Friday, February 11, 2005

LI Sound Funding: Shays Aide Says Don't Panic, We'll Fight to Get it Back

Paul M. Pimentel, Representative Chris Shays's District Director, implies that this year's budget proposal for EPA's Long Island Sound program is typical rather than a reason to panic. In an e-mail last night to the Long Island Sound Watershed Alliance, he said:

The LIS funding level is certainly cause for action, but the "slashed by 93 percent" [reported by Newsday] statistic is more sensational than accurate. They are comparing last year's Congressionally-enacted funding level to this year's Administration proposal. For the last 16 fiscal years, the vast majority of funding for the EPA Long Island Sound Office has been added by Congress; historically, little has been requested by the President. The sad fact is to my knowledge no Clinton or Bush budget ever proposed more than $750,000 for the EPA Long Island Sound office, the rest was added in the legislative process.

The bottom line is that Connecticut and New York's Senators and Representatives will fight for increased appropriations, and they will continue to do so as a unified, bipartisan, bi-state team.

Shays, a Republican who is not exactly beloved by the right-wing leadership in Congress, is more optimistic than Steve Israel, a Long Island Democrat, who told Newsday he didn't think anything could be done about the funding.


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