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Senators: No deal yet on Flint aid, energy bill

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 Ann MurkowskiLawmakers scold Trump official over Pacific island trust fund Republican agenda clouded by division Greens sue over Interior plans to build road through Alaska refuge MORE (R-Alaska) and Maria CantwellMaria Elaine CantwellGreen group backs Sens. Baldwin, Nelson for reelection The US is falling behind in artificial intelligence research WHIP LIST: Shutdown looms as Senate lacks votes to pass House spending bill 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 McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellDems confront Kelly after he calls some immigrants 'lazy' McConnell: 'Whoever gets to 60 wins' on immigration Overnight Defense: Latest on spending fight - House passes stopgap with defense money while Senate nears two-year budget deal | Pentagon planning military parade for Trump | Afghan war will cost B in 2018 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 StabenowDeborah (Debbie) Ann StabenowDems press Trump for 'Buy American' proposals in infrastructure plan Kid Rock: Al Franken shouldn't have resigned Michigan State president resigns amid sexual abuse scandal 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.