Florida Republicans in Congress are pushing back against President Donald Trump’s budget for short-changing south Florida water issues.
Both of Florida’s U.S. Senators, Marco Rubio and Rick Scott, as well as Reps. Brian Mast of Palm City and Francis Rooney of Naples, sent a joint statement Wednesday expressing frustration that the White House’s budget doesn’t include money for Everglades restoration despite repeated bipartisan requests from lawmakers as well as Gov. Ron DeSantis.
Last month, Rubio, Scott and DeSantis implored Trump to commit $200 million for a South Florida Ecosystem Restoration
Here’s the joint-statement:
“For the third year in a row, the administration’s budget request underfunds critical projects in South Florida. It is incredibly short-sighted to continue to underfund a series of projects that are absolutely necessary to ensure the environmental sustainability and economic vitality of one of the most dynamic regions of our nation. Everglades restoration is critically important to the State of Florida and enjoys broad bipartisan support in Congress. Failing to meet the basic federal funding commitments to restore the Everglades is contrary to the administration’s goal of improving project partnerships and cost-sharing with states. Successive Florida Governors have remained committed to this goal, pushing state funding of this 50/50 federal-state partnership to historic highs. Congress and the Army Corps of Engineers envisioned a $200 million per year federal commitment when the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan was first authorized nearly 20 years ago, and it is time for the administration to meet that commitment.”
The exclusion of this money is noteworthy because both Scott and DeSantis have suggested their close relationship with Trump would help secure federal funding for projects to improve the Everglades and fix an environmental crisis there that is decades in the making.