Flint mayor pushes Congress for emergency aid deal

Flint mayor pushes Congress for emergency aid deal
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The mayor of Flint, Mich., and a group supporting residents of the city are making a final push for emergency aid funding before Congress adjourns for the year.

More than 100 groups signed a letter Monday urging Congress to provide funding for the city, where people are suffering health problems from contaminated water supplies.

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Flint Mayor Karen Weaver said Monday that the city should be at the top of lawmakers’ agendas as they enter the final few weeks of their session.

“If Flint doesn’t show you that there is a need to invest in infrastructure, and maintaining infrastructure and water quality standards, I don’t know what place does,” she said on a conference call Monday.

Lawmakers are still looking to finalize emergency spending for Flint.

Congress is aiming to craft an aid package to replace corroded pipes in Flint and other cities around the country. But the size of the aid bill and the method for passing it are still up in the air.

Both the House and Senate included Flint aid in their versions of the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) earlier this year. The House’s bill includes $170 million in relief, while the Senate’s version has $220 million.

Earlier this month, top lawmakers predicted Congress would include Flint funding in a short-term spending bill members need to pass before the end of the year. Lawmakers want to reach a deal on Flint aid before adjourning in mid-December.

Weaver said Flint has enough funding to replace 5,000 corroded pipes in the city, but that it still needs funding to replace up to 20,000 other pipes.

She said lawmakers need to find funding for the city wherever they can.

“However we can get the money, it needs to happen, and Flint needs to be the priority,” she said.