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Congresswoman Louise Slaughter

Representing the 25th District of New York

Great Lakes

Stretching from Minnesota to New York, the Great Lakes are a national jewel. They’re not just beautiful, they are also an important economic engine responsible for thousands of jobs. Congresswoman Slaughter has been a tireless advocate for the Great Lakes. She knows that the lakes are a leading economic driver for communities across Upstate New York and part of what makes Rochester such a special place to call home. That’s why Congresswoman Slaughter is co-chair of the bipartisan Great Lakes Task Force and has led the multi-year effort to secure more than $1.2 billion for Great Lakes preservation and restoration.

Priorities

  • Encouraging Commerce: Congresswoman Slaughter is committed to ensuring that the Great Lakes remain a force for economic growth in Rochester. Whether working to maintain our ports with consistent dredging or secure funding for job creating projects on the Great Lakes, Congresswoman Slaughter is focused on taking advantage of all the Great Lakes have to offer.
  • Protecting the Environment: Congresswoman Slaughter understands that we must ensure future generations can enjoy the beauty and harness the economic potential of our natural resources. In particular, Congresswoman Slaughter is dedicated to working across party, state, and national lines to ensure that everyone is collaboratively preserving and protecting the Great Lakes. She will continue to defend these national treasures.
  • Fighting Invasive Species: Congresswoman Slaughter is committed to protecting the environment and our economy from invasive species, which are non-native plants or animals that disrupt delicately balanced ecosystems. It is estimated that invasive species annually cost the Great Lakes region at least $200 million in damages. Congresswoman Slaughter is determined to prevent any additional damage from occurring.

Accomplishments

  • Sailboats on Lake OntarioGreat Lakes Task Force: Congresswoman Slaughter is co-chair of the bipartisan Great Lakes Task Force. The task force advocates for policies and programs that restore and clean up the Great Lakes. In addition, the group also exercises agency oversight and advances laws and funding to benefit the Great Lakes. Congresswoman Slaughter is committed to working with all stakeholders to protect the Great Lakes.
  • Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI): Congresswoman Slaughter is a longstanding supporter of the GLRI. She is an original co-sponsor of the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative Act, which would authorize the GLRI program for five years at a funding level of $300 million per year. This critical program is the largest federal investment in the Great Lakes in decades and provides funding to fight invasive species, coordinate protection efforts, and bring together organizations with a shared interest in the Great Lakes. Each year the program’s inception in 2009, she has led her Great Lakes House colleagues in urging the Appropriations Committee to adequately fund the GLRI, resulting in over $2.2 billion in federal funding since Fiscal Year 2010. To read more about the Great Lakes, please click here.
  • Dredging and Maintenance: Congresswoman Slaughter has worked tirelessly to ensure that the Port of Rochester and the Irondequoit Bay are properly maintained so that Rochester remains open for business. She recognizes that an important part of harbor maintenance is deepening channels by removing mud through the process of dredging. She has also advocated for Rochester’s dredging operations, and in 2015 secured $2.32 million for the Port of Rochester to be dredged in 2016 and 2017. Slaughter has secured more than $5 million since 2013 for dredging Rochester’s port, which ships and receives an average of 95,000 tons of material each year. Commodities that pass through the port generate more than $6 million in local salaries annually.
  • Great Lakes Navigation System Sustainability Act: In the 113th Congress, Congresswoman Slaughter co-introduced the Great Lakes Navigation System Sustainability Act to ensure adequate funding for projects in the Great Lakes. By recognizing all of the individually authorized commercial and recreational navigation projects as a single entity, it is more likely they will receive proper funding. Language from this legislation was included in the final Water Resources Reform and Development Act that was signed into law in 2014.
  • Sunset on Lake OntarioStopping Invasive Species: Congresswoman Slaughter has consistently supported efforts to proactively protect the Great Lakes from dangerous invasive species. In the 112th Congress, Congresswoman Slaughter was the Democratic lead sponsor of the Stop Asian Carp Act. In 2012, the legislation was included in the final Surface Transportation bill and signed into law, requiring the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers to expedite the Great Lakes Mississippi River Interbasin Study to determine options to permanently separate Lake Michigan from the Chicago Waterway System and ultimately prevent invasive fish from entering the Great Lakes. Congresswoman Slaughter is committed to ensuring that dangerous invasive species are prevented from reaching the Great Lakes and combating those that are already present.

More on Great Lakes

March 30, 2017 Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Reps. Sander Levin (D-MI), David Joyce (R-OH), and Louise Slaughter (D-NY) today led a bipartisan group of 63 House lawmakers to request $300 million for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) for Fiscal Year 2018, despite the fact that President Trump’s budget blueprint called for the elimination of the program. The Great Lakes provide drinking water for nearly 40 million people and support jobs, commerce, agriculture, transportation, and tourism.  

March 16, 2017 Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC — Congresswoman Louise Slaughter (NY-25) released the following statement in reaction to President Trump’s Fiscal Year 2018 budget request. This outline proposes a $54 billion increase in defense spending paid for with drastic cuts to nondefense programs the American people rely on, impacting everything from the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Army Corps of Engineers to the Environmental Protection Agency and the State Department. A full budget is expected to be released in May.

December 8, 2016 Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC — Today, Congresswoman Louise M. Slaughter (NY-25), Co-Chair of the bipartisan House Great Lakes Task Force, voted for the Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation (WIIN) Act, which passed the House with strong bipartisan support this afternoon. This comprehensive legislation, which includes the Water Resources Development Act of 2016, reauthorizes the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) for the next five years and increases funding for dredging small harbors like the Port of Rochester.

May 27, 2016 Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC - In a bipartisan effort to recognize the natural beauty and value of the Finger Lakes, Reps. Tom Reed (NY-23), John Katko (NY-24), Louise Slaughter (NY-25), Elise Stefanik (NY-21), Chris Gibson (NY-19), Paul D. Tonko (NY-20) and Rep. Joe Crowley (NY-14) today introduced legislation to designate the region as a National Heritage Area (NHA).

April 27, 2016 Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC — Today, Congresswoman Louise M. Slaughter (NY-25), Co-Chair of the bipartisan House Great Lakes Task Force, announced that the House of Representatives has passed bipartisan legislation she introduced with Rep. Dave Joyce (OH-14), Rep. Sandy Levin (MI-09), and other colleagues to formally reauthorize the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI). The legislation, The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative Act of 2015, formally authorizes funding of GLRI at $300 million annually for the next five years and does not add any debt to the federal budget.

April 21, 2016 Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC — Congresswoman Louise Slaughter (NY-25) today led 35 colleagues in an effort to secure more funding for the Great Lakes Navigation System (GLNS) as the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure begins to write the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) reauthorization later this year. Slaughter is working to secure stable operations and maintenance funding for GLNS as part of this bill.  

March 22, 2016 Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Reps. Sander Levin (D-MI), Louise Slaughter (D-NY), and David Joyce (R-OH) today led a bipartisan group of 55 House lawmakers in requesting $300 million for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) for Fiscal Year 2017. This successful initiative is helping restore the Great Lakes, which provide drinking water for nearly 40 million people and support jobs, commerce, agriculture, transportation, and tourism.  

February 9, 2016 Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC —Today, Congresswoman Louise Slaughter released the following statement on the release of President Barack Obama’s final budget. Included in the proposal are several of Congresswoman Slaughter’s local and national priorities, including funding for the National Technical Institute for the Deaf (NTID) and the University of Rochester Laboratory for Laser Energetics (LLE). The budget makes unprecedented investments in research and development that will benefit the Rochester region while including $2.9 trillion of deficit reduction over ten years.

December 16, 2015 Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC — After months of negotiating, Congresswoman Louise Slaughter today announced that she has successfully included support for three key Rochester initiatives in must-pass legislation to keep the government open. Thanks to Slaughter’s efforts, the government funding bill expected to pass later this week includes $70 million for the National Technical Institute for the Deaf (NTID), $68 million for the University of Rochester laser lab (LLE), and more than $2 million for maintenance of Rochester’s harbor.

December 4, 2015 Press Release

ROCHESTER, NY — US Representatives Louise Slaughter, Brian Higgins, Chris Collins, and Tom Reed released the following joint statement in response to the news that regional airlines are continuing the fight to reduce existing pilot training requirements, including elimination of the 1,500 hour flight time standard: