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Politics & Government

US House could vote on water bill this week, but without money for Flint pipes

The city of Flint is slowly replacing damaged lead service lines. But city officials say they need money from the federal government to pay for much of the work.
steve carmody
/
Michigan Radio
The city of Flint is slowly replacing damaged lead service lines. But city officials say they need money from the federal government to pay for much of the work.

This week, the U.S. House of Representative could vote on spending billions of dollars to fix the nation’s crumbling municipal water systems.

Last week, the U.S. Senate passed a $10 billion bill that included $100 million specifically to replace Flint’s damaged pipes. The pipes have been leaching lead into the city’s drinking water.

But U.S. Rep. Dan Kildee, D-Flint, is concerned the House legislation does not include money earmarked for Flint.

“We’re going to have to make a judgment whether we want to try to stop that bill from proceeding to force Flint to be inserted into it,” says Kildee, “or let it go with the idea that we’ll work it out in the conference committee between the House and Senate.”

Kildee says turning it over to a conference committee could tie up the money for months.

“I wish we could do it more quickly. This is already too late,” says Kildee, “But we’ve committed to never give up.”

One major holdup rests with congressional Republicans, who believe Flint’s water crisis is a state problem.  Kildee says that’s an opinion shared by House Speaker Paul Ryan.    

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