Black Caucus demands Flint funding from GOP

Black Caucus demands Flint funding from GOP
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The Congressional Black Caucus is berating GOP leaders for not including funding for Flint, Mich., in the latest government spending bill unveiled this week.

Leaders of the caucus wrote to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellTrump declares war on hardworking Americans with new budget request The Hill's Morning Report — AG Barr, GOP senators try to rein Trump in Overnight Health Care: Nevada union won't endorse before caucuses after 'Medicare for All' scrap | McConnell tees up votes on two abortion bills | CDC confirms 15th US coronavirus case MORE (R-Ky.) and House Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanPaul Ryan says Biden likely won't get Democratic nomination Judd Gregg: Honey, I Shrunk The Party The Hill's Morning Report — Dems detail case to remove Trump for abuse of power MORE (R-Wis.) on Friday demanding new money in this week’s bill for Flint’s longstanding water crisis.

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“With funding for Flint omitted from the continuing resolution, it’s clear: minority and low-income communities are not even the slightest priority for our Republican-led Congress,” Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.) wrote in a statement Friday.

Democrats in both chambers have threatened to reject the GOP’s latest budget proposal because it ignores the city’s lead contamination but provides relief for flood victims in Louisiana.

The letter from caucus chairman G.K. ButterfieldGeorge (G.K.) Kenneth ButterfieldHouse poised to hand impeachment articles to Senate Democrat makes case for impeachment in Spanish during House floor debate Democrats likely to gain seats under new North Carolina maps MORE (D-N.C.), along with two other members from Michigan, does not specifically say they will vote against the spending bill if it doesn’t include the money for Flint.  

With money to fight the Zika virus settled, Flint has become the latest health crisis at the center of a bill to fund the government this fall.

The short-term government funding bill, which was formally unveiled Thursday, gives $500 million to help people in Louisiana whose homes were flooded in August storms. But Democrats, led by Senate Minority Leader Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidWarren highlights work with Obama, Harry Reid in new Nevada ad Yes, Democrats have to defend their African-American base against Trump New Hampshire only exacerbates Democratic Party agita MORE (D-Nev.) and Appropriations Committee ranking member Barbara MikulskiBarbara Ann MikulskiLobbying World Only four Dem senators have endorsed 2020 candidates Raskin embraces role as constitutional scholar MORE (D-Md.), have called the bill a nonstarter without new funding to help people in Flint, most of whom cannot drink water from their homes.

The Senate will vote Tuesday on the 160-page bill to fund the government through Dec. 9, though Reid has vowed to oppose that vote over the exclusion of Flint money.

With five days left to avert a shutdown, Republicans could avoid a “no” vote in the Senate if the House acts first to commit money toward Flint.

Republicans, including Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), have said funding for Flint belongs in a separate package called the Water Resources Development Act, which will go up for a vote in the House as soon as Monday night. The current House bill does not include funding for the water crisis, though the Senate’s version does, and GOP leaders have argued that the Flint money could be added during a conference.

The same spending bill had previously been held up over funding to fight the Zika virus. The GOP’s latest proposal would provide $1.1 billion to stop the spread of the virus, which can cause severe birth defects, while dropping the partisan provisions involving Planned Parenthood and pesticide use.