Reid pushes for Flint aid as energy bill nears finish line

Greg Nash

Senate Minority Leader Harry ReidHarry ReidMurphy wins Fla. Senate primary, setting up showdown with Rubio Top Dems push FBI to investigate Trump campaign role in DNC hack No, Tim Kaine is not the most liberal member of Congress MORE (D-Nev.) is urging lawmakers to attach aid for the Flint, Mich., drinking water crisis to a wide-ranging energy bill. 

"Before we rush off into the congratulatory phase of this legislation, there has to be an opportunity to work something out on Flint, Michigan, and the tremendous problems they have," the Democratic leader said Wednesday. 

ADVERTISEMENT
Reid's comments come as Democrats, led by Michigan Sens. Debbie StabenowDebbie StabenowKaine: Being picked for VP feels like being 'kidnapped' GOP tries to link Dem candidates to Obama on Iran 'ransom' Dem senators to GOP: Dump Trump MORE and Gary Peters, have been working to include assistance for Flint in the energy reform legislation from Sens. Lisa MurkowskiLisa MurkowskiMcAuliffe: I wouldn't want a 'caretaker' in Kaine's Senate seat Big Oil makes a push for risky and reckless Arctic drilling GOP divided over 0M for climate fund MORE (R-Alaska) and Maria CantwellMaria CantwellFeds crack down on coal cleanup financing Tim Kaine backs call to boost funding for Israeli missile defense Remembering small business during the presidential election MORE (D-Wash.). 

Stabenow suggested on Tuesday that lawmakers were "very close" on a deal. 

But with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellMitch McConnellCDC director on Zika: 'Basically, we're out of money' Juan Williams: Trump's race politics will destroy GOP Rank-and-file Republicans fear lame-duck vote on pricey funding bill MORE (R-Ky.) moving to end debate on the energy bill on Tuesday evening and leadership suggesting they want to finish the legislation on Thursday, senators are running out of time.

Reid, however, added that he hopes "we can work something out" on an amendment from Stabenow and Peters that would give up to $600 million to combat the Flint, Mich., drinking water crisis. 

The Michigan city is dealing with severe lead contamination after changing the source of its water supply in 2014. State officials, who initially downplayed the problems, have been under fire for their response.

"It is very important for the people of Michigan and an example of what we need to do to help the country with these problems," Reid added. 

Sen. Dick DurbinDick DurbinTrump poised to betray primary supporters on immigration Dem wants hearing on EpiPen price hikes Legislators privacy fight coincides with FCC complaint MORE (D-Ill.) stopped short on Tuesday of saying that Democrats would oppose the energy bill if the Flint assistance wasn't added. 

"Well we certainly want a vote, and I hope that that's going to be allowed," he told reporters.

More in Senate races

GOP tries to link Dem candidates to Obama on Iran 'ransom'

Read more »