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Great Lakes money back in Trump budget

We’re pleased President Donald Trump backed off a proposal to cut funding for Great Lakes cleanup and support by 90 percent.

At a rally last week in Grands Rapids, Trump announced that the program’s $300 million annual cost, cut from his fiscal year 2019-20 budget in its original form, will be restored, drawing cheers from the crowd.

The change of heart reportedly came after a trio of Republican representatives — Bill Huizenga, John Moolenaar and Watersmeet’s own Jack Bergman — hard-sold funding restoration during the 20-minute car trip from the airport to the rally location.

This mobile lobbying campaign followed criticism from both sides of the aisle as the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative is one of a few things Republicans and Democrats can agree on these days. Another is Special Olympics. The president used the same speech to restore that funding, too, which had been previously slashed.

Here’s a question we’ve heard since the rally: Has Trump converted to a more environmentally conscious frame of mind or did he back off the budget cuts cited above to get a rise out of the crowd?

As a practical matter, we don’t know the answer. We hope it’s the former but recognize it may be the latter.

Perhaps the truth of the matter lies somewhere in between.

Under any circumstance, we’re happy the money is back in the budget and sincerely hope it remains there in upcoming years.

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The Daily News (Iron Mountain)

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