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Published: Wed, September 28, 2016
Global Media | By Abel Hampton

Senate blocks stopgap bill to fund government

Senate blocks stopgap bill to fund government

Michigan's two senators appeared with members of the House of Representatives in Washington, D.C., today, September 27, saying that Flint either gets help it needs for its lead in water crisis or they won't support a short-term spending plan proposed by Republicans.

The bill needed 60 votes to pass without potential filibuster attempts and would have run the government through December 9.

The Senate is scheduled to vote after midday caucus meetings on whether to proceed with a continuing resolution (CR) that Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) filed September 23 after talks with Democrats stalled. But Democratic leaders balked arguing they couldn't support money for flooding for Louisiana unless Flint was also addressed.

But top Democrats signaled Monday there may be a way to resolve the impasse: if House Republicans were to assure them the Flint money would make it into a separate bill that the House is voting on this week.

"This was a little ironic, because the speaker of the House says he opposes adding funding for Flint to the continuing resolution and believes that it should be handled in the water resources bill", White House press secretary Josh Earnest said. McConnell said. "It's nearly as if a few Democratic leaders decided long ago that bringing our country to the brink would make for good election-year politics". "If the rationale is that a water issue in Flint should be in WRDA, then a water issue in Louisiana should be in WRDA, as well".

But Reid and Sen.

The Republicans instead want to address the Flint crisis as part of the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA).

The Flint crisis is now into its second year, with most households and businesses in the Rust Belt city still unable to use their lead-tainted tap water for drinking or cooking.

"It isn't promised that it will be in there".

"We keep hearing their position is no Flint, no floods, and that's certainly an option worth discussing", McConnell said. He said he agreed with DeFazio that the Army Corps monies should not go "to fund soccer fields, baseball fields, basketball courts or splash parks". Four Democrats voted in favor.

At issue is roughly $220 million that is partially directed toward Flint.

A government shutdown similar to the one in late 2013 would discontinue all but the most essential government services, send millions of non-essential federal workers home without pay, and cause headaches and inconvenience for millions of Americans and businesses.

Heimov said he and other Flint advocates will continue reaching out to federal and state legislators about creating a victim compensation fund. "We can't ignore that". "Call and tell me they're going to take care of it. Give me some assurances we're going to take care of it".

Pastor David Bullock holds up a bottle of Flint water as Michigan State Police hold a barrier to keep protestors out of the Romney Building, where Gov. Rick Snyder's office resides on Thursday, Jan. 14, 2016, in Lansing, Mich. Well, the Republicans are going to take care of this. Barbara Boxer of California and MI members of Congress U.S. Reps. Why isn't he helping us?

"Senator Reid's so needy", Cornyn said.

"This 10-week funding bill need not be, as some Democratic leaders seem to wish, some titanic struggle for the ages", McConnell said.

Minutes before the vote, Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell told reporters that he would consider the possibility of removing the flood-relief provision from the CR to win Democrat support.

Whether that would be forthcoming, however, remained unclear.

Laura Barron-Lopez contributed reporting.

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