A deal for Flint averts government shutdown

By Annika Fagerholm 9/30/16

A deal created by the House of Representatives to provide federal aid for Flint, Michigan will make it possible to keep the government running until December.

The House will vote Wednesday on this amendment which is a part of a separate water-projects bill that would authorize $170 million to aid Flint as well as other cities affected by water emergencies.

House speakers reached the deal late Tuesday after Senate Democrats blocked the stopgap spending bill intended to avert a government shutdown. The Democrats stated that they would block the bill until the Flint measure was (remove was to get it out of passive voice) passed.

Forty-five Senators voted in favor and fifty-five voted against the temporary spending bill. Although most of the senators who voted against were Democrats in favor of the Flint measure, 12 were GOP senators who had their issues with the bill.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell released the stopgap bill last week which addressed funding for the Zika virus, but it did not include the Flint aid measure. The bill also included $500 million in disaster relief for other areas affected by flooding such as Louisiana and Texas.

Many Democrats, including Senate Minority Leader Harry M. Reid, felt that supporting Louisiana and Texas but neglecting Flint was unfair, “There’s no excuse for leaving the people of Flint, Michigan, behind. If they’re helping Louisiana, they have to help Flint,” he said.

Democratic Representative Dan Kildee, who created the amendment with Representative John Moolenaar, released a statement Wednesday morning saying that this vote is “a step forward to ensuring that Flint families get the resources they need to recover from this crisis.”