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The impasse hardened an increasingly partisan response to the water crisis in Flint as Democrats press for swift help for a majority African-American city of 100,000 and point to the past, rapid response of Republicans to natural disasters in Texas and Florida. The vote was 46-50, short of a number necessary to move ahead on the comprehensive legislation.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said Republicans and Democrats would continue negotiations through the weekend in hopes of salvaging the energy bill.
Flint is under a public health emergency after its drinking water became tainted when the city switched from the Detroit water system and began drawing from the Flint River in April 2014 to save money. Water was not properly treated to keep lead from aging pipes from leaching into the supply. Michigan has approved $37 million in emergency funding for Flint for the current fiscal year.
President Barack Obama has said that about $80 million in federal funding is being made available to Michigan for investment in water system upgrades. Democrats have said officials would have acted sooner if Flint were wealthier and its population predominantly white. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., compared the Flint emergency to Hurricane Katrina in 2005, when President George W. Underscoring the political stakes of the Flint response, several Republican senators vulnerable in their re-election bids voted with the Democrats, including Sens. Lawmakers approved millions in federal emergency aid for Texas after a catastrophic 2013 blast at a fertilizer plant, Peters and other Democrats said. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chair Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, is surrounded by reporters as the Senate moves to rewrite federal energy policies, at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. WASHINGTON — Legislation to address the water crisis in Flint, Michigan is likely as the Senate takes up a bipartisan bill on energy policy.
Preliminary votes on the overall energy bill are expected as soon as Thursday as the Senate debates the first comprehensive energy legislation in nine years. The bill as drafted has widespread, bipartisan support that Murkowski, Cantwell and other senators touted Wednesday in speeches on the Senate floor. Republicans promised amendments to block an administration plan to halt new coal leases on federal lands, for instance, while Democrats said they would push policies to address global warming. Flint’s water became contaminated when the financially struggling city switched from the Detroit municipal system and began drawing from the Flint River in April 2014 to save money.
Regulators failed to ensure the new water was treated properly and lead from pipes leached into the water supply.
Senate Republicans were non-committal on whether they would back the measure that would spend money without any offsetting budget cuts and add to the deficit. The Senate could vote as early as next week on the proposal, a move with political implications as Democrats insist that Michigan Gov.


Pointing to a large photo of brown water in a Flint sink, Stabenow said that if one of Snyder's supporters had called the governor's office "and said, 'Our water looks like this.
As governor, Snyder "takes the well-being of all Michiganders very seriously, regardless of where they are from," spokesman Dave Murray said. Snyder was reviewing the Senate proposal but is "always grateful for support from our federal partners," Murray said. Flint's water became contaminated when the financially-struggling city switched from the Detroit municipal system and began drawing from the Flint River in April 2014 to save money. Regulators failed to ensure the water was treated properly and lead from pipes leached into the supply, leading to a spike in child lead exposure.
Snyder has estimated the cost of replacing Flint's water supply infrastructure at $767.4 million, although local officials peg the cost at twice that amount. The measure introduced by Stabenow and Peters requires federal action if a state refuses to warn the public about unsafe water and authorizes $20 million a year for 10 years to monitor lead exposure in Flint.
The Michigan senators and other Democrats offered the measure Thursday as an amendment to a bipartisan Senate energy bill. But other Democrats said the crisis in Flint came amid continuing Republican attacks on government regulation, particularly those aimed at the environment. The Senate proposal came as the Michigan Legislature unanimously approved $28 million in new funding to address lead contamination in Flint.
The Senate was voting Thursday on amendments to the energy bill, the first comprehensive energy legislation to come up for a vote in the Senate in nine years. Fierce partisan fights over the measure are expected as lawmakers offer amendments responding to President Barack Obama's energy policies and efforts to slow climate change. WASHINGTON (AP) a€” Senate Democrats on Thursday proposed up to $400 million in emergency federal aid to Flint, Michigan, half of what the state's Republican governor says it will cost to replace and fix the city's lead-contaminated pipes. Republicans maintained that it was premature to send money until Michigan figures out what it needs and wrong to stall the energy bill. The bill promotes a wide range of energy, from renewables such as solar and wind power to natural gas and hydropower. John Cornyn of Texas, the second-ranking Republican, said it was too early to provide funds. Some children’s blood has tested positive for lead, a potent neurotoxin linked to learning disabilities, lower IQ and behavioral problems. Flint, 60 miles north of Detroit, is 57 percent black, and 42 percent of its residents live in poverty.
Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, chairwoman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, said discussions on ways to help Flint were continuing. 2012, the Energy Policy Modernization Act, has been stalled for weeks over how best to address the ongoing water challenge in Flint, Michigan.


Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, and Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., would update building codes to increase efficiency, strengthen electric grid safety standards and promote development of an array of energy forms, from renewables such as solar and wind power, to natural gas, hydropower and even geothermal energy.
It is designed to go the distance and designed to make a difference,” said Murkowski, who chairs the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. Fierce, partisan fights are expected as lawmakers offer amendments responding to President Barack Obama’s energy policies and efforts to slow climate change. Battles also are expected over the 11-year-old Renewable Fuel Standard, which promotes ethanol and other biofuels, as well as Republican plans to block a controversial federal rule protecting small stream and tributaries. Gary Peters and Debbie Stabenow of Michigan are expected to offer an amendment aimed at protecting the water supply in Flint, Michigan. Some children’s blood has tested positive for lead, a potent neurotoxin linked to learning disabilities, lower IQ and behavioral problems.
Rick Snyder and other state officials ignored a dire problem in the majority black city of 100,000 north of Detroit. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., said "there's no doubt" in her mind that if the water problem had occurred in a wealthy, white community, the state would have responded immediately. Gary Peters, D-Mich., would require the state of Michigan to match the $400 million federal spending on Flint pipes, dollar for dollar. The measure also would require the Environmental Protection Agency to alert the public if there is a danger from lead in the water system, if the state refuses to act. The emergency spending bill includes money for more bottled water and filters and services to monitor for developmental delays in young children.
The legislation also would speed federal approval of projects to export liquefied natural gas to Europe and Asia and boost energy efficiency.
Rick Snyder is expected to propose an additional $30 million in state funding to help Flint residents pay their water bills. If a comment violates these standards or our privacy statement or visitor's agreement, click the "X" in the upper right corner of the comment box to report abuse. The bill also would speed federal approval of projects to export liquefied natural gas to Europe and Asia and reauthorize a half-billion dollar conservation fund that protects parks, public lands, historic sites and battlefields.
The bill will boost the economy, improve national security and increase international competitiveness — all at the same time, Murkowski said. The money also will help the city with unpaid water bills and cover testing, monitoring and other costs.



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