Representatives Ted Deutch, Donna Shalala, Debbie Mucarsel-Powell yesterday joined a press call to demand that Donald Trump reverse his devastating budget cuts to Everglades restoration and environmental protection. U.S. Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz also added remarks.
The administration's budget — which has drawn bipartisan condemnation — provides only $63 million for Everglades restoration, less than one-third of the $200 million that is needed. The budget also:
- Cuts funding for the U.S. Department of the Interior — the agency responsible for managing the Everglades National Park — by 11 percent.
- Slashes funding by 31 percent for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the federal agency that works with Florida's Department of Environmental Protection to monitor water quality in the Everglades.
- Reduces funding for the Army Corps of Engineers — the federal agency in charge of Everglades Restoration — by 31 percent.
U.S. Representative Ted Deutch
"The President's budget makes clear that his anti-climate and anti-environment Administration does not understand the needs of Floridians and the Everglades. Our delegation will make sure Congress moves forward with sufficient funding so that the federal government keeps its side of the commitment to Everglades restoration projects."
U.S. Representative Debbie Mucarsel-Powell
"While Trump's budget proposed only a third of the $200 million of the federal government's share for Everglades restoration, this is not the only harmful cut his budget does to South Florida. His budget slashes the Environmental Protection Agency's funds by two-thirds and eliminates an important office devoted to researching the devastating impacts of climate change. From our fisheries, to tourism, to public health, so much of our environment and our economy relies on clean water from the Everglades. I sincerely hope that Trump's visit is not a political show, but rather is a way to work to fully fund Everglades restoration."
U.S. Representative Donna Shalala
"This is life or death for the people of Florida. If we don't continue our significant investment in Everglades restoration, the Everglades — and South Florida in particular — doesn't have much of a future."
U.S. Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz
"Given Trump's Everglades budget request, he should be ashamed to even show his face in South Florida. On Wednesday, the Chief of Engineers of the Army Corps testified that Everglades restoration projects may need to 'take a knee' if Trump's shabby and abysmal environmental budget were adopted. Unless Trump is visiting South Florida to apologize and burn his proposed budget, he should stay away."