Great Lakes program inspires rare bipartisanship - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Great Lakes program inspires rare bipartisanship

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By JOHN FLESHER
AP Environmental Writer

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) - Republicans in the Upper Midwest have been as enthusiastic as anyone about cutting federal spending. But there's one big exception: the Great Lakes.

In recent years, congressional Republicans from states like Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin have joined Democrats in supporting federal funding of President Barack Obama's Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.

When a House subcommittee cut the program 80% in next year's budget, Ohio Republican David Joyce led the push to restore most of the money.

Republicans with tea party support such as Sean Duffy of Wisconsin and Dan Benishek of Michigan are big supporters of the program.

They say cleaning up the lakes after a century of pollution is essential to attracting industry and jobs to the struggling region.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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