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Pelosi: GOP candidates ‘may be in denial' about Flint

Pelosi: GOP candidates ‘may be in denial' about Flint
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House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) questioned how seriously GOP presidential candidates and Michigan’s Republican governor are taking the Flint, Mich., water crisis on Friday.

At a press conference in Flint, Pelosi hailed the way lawmakers in Congress — including Republicans — are approaching the problems in the city, where corroded pipes have led to dangerous levels of lead in the city’s drinking water. 

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But Pelosi said she wasn’t sure the GOP presidential candidates are on the same page.

“I had said yesterday in a press conference in D.C., in working with the Speaker [Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanRepublicans are avoiding gun talks as election looms The Hill's 12:30 Report Flake to try to force vote on DACA stopgap plan MORE, R-Wis.] on this issue, I saw nothing but signs of good will as we would go forward because they are not in denial,” she said Friday. “The presidentials may be in denial, and the governor may be in denial.”

Flint has become a leading issue for lawmakers on both sides of the aisle. The House passed a bill changing Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) policies in response to the water crisis, and senators are inching closer to voting on an aid package for Flint and other cities with water quality problems. 

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder, who has taken the brunt of Democratic criticism in the wake of the crisis, will testify on the matter before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee later this month with EPA Administrator Gina McCarthyRegina (Gina) McCarthyOvernight Energy: Dems ask Pruitt to justify first-class travel | Obama EPA chief says reg rollback won't stand | Ex-adviser expects Trump to eventually rejoin Paris accord Overnight Regulation: Trump to take steps to ban bump stocks | Trump eases rules on insurance sold outside of ObamaCare | FCC to officially rescind net neutrality Thursday | Obama EPA chief: Reg rollback won't stand Obama EPA chief: Trump regulation rollbacks won't hold up legally MORE.

Both Democratic presidential candidates have said more needs to be done for Flint. Democrats Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonWoman behind pro-Trump Facebook page denies being influenced by Russians Trump: CNN, MSNBC 'got scammed' into covering Russian-organized rally Pennsylvania Democrats set to win big with new district map MORE and Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersDems ponder gender politics of 2020 nominee 2020 Dem contenders travel to key primary states After Florida school shooting, vows for change but no clear path forward MORE will debate in the city on Sunday night ahead of Tuesday’s Michigan presidential primaries.

Flint came up only once in Thursday night’s GOP presidential debate in Detroit, when Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioColbert: Students taking action on gun violence 'give me hope' Lawmakers feel pressure on guns Florida lawmaker's aide fired after claiming shooting survivors were 'actors' MORE defended Snyder’s handling of the crisis and lamented that it became a political issue. 

“The way the Democrats have tried to turn this into a partisan issue, that somehow Republicans woke up in the morning and decided, ‘Oh, it’s a good idea to poison some kids with lead,’ it’s absurd, it’s outrageous, it isn’t true," he said.

Pelosi on Friday, visiting Flint with a delegation of House members, noted the “one fleeting second” the candidates addressed the issue, calling it “really an embarrassment.”

“I think that today is one of the least political days I have spent,” she said. “This isn’t about politicizing. This is about accountability. It’s about helping, it’s about healing, it’s about giving people hope and it’s about not underutilizing any resource to do that at every level.”