Flint water crisis

Michigan Lawmakers Laud Long-Awaited Flint Aid
Congress has approved $170 million in assistance

Michigan Democratic lawmakers, from left, Sen. Gary Peters, Rep. Dan Kildee, Sen. Debbie Stabenow, Rep. Brenda Lawrence and Rep. John Conyers Jr. attend a news conference on Capitol Hill in September on aid for the Flint water crisis. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Congress has approved aid for the city of Flint, Michigan, which has been grappling with a water contamination crisis since late 2014.

Michigan lawmakers have been working for nearly a year to secure funds to replace water pipes that poisoned the city’s water with lead.

Will CR Potholes Become Democratic Roadblocks?
Continuing resolution text released Tuesday contains items Senate Democrats don’t like

Sen. Joe Manchin said he would slow Senate business unless assistance to retired miners gets full funding. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

By NIELS LESNIEWSKI and BRIDGET BOWMANCQ Roll Call

The release of a continuing resolution Tuesday evening has made clear the potholes that could get in the way of Congress making a quick exit from the Capitol by Friday when funding for the government expires.

Michigan Delegation Joined Leadership at Negotiating Table
Flint Rep. Dan Kildee helped secure language on water bill that led to CR deal

From left, Rep. Dan Kildee, Sen. Gary Peters and Rep. Sander Levin, all Michigan Democrats, leave a news conference in the Capitol. Funding for the Flint water crisis was not included in the 10-week stopgap spending bill passed by Congress on Wednesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Eleventh-hour government funding deals are usually negotiated between the leaders of both parties in the House and Senate and the White House. This year, there were some extra players at the table.

Members of the Michigan delegation were heavily involved in securing aid for the city of Flint, which has been stricken by a water contamination crisis for more than a year.

Ep. 24: Flint Aid Averts Government Shutdown
The Big Story

 

A deal to fund the government until December 9 all came down to House Republicans giving in to Democratic demands to help Flint, Michigan, address its contaminated water crisis. CQ Roll Call’s Managing Editor Adriel Bettelheim and Budget and Economy editor Jane Norman break down the late night deals and what happens after the government once again runs out of money on December 9.

House Republicans to Allow Flint Vote
Deal on water bill amendment expected to resolve government funding impasse

House Speaker Paul D. Ryan, right, seen here with House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, has reached an agreement with Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi to allow an amendment authorizing aid for Flint, Michigan, to be included in a water resources bill. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

House Republicans late Tuesday acquiesced to Democrats’ demands to  address the Flint, Michigan, water contamination crisis, when the Rules Committee voted to allow an amendment to a water resources measure that would authorize $170 million in assistance.

The move comes just one day after the Rules panel blocked a similar attempt to get a vote on Flint aid as the chamber took up the Water Resources Development Act. The change of heart signals interest in resolving a stalemate over Flint that has held up a must-pass stopgap spending bill to keep government agencies running into December.

Senate Blocks Republican Stopgap From Advancing
Aid to Flint, Michigan, remains a stumbling block

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., holds a copy of his opening remarks as he speaks to the press about the continuing resolution in the Ohio Clock Corridor following the Senate Republicans' weekly policy lunch in the Capitol on Tuesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The Senate on Tuesday voted 45-55 not to cut off debate on a 10-week continuing resolution proposed by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to keep government agencies and programs funded into December.

In addition to the stopgap funds, the package would have provided $1.1 billion to combat the Zika virus outbreak and $82.5 billion in fiscal 2017 Military Construction-VA discretionary spending, as well as $500 million to help disaster-affected states including flood-ravaged Louisiana. Sixty votes were needed to invoke cloture.

Water Bill a Better Vehicle to Help Flint, Ryan Says
Contamination in Michigan city 'more of local government issue'

Immanuel Stinson, right, and Aaron Hoskin, stock bottled water in the basement of the St. Mark Baptist Church in Flint, Michigan, in February. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

(First appeared in CQ News on Sept. 22, 2016.)

Money to help Flint, Mich., address its drinking water disaster would be more appropriate as part of a water resources authorization bill than a continuing resolution to keep the government operating this fall, House Speaker Paul D. Ryan, R-Wis., said during his weekly press conference.

Democrats Insisting on Flint Aid in CR Indicates Last Opportunity
Democratic groups sent letters to McConnell, Ryan pushing Flint funding in stopgap bill

Drinking water is stacked at the Sylvester Broome Center in Flint, Mich., February 22, 2016. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Democrats are heading toward a hard-line position on Flint water crisis aid.

“I'm not going to support the [continuing resolution] and there's a growing number of Democrats that are taking that same position,” Rep. Dan Kildee, D-Mich., said of a government funding package Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell released Thursday that did not include money for Flint.

Water Bill With Flint Aid Passes Senate
Momentum grows for House action

Virginia Mitchell, right, and her daughter-in-law Tiara Williams leave the the Sylvester Broome Center in Flint, Mich., after receiving cases of bottled water in February. Legislation to renew the Water Resources Development Act, which included aid for Flint, passed the Senate Thursday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

A $10.6 billion water projects authorization bill — including $220 million in loans and grants to help Flint, Michigan, rebuild and recover from its lead-tainted drinking water system — passed the Senate Thursday, 95-3.

The legislation to renew the Water Resources Development Act authorizes 30 water projects, including watershed restoration efforts, repairs and improvements to waterways and flood-control systems, and EPA drinking-water infrastructure programs.