Senators: No deal yet on Flint aid, energy bill

Greg Nash

The leaders of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee said Monday that they still haven’t come to an agreement on an aid package for Flint, Mich.’s drinking water crisis.

Sens. Lisa MurkowskiLisa MurkowskiSenators seek state revenue sharing for offshore drilling Senate panel approves 0M for international climate fund GOP senator praises Supreme Court's abortion ruling MORE (R-Alaska) and Maria CantwellMaria CantwellMenendez rails against Puerto Rico bill for 4 hours on floor Week ahead: Wait drags on for energy talks The Hill's 12:30 Report MORE (D-Wash.) said they worked throughout the weekend to come to a deal that both parties could support, which would allow passage of the broad energy reform bill the senators have been working on for more than a year.

ADVERTISEMENT
“With our time on the Senate floor running short, we are working toward an agreement to allow our energy bill to move forward,” Murkowski and Cantwell said in a joint statement. “At the same time, we are working to help advance a measure to address the Flint water crisis and hope that it will be brought up as soon as possible.”

The senators said they’ve been speaking with colleagues “to remind them of the many good provisions in our bill” and to figure out what’s possible for Flint.

Meanwhile, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellMitch McConnell'Never Trump' plots its last stand Dems leery of Planned Parenthood cuts spark Senate scuffle Overnight Finance: Senate sends Puerto Rico bill to Obama | Treasury, lawmakers to meet on tax rules | Obama hits Trump on NAFTA | Fed approves most banks' capital plans MORE (R-Ky.) turned up the heat against Democrats, blasting them for blocking the bill and the amendment process.

“It’s disappointing for our country. We’re hoping our friends will reconsider,” McConnell said on the Senate floor Monday.

“I’m asking colleagues to take ‘yes’ for an answer and allow the open amendment process to continue so that we can pass it.”

Senate Democrats on Thursday blocked the energy bill from moving forward because there wasn’t agreement on an amendment to help Flint recover from lead poisoning in its water.

Democratic Michigan Sens. Debbie StabenowDebbie StabenowOvernight Finance: Senate sends Puerto Rico bill to Obama | Treasury, lawmakers to meet on tax rules | Obama hits Trump on NAFTA | Fed approves most banks' capital plans Senate Dems pledge to keep fighting over Zika Obama official pledges 'adjustments' to controversial Medicare proposal MORE and Gary Peters wanted a $600 million package, and though Republicans were open to negotiating, they wanted to spend less.

Stabenow and Peters said Thursday that they were “very close” to a resolution in their talks with Republicans.