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Congress once again considering aid for Flint

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Steve Carmody
/
Michigan Radio

Michigan’s U.S. senators are trying again to get $172 million in federal funding for fixing Flint’s damaged water system. 

Senators Gary Peters and Debbie Stabenow announced today they have included the money in the Water Resources Development Act. The U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee is expected to consider this legislation this week.

Stabenow, D-Mich, says she’s glad they’ve “found a new path forward to get urgently-needed help for families in Flint and other communities across the country with serious lead and water issues.”

Earlier this month, the same plan ran into a roadblock in the form of U.S. Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah. Lee objected to the cost of the legislation, not the intent to aid Flint itself. His position on this bill is not immediately known. 

Flint Mayor Karen Weaver “welcomes” this new effort to get $220 million dollars for her city.

Weaver issued a written statement saying:

“I urge Congress to appropriate these funds, which will also help other communities dealing with serious lead and water issues.”

This isn’t the only effort at the federal level to channel money to Flint.  

Republican members of Michigan’s congressional delegation have introduced a $70 million package, which includes $30 million in grants, loans and special financing for repairing Flint’s water infrastructure and special food programs.

“It's hard to raise a family without safe drinking water and harder still when you have to travel a long distance to get healthy food for your kids,” says Congressman John Moolenaar, R-Midland. 

State lawmakers have already approved nearly $70 million for Flint. A state senate committee has also OK'd $149 million more.   

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Radio since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
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