By Katie Herzog
10 June 2016
(Grist) – It’s been 777 days since Michigan switched Flint’s water supply from Detroit to Flint River and residents began complaining that it looked, tasted, and smelled wrong; 478 days since a Flint resident informed the Environmental Protection Agency that her water contained high levels of lead; and 157 days since Republican Governor Rick Snyder declared a state of emergency.
The U.S. Congress still hasn’t passed any aid to help Flint, or for any of the other communities that could use it.
Senate Republicans on Thursday abandoned an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act that would allocate $1.9 billion for lead-free clean water infrastructure across the country and in Flint. Before this bill, the Senate didn’t add aid onto a comprehensive energy package because Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) blocked the amendment. [more]
WASHINGTON, 9 June 2016 – Senate Republicans today rejected an amendment to the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act that would have provided $1.9 billion for clean water infrastructure improvements and to reduce lead contamination nationally, and to address the drinking water crisis in Flint, Michigan.
Henry Henderson, Safe Water Initiative Director at the Natural Resources Defense Council, issued this statement in response to the vote:
“What do Senate Republicans have against the people of Flint? It’s appalling to see them, yet again, turn their backs on nearly 100,000 Flint residents who have a right to turn on their taps and get safe drinking water. Worse, Senate Republicans are instead steering taxpayer money to defense projects the Defense Department doesn’t want, and our country can’t afford. Talk about wrong priorities, this is a textbook case.”