The Great Lakes are threatened by an encroaching non-native species of fish referred to as Asian carp. Reports of an Asian carp found above the electronic barrier in the Chicago Area Waterway System as well as evidence of environmental DNA in Lake Erie confirm the immediate threat faced by the Great Lakes from this invasive species. The introduction of this invasive species would have a destructive effect on the entire Great Lakes ecosystem and would inflict severe harm to this treasured natural resource.
During the 114th Congress, I was proud to cosponsor of H.R.1135, Defending Our Great Lakes Act, which gives federal agencies broad authority to take immediate actions and institute long-term measures to stop the spread of Asian carp into the Great Lakes. In addition, in order to protect the overall health of the Great Lakes, I’ve also introduced H.R.3120, the Great Lakes Assurance Program Verification Act, to encourage states throughout the Great Lakes Basin to develop voluntary agricultural assurance programs to promote conservation and minimize agricultural pollution risks.
Additionally, on December 8, 2016, I voted in support of S.612, the Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation Act, a comprehensive water resources infrastructure bill to address the needs of our ports, harbors, and other waterway infrastructure critical to Michigan’s economic competitiveness. The bipartisan agreement also included provisions to reauthorize the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative and dedicates resources to the Great Lakes Navigation System.
Honoring our Local Heroes
During the 113th Congress, I was honored to introduce a resolution to rename a Jackson post office as the "Officer James Bonneau Memorial Post Office Building." Officer James Bonneau was killed in the line of duty in 2010 while responding to a domestic disturbance. The President signed the legislation into law on December 16, 2014. In May 2015, I joined Officer Bonneau’s parents and members of the Jackson Police Department for the official dedication and to remember Officer Bonneau’s sacrifice.
Raising Awareness and Responding to Problems in our Community
Human trafficking affects millions of people around the world, and is a serious problem at home in Michigan. One of the challenges in combating human trafficking is properly identifying and serving victims. To that end, I am a proud cosponsor of H.R. 1808, the Improving Support for Missing and Exploited Children Act, which strengthens efforts to recover missing children and support youth who are the victims of violent crimes.
During my time in Congress I have supported legislation, held public forums, and met with the Michigan State Police, victim rights advocates, and county prosecutors, to hear their experiences and learn what additional tools are needed to better assist them in addressing this issue. To learn more about my actions to combat this scourge on our society, please visit the human trafficking webpage.
Additionally, there has been an increasing presence of heroin and opioid abuse in Michigan which has sadly led to numerous overdoses and deaths. As a member of The Bipartisan Task Force to Combat the Heroin Epidemic, I’ve been working with my colleagues to foster awareness, develop best practices, and promote collaboration to address problems associated with heroin addiction. In March 2017, I introduced H.R. 1554, Jessie’s Law, a bill to ensure doctors have access to the information they need so they can safely treat their patients and prevent unknowingly prescribing powerful opioid medications to those struggling with addiction. Additionally, my colleagues and I on the Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations have been holding hearings to examine the next wave of the opioid crisis. During a March 2017 hearing, I had the opportunity to question federal agencies about the strategy to combat the threat and how to strengthen the federal response to the growing crisis.
While local and state partners are on the front lines for addressing this epidemic, the federal government must also do its part. In December of 2016, Congress passed H.R. 6 The 21st Century Cures Act, which directed significant resources to fight the heroin epidemic.
This growing epidemic will take the work of citizens, treatment providers, law enforcement, and elected officials at every level and please know I will continue to push in the House to address this matter.
When it comes to protecting the health of Michiganders, we in Congress have a duty to ensure federal, state, and local governments are effectively communicating and disseminating information to the public. On February 5, 2016, the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform held a hearing to examine the federal administration of the Safe Drinking Water Act in the city of Flint. The Flint water crisis is not a natural disaster—it's a human disaster, brought on by failures of humans and failures of government at all levels. It never should have happened. During the hearing, I spoke about the failure of government at every level and the need to get answers, accountability, and make things right for the people of Flint. Additionally, I cospsonored the Safe Drinking Water Act Improved Compliance Awareness Act, which will strengthen requirements on the EPA to notify the public when concentrations of lead exceed federal standards and passed the House in February 2016.
In December 2016, my colleagues and I also voted to authorize funds for local communities to upgrade water infrastructure systems and address contamination issues, and in March 2017, Flint was awarded a $100 million emergency grant to fund drinking-water infrastructure.
03/28/2017 - Walberg: Preserve the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative
03/07/2017 - WLNS: Walberg tours Jackson Recovery Resource Center
02/02/2017 - Walberg Highlights New Auto Industry Jobs, Innovation
01/10/2017 - Walberg Highlights 2017 Auto Show on House Floor
12/16/2017 - Serving You in 2016