Rep. Brenda Lawrence (MI-14), Ranking Member on the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee on the Interior, today joined Congressional Black Caucus Chairman G.K. Butterfield in his call for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to prevent Senate Republicans from blocking emergency relief for the citizens of Flint, Michigan.
“The Flint water crisis demands that all of the United States Congress, both the House and the Senate, work together to get to the bottom of this manmade catastrophe and ensure that it never occurs anywhere in America again,” Rep. Lawrence said. “This problem has irreparably harmed thousands of children; children who face a lifetime of physical, mental, and emotional disabilities. It has negatively impacted every resident in the town of Flint; residents who are left with homes they cannot sell and an uncertain future. The gravity of this situation demands that we set aside party politics and join together in the search for truth and justice. To do anything less would further violate the trust of the people of Flint, and the American people.”
Ranking Member Lawrence called on Sen. McConnell to work with Democrats in the wake of Senate Republicans’ reversal on an emergency aid package for Flint. The package was proposed by Michigan Senators Debbie Stabenow and Gary Peters through an amendment to the Energy Policy and Modernization Act, which is currently under consideration in the Senate. Senate Republicans and Democrats initially agreed to the amendment, but Republicans later reversed course and decided to block federal assistance to the residents of Flint, Michigan.
“Requesting assistance for state disasters is a common occurrence among both Republicans and Democrats. Though that assistance normally follows natural disasters, I see absolutely no reason why the people of Flint should be denied assistance simply because they have suffered at the hands of state leaders who have poisoned an entire city in the pursuit of saving a few dollars per household,” Rep. Lawrence added. “I must ask, how any of us can look at the faces of these poisoned children and fail to fulfill our duty to do whatever we can to fix this problem and provide the support that the people of Flint need and deserve?”