Scott, Kildee and Nine Ranking Members Urge HHS & Partnering Agencies to Identify Additional Ways to Support Flint, Michigan

WASHINGTON – Ranking Member Robert C. “Bobby” Scott (VA-03), Congressman Dan Kildee (MI-05) and nine House Committee Ranking Members sent a letter urging the U.S. Department of Health Human Services (HHS) and other agencies to examine additional ways to provide more funding and technical support to the Flint, Michigan. The Members also thanked HHS and the partnering agencies for providing initial emergency funding and services to the Flint community. 

 “We are concerned that – despite repeated encouragement – the State of Michigan is not requesting federal assistance as expeditiously as required to respond to the ongoing crisis in Flint,” the Members wrote. “We therefore urge HHS and the partnering agencies to examine their flexibility in directing funds to Flint absent official requests from the State of Michigan. When that flexibility does not exist, we ask that the agency provide guidance and technical assistance to ensure federal assistance provided to the State of Michigan reaches Flint. In addition, the agency should send to the Governor a list of programs that would assist Flint in their efforts to address the disaster, but cannot be accessed without the Governor’s approval.”

“Direct funding, when possible, along with clear guidance and quality technical assistance issued by federal agencies supporting Flint, will prevent delays in providing future support and increase the efficiency of service delivery to the citizens suffering from lead-contaminated drinking water,” the letter reads. “We request that you immediately direct all agencies and offices working under your authority as the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response to determine if funds can be directed to Flint without state approval and to provide guidance and technical assistance to ensure all available federal assistance provided to the State of Michigan reaches lead-exposed localities.”

For nearly two years, the residents of Flint, Michigan have been continually exposed to exceedingly high levels of lead due to the city’s contaminated municipal water supply. While this egregious government misstep can be corrected, no amount of lead in a community’s water supply is safe. Every available tool must be used to help mitigate the effects of the water crisis in Flint and make sure the people of Flint get back on track to living a prosperous and fulfilling life.

Nine other Ranking Members include:

Ranking Member Collin Peterson (MN-07), House Committee on Agriculture

Ranking Member Nydia Velazquez (NY-07), House Committee on Small Business

Ranking Member Sander Levin (MI-09), House Committee on Ways & Means

Ranking Member Bennie Thompson (MS-02), House Committee on Homeland Security

Ranking Member Maxine Waters (CA-43), House Committee on Financial Services

Ranking Member Elijah Cummings (MD-07), House Committee on Oversight & Government Reform

Ranking Member John Conyers, Jr. (MI-13), House Committee on the Judiciary

Ranking Member Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ-06), House Committee on Energy & Commerce

Ranking Member Peter DeFazio (OR-04), House Committee on Transportation & Infrastructure

The letter can be read here


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