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Progressive Democrats use Flint water crisis to attack Trump budget plan

steve carmody
Michigan Radio
Flint water activists and Progressive Democrats gather outside Flint's water plant

Progressive Democrats are using Flint’s water crisis as a backdrop for a battle over the federal budget.

On Thursday, a group of Flint residents and Progressive Democrats gathered outside the city’s water treatment plant to promote an alternative to President Trump’s budget plan.

While the president’s proposed budget relies on public-private partnerships for infrastructure improvements, Democrats want to spend federal dollarson roads, bridges and water projects.

Kelly Collison is the state Democratic Party’s Progressive Caucus Chair.  She says cities like Flint can’t wait for 2018, when Democrats hope to regain control of Congress.

“Flint’s not getting any better,” says Collison, “We can’t wait another year and a half to get this stuff done.”

The Trump administration is expected to press Congress for action on his budget before its August recess.

Earlier this year, the Trump administration approved $100 million, originally authorized during the Obama administration, to upgrade Flint’s water infrastructure.  The state is providing $20 million in matching funds.  The money is paying for replacing aging lead and galvanized steel pipes, which are primary sources for lead contaminating the city’s drinking water. 

The state of Michigan has spent a quarter million dollars on the Flint water crisis, largely to provide bottled water, filters and testing.  

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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