Florida Democrats Dismiss Trump’s ‘Dangerously Radical’ Everglades, Environmental Protection Budget
Washington D.C. – Florida Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives today dismissed President Trump’s proposed budget as it relates to environmental protection, and most crucially, the plan’s glaring neglect of Everglades restoration efforts. U.S. Reps. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL-23), Alcee L. Hastings (FL-20), Ted Deutch (FL-22), Lois Frankel (FL-21), Charlie Crist (FL-13), Darren Soto (FL-9), Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (FL-26) and Donna Shalala (FL-27) signed the following joint statement:
“The Trump budget request represents an environmental disaster for the Everglades and for other environmental priorities throughout Florida. To say that this budget request underfunds Everglades restoration is a profound understatement. The president’s budget asks for $63 million for Everglades restoration, less than one-third of the $200 million that is needed to meet the federal government’s share of the burden and uphold its side of the deal with Florida. So much of South Florida’s quality of life depends on the Everglades. More than 8 million Floridians rely on the famed River of Grass for their water supply, and numerous vulnerable, threatened, and endangered species call the Everglades home.
Additionally, the president’s budget would cut funding for the agency responsible for managing Everglades National Park, the U.S. Department of the Interior by 11 percent. Further, the budget would slash 31 percent of 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. Still more, the budget would cut the federal agency in charge of Everglades Restoration, the Army Corps of Engineers, by 31 percent overall.
This budget, which would make radical, inexplicable cuts to critical environmental programs, comes in the wake of one of the worst harmful algal bloom crises that Florida has suffered in recent memory. A budget is a statement of values. This proposal shows that the administration does not care about protecting water quality or our treasured ecosystems and public lands. Congress will easily ignore this unserious, dangerously radical budget request. As members of the Florida delegation who prioritize environmental and water quality issues, we will continue to fight for full funding for South Florida Ecosystem Restoration and for robust funding for other environmental agencies and programs that are critically important to Florida.”