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 MurkowskiOvernight Energy: Obama integrates climate change into national security planning GOP pressures Kerry on Russia's use of Iranian airbase Overnight Energy: Lawmakers kick off energy bill talks MORE (R-Alaska) and Maria CantwellMaria CantwellUS wins aerospace subsidies trade case over the EU Wells CEO Stumpf resigns from Fed advisory panel Overnight Energy: Lawmakers kick off energy bill talks 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.

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“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 McConnellDem leaders defend overriding 9/11 bill veto GOP leaders express reservations a day after 9/11 veto override White House: Congress has 'buyer's remorse' on 9/11 bill 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 StabenowMichigan Dems highlight Flint with unanimous opposition to CR How Congress averted shutdown Senate passes funding bill to avoid shutdown 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.