House approves $10B for Flint, California drought

Dec. 9, 2016
Bill passes, 360-61, heads to Senate.

WASHINGTON, DC, DECEMBER 9, 2016 -- On Thursday, the House of Representatives passed a $10 billion bill which would authorize water projects across the country. Included in the bill's provisions is $170 million for Flint, Michigan's lead in drinking water problem and $558 million to manage California's drought.

The Associated Press reports that while the bill passed, 360-61, "some Democrats complained that the drought measure was a giveaway to California farmers and businesses."

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy was vocal in his support of the bill, saying, "America is not some Third World country. We are a wealthy nation, and we will not let any American go without water," he said.

The measure will increase water delivery to farms and businesses in the San Joaquin Valley and parts of Southern California, while streamlining future infrastructure projects.

Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., has vowed to defeat the drought measure once it gets to the Senate, because she says it would undermine protections for endangered fish and put the interests of farmers above other industries in the state.

The bill also authorizes aid for Flint and other cities that have found lead in water, but the money would be included in a short-term spending bill pending in the Senate.

"Flint families have waited far too long for their government to act, but I am pleased that over $100 million in real federal aid for Flint is a big step closer to becoming reality," said Rep. Dan Kildee, D-Mich.

Read the full story here.

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