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Dan Kildee

Dan Kildee
Credit Courtesy http://dankildee.house.gov/about/

Dan Kildee is running for the U.S. House of Representatives in Michigan's 5th District as the Democratic candidate.

(Scroll below to see all the Michigan Radio stories he's been mentioned in.)

As part of our election coverage, we asked all the major-party candidates running for Congress the same questions.

4 Questions for Dan Kildee

1) What is the most important issue facing your district?

The most important issue facing my district is the water crisis in my hometown, Flint. The people of Flint have not had access to safe drinking water from their tap for over two years and they deserve justice. There are many forms of justice, one of them is making it right for the people of Flint. The state, having created this man-made crisis, needs to step up in a big way with more resources.

There are other critical priorities that I fight for everyday like growing our economy and creating good-paying jobs, including by rebuilding America’s roads, bridges and infrastructure; investing in education to ensure that every child -- no matter their zip code-- has the opportunity for a quality, affordable education, including higher education; and supporting America’s cities and towns so that we can build strong neighborhoods and safe communities, from Flint to Oscoda.

2) How do you plan to address it?

I’m fighting to ensure Congress acts to send federal aid to Flint. After a year of fighting, we made progress with bipartisan votes in the House and Senate supporting Flint aid. I’m working with Senators Stabenow and Peters to make sure Flint aid becomes law.

The federal government has provided more than $280 million for Flint from supplying bottled water and filters to expanding Medicaid. There is more work to do, and I believe that the state needs to step up to ensure that Flint has the resources to fully recover.

Additionally, we have a lot to do to grow our economy, fix broken infrastructure and ensure every child has access to a quality, affordable education. Whether it’s our economy, infrastructure or education, we must always be looking forward. We must have bold ideas that focus on new technologies and industries to ensure our vibrant and diverse communities succeed.

3) What book or movie have you seen/read recently that you would recommend

I recently read A Problem from Hell by Samantha Power, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations. I greatly admire Ambassador Power and had the honor of working with her to bring my constituent,  Marine veteran Amir Hekmati, home from wrongful imprisonment in Iran. I’m proud to say that today Amir is home in Flint because of the tenacious diplomatic efforts of people like Ambassador Power who fought for years to reunite Amir with his family.

A Problem from Hell addresses the danger of indifference and inaction when it comes to genocide. The book tells the incredible story of people who worked to advance human rights and dignity. And it serves as a cautionary tale that history will not view kindly those who overlook human suffering and violence and that mankind has a responsibility to assuage these terrible ills when possible.

4) If you don't win the election, what will you do?

As I see it, I’ve always had the same job, sometimes with a different job title.  Whether it was my first job as a social worker at Whaley Children’s Center, serving on the Flint School Board, my time as Genesee County Treasurer or as CEO of the Center for Community Progress, my job has always been fighting for communities and people that have been forgotten or left behind.  I did it in my hometown of Flint working to revitalize neighborhoods as County Treasurer and I did it for older industrial cities across the county at the Center for Community Progress. If the people of the fifth district decided they didn’t want me to keep the title of Member of Congress, I’d find other ways to keep fighting for Flint, Saginaw, and communities like it across the state and nation.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

A dozen members of Congress received an update Friday on the Flint water crisis.

The group, all Democrats, met with city residents and inspected a pipe replacement project on the city’s north side.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi says they remained committed to helping Flint recover.

“It’s not just about Flint and water,” Pelosi told reporters as she stood next to an open pit where crews were replacing a lead service line. “It’s about our responsibilities to each other in our country to make the future better.”

This map shows areas of concern in the Oscoda area.  PFAs has been slowly spreading for the former U.S. Air Force base for decades.
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Several Michigan members of Congress are sending a letter to the Trump administration requesting stronger safeguards for dangerous chemicals in drinking water.

A recent Harvard study found six million Americans are drinking water contaminated with a group of chemicals,  per- and polyfluoroalkyl chemicals, better known as PFAS.

The chemicals have been linked to an increased risk of liver damage and pregnancy problems, among other health issues.

Grand Rapids
Steven Depolo / Flickr

Michigan members of Congress from both sides of the political aisle visited a refugee foster care facility in Grand Rapids today.

Democrats Debbie Dingell and Dan Kildee, along with Republican Bill Huizenga are urging the Trump administration to speed up the process of reuniting families separated at the southern border.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Flint Democrat Dan Kildee says it’s time for Congress to act to prevent future mass shootings.

By one count, there have been more than 150 mass shootings in the United States this year, including the recent deadly shooting at a Maryland newspaper.

“This is just becoming almost insanity,” says Kildee (D-Flint), “and Congress just completely fails to act.”

Water faucet
user william_warby / Flickr http://bit.ly/1xMszCg

A report on the dangers of PFAS exposure that was suppressed by the EPA was released today.

The report details the health effects of PFAS and recommends the advisory level for these chemicals be made stricter.

Emails that surfaced last month found that the EPA feard a "public relations nightmare" would ensue once the report was made public. 

Adrian Clark / Flickr - http://bit.ly/1xMszCg

The marketplace increase for Michigan health insurance premiums in 2019 is expected to be $1,520, according to a report released by the Center for American Progress Tuesday morning.

Detainees being housed inside fenced rooms at a government facility.
U.S. Customs and Border Patrol

The Trump administration's zero-tolerance border policy has meant some 2,000 migrant children have been taken away from their families.

Families Belong Together protest in Columbus, Ohio.
Flickr user Becker1999

The Trump administration has adopted a "zero tolerance" policy toward anyone caught crossing the United States border. As a result, in the past six weeks alone, over 2,000 children have been separated from their parents and put in government custody or foster care.

Scott Pruitt, head of the EPA
Scottpruitt.com / Scottpruitt.com

Water advocacy groups in Michigan concerned about PFAS contamination want Scott Pruitt to resign as head of EPA.

This week, emails surfaced detailing the EPA’s decision to hide a report on the danger of chemicals known as PFAS.

According to the emails, the report was kept under wraps to avoid a “public relations nightmare.”

Chris Coulon, a member of the group Need Our Water – or NOW – says Scott Pruitt should not be allowed to head the EPA after hiding this information from the public.

Water running from tap
jordanmrcai / Creative Commons

A group of lawmakers wants more federal money to address drinking water contamination around the state.

U.S. Rep. Dan Kildee and U.S. Senators Debbie Stabenow and Gary Peters included money for PFAS contamination in their latest budget bill.

The family of toxic chemicals, known as PFAS, have been linked to certain forms of cancer as well as other health issues.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan congressional leaders are asking the EPA about the status of an investigation into the causes of the Flint water crisis.

The EPA Office of Inspector General launched its investigation in January 2016 into the causes of the crisis that exposed the people of Flint to lead-tainted tap water and other health threats.

However more than two years later, the full report has still not been released.

Congressman Dan Kildee
Photo courtesy of the Office of Congressman Dan Kildee

U.S. Rep. Dan Kildee, D-Flint, isn't happy with the president's 2019 budget proposal that was released today.

Trump's latest budget proposal looks to cut the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative by $267,963,000 -- or by about 90%.

The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative aims to protect the lakes from pollution and invasive species. 

In a statement released today, Kildee calls the cuts reckless.

U.S. Rep. Dan Kildee, D-Flint.
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

It’s a New Year, but for Congress, it all begins with a hangover from the Old Year: problems and issues left unresolved.

The government is due to run out of funding on January 19, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program ends in March, and looming over everything, this week's erratic tweetstorm from President Trump.

To see how Congress plans to deal with all this, Stateside talked to Democratic Congressman Dan Kildee of Flint.

You can listen to the full conversation above, or read highlights below.

Dan kildee talking to crowd
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan members of Congress are back in their districts on their August break.

During the first half of year, many Michigan congressmen held raucous town hall meetings with people angry about the presidential election and the effort to repeal and replace Obamacare.

Flint Congressman Dan Kildee says he’s still seeing frustrated constituents. But he says their frustration is different.

sign that says flint
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The city of Flint could soon get some relief from loans it took out years ago to fix its broken water system.  

Over the years, Flint borrowed more than $20 million from the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund. But the cash-strapped city has been struggling to pay interest on the loans.    

With its water system still broken, and the recovery from the city’s lead tainted tap water crisis ongoing, the federal Environmental Protection Agency says it’s ready to forgive the debt.

aerial photo of the Great Lakes
National Oceanic and And Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

Environmentalists and their allies in Congress are stepping up their efforts to fight proposed cuts to federal Great Lakes funding and the EPA budget.

President Trump proposed deep cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency’s budget, as well as effectively eliminating federal money for Great Lakes restoration projects.  The Trump budget would shift the financial burden of maintaining the Great Lakes onto the eight states in the region.     

exterior of the Michigan state capital
Pkay Chelle / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

On May 9, State Representative John Kivela was found dead in a Lansing home from an apparent suicide. The Marquette democrat's death marks the third time in the past year a House member has died. Morning Edition host Doug Tribou and senior news analyst Jack Lessenberry discuss reactions from the Michigan State House. 

Congressman Dan Kildee
Photo courtesy of the Office of Congressman Dan Kildee

A Michigan congressman has decided against running for governor in 2018 and instead will seek a fourth term in the U.S. House.

Democratic Rep. Dan Kildee of Flint Township made the announcement Tuesday in an email to supporters. His decision leaves former state Senate Minority Leader Gretchen Whitmer as the highest-profile candidate in the Democratic field.

Abdul El-Sayed, the former head of Detroit's health department, has been aggressively seeking to raise his profile with Democrats. Three other lesser-known candidates also are running.

Is the governor's race over?

May 9, 2017

Congressman Dan Kildee of Flint has decided that he will not, after all, run for the Democratic nomination for governor next year. Sources close to the congressman told me last night that he had been wavering until last week, when House Republicans rammed through a health care bill that few understood and which made Democrats extremely mad.

Kildee, who has told me he loves Congress, had an epiphany then that his work was to stay in the House, where he has a safe seat, and fight for what is right for the nation.

Doctor's office
steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Relieved Republicans have pushed their prized health care bill through the House. The mostly party-line 217-213 vote advances a bill that addresses their longtime pledge to erase the 2010 Obama health care law.

“Today, I voted to keep the promise I made to the voters of my district to rescue Americans from the collapsing health care law that has raised premiums and deductibles and replace it with a better health care system,” says Rep. John Moolenaar, R-Midland.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Many Flint residents are upset that the city has started threatening to put liens on homes that are delinquent on their water and sewer bills.

Last month, the city of Flint sent out notices to more than 8,000 water customers.  The notices advise customers to either pay their delinquent water bills, or the city will put a lien on their home.   The delinquent bills amount to nearly $6 million.   

Pre-schoolers playing at a table.
steve carmody / Michigan Radio

This week, the city of Flint will mark the third anniversary of its ill-fated drinking water switch. 

Will Dan Kildee run for Governor?

Apr 18, 2017
U.S. Rep. Dan Kildee, D-Flint.
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Long ago, way back in, say, the 1980s, there was something quaint about most elections in this country: Candidates did not actually begin running until the year of the election itself. We hold primaries in August and general elections in November, and it was thought that if you declared your candidacy in January, say, that would give you enough time to persuade voters.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Flint Congressman Dan Kildee has re-introduced legislation to change the federal rules governing lead in drinking water.

Lead exposure has been linked to serious health problems in children and adults. 

The current federal action level is 15 parts per billion. Kildee wants the EPA to reduce that benchmark to five parts per billion by the year 2026.

Kildee’s bill would also tighten rules regarding water testing, service line inventories and improve public education

Ckay / Creative Commons

President Trump's proposed budget cuts to Great Lakes restoration has some Michigan lawmakers and small business owners concerned.

Trying to fix Michigan's disgraceful legislative ethics

Mar 20, 2017

When it comes to ethics and integrity in government, Michigan is a disgrace. That’s not just my opinion. A little over a year ago, the Center for Public Integrity ranked our legislature worst among the fifty states in an analysis of state government transparency and accountability. We have few restraints on legislative behavior.

Capitol Hill
Jodi Westrick / Michigan Radio

Last week, House Republicans submitted their bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.

The bill, which has been under intense committee debate, has drawn criticism from Democrats, some Republicans, health care organizations, doctors, and others. But it is largely supported by House Republicans and the White House.

Some of the bill’s provisions would be enacted as soon as it is put into law, including the elimination of individual and employer mandates. Others would be delayed until 2020, such as limiting the Medicaid expansion and a repeal of subsidies for out-of-pocket expenses.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan’s congressional delegation is showing bi-partisan opposition to reports the Trump administration plans to slash funding for the Great Lakes.

Published reports say the White House wants to slash spending on the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative by 97%, from $300 million to $10 million.  The initiative is part of an Environmental Protection Agency program for funding that pays for pollution cleanup. 

President Trump's first speech before a joint session of Congress delivered themes and promises that are very familiar.
Screen grab from YouTube.com

President Trump's first speech before a joint session of Congress delivered themes and promises that are very familiar. It was delivered in a tone many have remarked was more presidential and more aspirational.

Rep. Paul Michell (R) and Rep. Dan Kildee (D) joined Stateside to give a perspective of last night's speech from both sides of the aisle.

From the Republican side, Congressman Paul Mitchell, who represents Michigan's 10th District, said the speech "captured the aspirations of Americans."

Harrietta Hills Trout Farms co-owner Dan Vogler wants to produce up to 300,000 pounds of trout at the historic Grayling Fish Hatchery.
Lindsey Smith / Michigan Radio

Congressman Dan Kildee, D-Flint, is proposing a ban on certain types of fish farming in the Great Lakes region.  

In Fenton today, Kildee said federal laws are needed to replace a patchwork of state laws in the region that are insufficient to regulate the aquaculture industry.    

“These fish farms create all sorts of pollution…and increase the likelihood of significant impact on habitat,” says Kildee.  

Here are Kildee’s two bills:

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