Ryan: Flint aid shouldn't be in short-term spending bill

Ryan: Flint aid shouldn't be in short-term spending bill
© Moriah Ratner

Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanAppeals court rules House chaplain can reject secular prayers FEC filing: No individuals donated to indicted GOP rep this cycle The Hill's Morning Report - Waiting on Mueller: Answers come on Thursday MORE (R-Wis.) says he wants to include emergency funding for Louisiana flood recovery efforts in a government spending bill this month, but that aid for the Flint, Mich., water crisis should be in a different bill. 

“For floods, I do support giving flood relief,” Ryan said at a press conference Thursday. 

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“People in Louisiana had a 1,000-year rainstorm, who got flooded above the flood plain. That was extraordinary and that does rise to the level of being dealt with as an emergency disaster. So we support addressing that.”

The House doesn’t include Flint funding in its bill, but Ryan said that will eventually be a better vehicle for the aid package. 

“For Flint, this is more of a local government issue,” Ryan said. 

“But that is an issue that should be dealt with in the WRDA bill. We're bringing the WRDA bill up next week, the water resources bill. That's where that belongs, in that conversation.”

The Senate last week passed the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA), which included $220 million for water infrastructure improvements in Flint and other cities around the country. The House is set to bring up its version of the WRDA bill next week, Ryan said Thursday.

Louisiana leaders have asked for an aid package to bolster recovery efforts after severe flooding in and around Baton Rouge last month. The White House last week suggested $2.6 billion in funding, and officials and lawmakers have said aid will be included in discussions over a short-term stopgap spending bill that needs to pass this month.

Michigan lawmakers, meanwhile, have hoped to move quickly on emergency funding for the drinking-water crisis in Flint. Gov. Rick Snyder (R) in 2014 switched Flint's water supply from Lake Huron to the Flint River as a cost-cutting measure, but that water corroded the city's water pipes and caused widespread lead contamination.

— Scott Wong contributed.