President Obama has announced an $80 million aid package for Flint, Mich., families dealing with a water contamination crisis there.
"We’re going to have that funding available to you by the end of next week, and that includes more than $80 million for the state of Michigan," Obama told the U.S. Conference of Mayors on Thursday. "Our children should not have to be worried about the water that they’re drinking in American cities. That’s not something that we should accept."
Obama visited Michigan — but not Flint — on Wednesday and pledged to help the city however he could.
“It is a reminder of why you can’t shortchange basic services we provide to our people and that we, together, provide as a government to make sure that the public health and safety is preserved,” he said then.
Obama declared a disaster in the region on Saturday, opening the door to federal funding for citizens struggling with waters contaminated by toxic lead levels.
That announcement came with $5 million in aid, far less than the nearly $100 million Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder (R) requested.
“I want to thank President Obama for quickly responding to our request for federal assistance," Sen. Debbie StabenowDeborah (Debbie) Ann StabenowSanders says spending plan should be .5T 'at the very least' Senators call on Taiwan for aid in automotive chip shortage Photos of the Week: Infrastructure vote, India floods and a bear MORE (D-Mich.) said in a statement Thursday.
"While the State of Michigan must take the lead in making things right for Flint families, I am committed to continuing to do everything I can to make sure the maximum amount of federal help is available as quickly as possible.”
Officials in Michigan, including Snyder and members of Congress, have said the federal government may need to play a bigger role in solving the crisis. The Department of Health and Human Services said this week that it would be coordinating the federal response in the area.
—This post was updated at 8:35 p.m.