House adopts Flint water measures in spending bill

House adopts Flint water measures in spending bill
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The House has adopted two amendments meant to assist Flint, Mich.’s recovery from a drinking water contamination crisis. 

Flint’s congressman, Rep. Dan KildeeDaniel (Dan) Timothy KildeeTrump, Dems have reasons to work together, but tensions are boiling over The Hill's 12:30 Report: Funding talks, round two | Trump says another shutdown 'certainly' possible | Trump mocks Starbucks CEO over 2020 talk Top Dem to fellow lawmakers: 'Ignore the president' on wall MORE (D-Mich.), offered two amendments to the House’s Interior and Environment spending bill this week, and the House approved them on a voice vote on Wednesday night.

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The first measure allows the state of Michigan to forgive drinking water loans to city. The second provides $3 million for a $7 million drinking water testing program there. The state of Michigan is covering the remainder of the cost. 

“It will take a lot more to fix this problem and a lot of commitment from the state and the federal government, but it means a lot to the people back home,” Kildee said in a floor speech late Wednesday.

Lawmakers have grappled with Flint aid since the full extent of the city’s lead contamination problems came to light earlier this year. 

The House previously passed a bill requiring faster public notification when federal regulators find high levels of lead in drinking water. 

However, lawmakers haven’t been able to hatch a deal on a broader funding measure for the city. The Senate came to terms on a $220 million aid package for Flint and other cities dealing with lead water issues, but it’s yet to come to the floor.

Kildee’s amendments were attached Wednesday to an $32.1 billion Interior Department and Environmental Protection Agency spending bill scheduled to come up for a final vote on Thursday. The bill is not likely to attract much Democratic support because of funding levels and policy issues unrelated to the Flint water crisis. 

“The impact of this event will be long felt in my hometown, and we all have an obligation to contribute to the efforts this city will painfully go through to recover,” Kildee said Wednesday.