U.S. Rep. introduces $1 billion act to help Flint - WNEM TV 5

U.S. Rep. introduces $1 billion act to help Flint

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WASHINGTON, DC (WNEM) -

U.S. Representative Candice Miller has introduced a $1 billion act to provide emergency funding for Flint.

The Drinking Water Contamination Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2016 would provide the money to replace Flint’s underground water line infrastructure.

Below is the text from the bill.

“As our entire country is now painfully aware, because of an epic failure of government at every level, the local level, the state level, and the federal level, the citizens of Flint, Michigan have been drinking contaminated water for almost 2 years. Especially vulnerable to the high lead levels are a generation of children and babies – American children and babies – not from a different country. They are our children, who will pay the consequences.

“The State of Michigan has acknowledged culpability and is stepping up. However, the federal government, through the EPA, also has some culpability, so it is entirely appropriate for the federal government to step up as well. The underground pipes have been so corroded they will, apparently, continue to pose a threat to the residents of Flint until they are replaced. 

“America is a compassionate nation, and when our fellow Americans face a disaster, we always, always step up. After Hurricanes like Katrina and Sandy, we spent billions of dollars replacing people’s property. And when wildfires roared through the West destroying people’s property – we stepped up. And in this case, we’re not talking about people’s property that has been damaged. We’re talking about thousands of people – especially children – who have been hurt and continue to be hurt. And Lord knows, we spend billions of dollars helping other countries. As an example, we have spent billions in Iraq and Afghanistan building and improving their infrastructure.

“That’s why, today, I am introducing an emergency supplemental bill to provide $1 billion dollars to be used to replace the water pipes in Flint. And I realize that this is a lot of money. I am well aware of the limited federal resources we have, and I know that getting support for this will be very difficult, so I don’t want to give the residents of Flint false hope. This will be a tough fight, but I believe it is one that is absolutely necessary.

“This might not be a natural disaster caused by Mother Nature, but, make no mistake, it is a disaster and, in so many ways, it so much worse because it is a man-made disaster. I think in my lifetime this may be one of the worst disasters I have ever seen in America.

“There are other things that are happening to the city of Flint because of this, which goes beyond health. The economy of Flint is being impacted. Whether you own a restaurant, or a gas station, or a local 7-11, you are impacted. So the side benefit of investing these dollars is it will also help the local economy, which needs it desperately.

“I consider myself to be fiscally conservative. However, we cannot turn our backs on the citizens of Flint. These are American citizens, American children and American babies, and we must take care of our own.”    

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