Rep. Andy Harris' congressional Web site calls the Chesapeake Bay a "national treasure" that must be preserved for future generations to enjoy.
But at a forum last week near Salisbury, the freshman Republican House member suggested the bay cleanup should wait until the economy is healthier.
“The first thing we have to do is we have to make sure the economy is good, because if the economy isn’t good, we can’t afford to clean up the bay,” Harris said, according to a report on DelmarvaNow.com. He added that he doesn't think problems with the bay are costing anyone jobs.
“We’ve lost thousands of jobs because we are not competitive with China in manufacturing, because we have a high corporate tax and because we are business-unfriendly in Maryland," said Harris, a former state senator from Baltimore County whose district encompasses the upper bay and all of the Eastern Shore. "That’s why we lose jobs in Maryland, not because of dirty water.”