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Utah Republican Senator holding up money for Flint

Steve Carmody
Michigan Radio

Michigan U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow says she’s hopeful that the U.S. Senate will soon take up a bill with tens of millions of dollars for Flint.

The legislation has more than $100 million earmarked for fixing Flint’s water system and added health care for people exposed to lead in their tap water.

But a Republican senator is holding up the bill. Utah Senator Mike Lee says the state of Michigan should first spend its own money to fix Flint’s water issues, before the federal government should get involved. 

“I’ve spent time all weekend on this trying to figure out how we move forward,” says Stabenow. 

Senator Gary Peters says he plans to talk to the Republican lawmaker when he gets back to Washington D.C. today.

“We have strong bipartisan support for this legislation and to put a hold on it doesn’t make any sense and he needs to lift it,” says Peters.

Flint Mayor Karen Weaver is frustrated by the hold up.

“Shame on (Sen. Mike Lee),” says Weaver, “We need help.  We need the services and support right now.   The people in Flint didn’t do anything to deserve this.  And to hold things up for people who are in trouble that’s a shame.” 

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
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