TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. —
The congressional supporters are pushing the program this fall even as conservatives gear up for another clash with Obama over spending. Thirty-eight members of Congress have endorsed a request for $300 million for 2014. Joyce is seeking $475 million.
The program’s popularity with industry helps give Republicans political cover. In a region beset with the collapse of its manufacturing backbone, the lakes are essential to building a “blue economy” based on abundant water, said Ed Wolking of the Detroit Regional Chamber.
Duffy, a second-term conservative, said he sees no inconsistency in supporting the lake funding while voting to slash trillions in spending elsewhere.
“This is a national treasure, so national money should go to it,” said Duffy, who grew up near Lake Superior.