Sen. Portman says Great Lakes Restoration Initiative is working

Icy picture of Lake Erie
Icy picture of Lake Erie
Published: Mar. 31, 2017 at 9:26 PM EDT|Updated: Mar. 31, 2017 at 10:28 PM EDT
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Trump tweet mentions OH Rep Jim Jordan (Source: Twitter)
Trump tweet mentions OH Rep Jim Jordan (Source: Twitter)

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - Sen. Rob Portman discussed specific projects funded by the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative in northeast Ohio Friday as a part of an effort to combat the president's plan to cut funding to the lakes.

The initiative started in 2010, and receives $300 million annually. It has spent nearly $1.8 billion on projects across the Great Lakes region. The project primarily focuses on doing four things: preventing and controlling invasive species, reducing nutrient runoff that contributes to harmful/nuisance algal blooms, restoring habitat to protect native species, and cleaning up Great Lakes Areas of Concern.

"Frankly it's harder to restore funding if an administration budget zeroes it out," said Portman.

He pointed to studies that have shown a successful return on investment, and said the program is working, generating a lot of money, and doing what it's intended to do.

Portman said cutting the relatively small amount from the federal budget would be "penny wise and pound foolish."

Cleveland 19 also asked Portman if he thought it was appropriate for the president to single out individual representatives, like Ohio representative Jim Jordan, on Twitter. The president said in a tweet that Jordan and other members of the House Freedom Caucus are to blame for pauses in health care and tax reform.

Portman said that the president "has his own style."

"Who knows? I might be next," he said.

He stressed that he wouldn't have handled the situation in the same way.

"I think you gotta figure out how to make more friends in Washington to get stuff done, and more allies on policy issues, because it's hard enough," said Portman.

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