Fighting Back: “Flint’s water crisis isn’t just about water, it’s about a failed Republican philosophy of government that puts money ahead of people.”

 
 

The Weekly Democratic Party Address was delivered by Congressman Dan Kildee (D-MI).

(In this week’s address, Representative Kildee discusses the Flint water crisis and Democrats’ Better Deal legislation to rebuild America’s infrastructure, with $1 trillion to rebuild crumbling roads, bridges and water systems across America.)

This week, House Democrats joined me in Flint to sit down with families and see the progress being made to replace lead pipes with the funds from Congress. While the Flint water crisis has faded from the national headlines, this visit is a reminder that the crisis is not over. […] “Cities and towns across America have been left behind by the Republican-led Congress. Just this week, House Republicans voted to cut $300 million for repairs to water systems. Republicans have failed to take up any meaningful legislation to rebuild America’s aging infrastructure.

“Americans drive on crumbling roads and bridges. Instead of having cutting-edge schools, millions of students are in buildings that are unsafe and outdated. In the twenty-first century, we still have American families without access to high speed internet. We have many communities that have unsafe drinking water, not getting help from the federal government to replace those dangerous water systems. […]

“We have a bold plan to rebuild America’s infrastructure, with $1 trillion to rebuild crumbling roads, bridges and water systems across America. Our plan puts Americans to work, creating 16 million good-paying jobs, that can support a family. Putting Americans back to work rebuilding our infrastructure, makes us more competitive in the global economy and unleashes opportunity all across this country.

(CSPAN link to Weekly Democratic Address: here)

Transcript: Congressman Dan Kildee Delivers Weekly Democratic Address

“Hi, I’m Congressman Dan Kildee, and I’m proud to represent Michigan’s Fifth District.

“Most of you know the story of Flint’s water crisis. State officials, obsessed with austerity, switched the city’s water to the Flint River to save money. They also failed to treat the city’s water properly, leading to corrosive water leeching high levels of lead into the homes of 100,000 residents. Flint families knew there was something wrong, but state officials dismissed them, telling them to just ‘relax.’

“Flint is my hometown. I grew up and raised my kids in Flint. So, it breaks my heart to see what happened to my hometown, not just because of what it has done to the people, but because it was an entirely avoidable crisis.

“I appreciate my colleagues who have come to Flint to visit with families, and I’m grateful that Congress passed much-needed aid to remove those lead pipes and expand health care for families exposed to lead.

“This week, House Democrats joined me in Flint to sit down with families and see the progress being made to replace lead pipes with the funds from Congress. While the Flint water crisis has faded from the national headlines, this visit is a reminder that the crisis is not over.

“Flint is still recovering. Still, today, families do not trust their water and depend on filters and bottled water. This is completely unacceptable – in the richest country in the world, clean drinking water should be a basic human right.

“Flint families are strong, and we will get through this crisis. But what happened to Flint is a wake-up call. What happened to Flint is not some anomaly, it’s a warning.

“Dozens of communities in America – from Buffalo, New York to Aberdeen, Washington – face great challenges. A decade after the Great Recession, many of America’s cities and towns have not recovered and face population loss, cuts to basic services like police and fire, and have vacant, empty buildings. Just one mistake away from what happened to Flint.

“Cities and towns across America have been left behind by the Republican-led Congress. Just this week, House Republicans voted to cut $300 million for repairs to water systems. Republicans have failed to take up any meaningful legislation to rebuild America’s aging infrastructure.

“Americans drive on crumbling roads and bridges. Instead of having cutting-edge schools, millions of students are in buildings that are unsafe and outdated. In the twenty-first century, we still have American families without access to high speed internet. We have many communities that have unsafe drinking water, not getting help from the federal government to replace those dangerous water systems.

“Instead of offering a plan to address these challenges, Republicans pushed through a tax plan that benefits the richest Americans and the biggest corporations – 83 percent of all of the benefits going to the top 1 percent of Americans. Big corporations have announced over $400 billion in stock buybacks, overwhelmingly benefitting executives and wealthy shareholders. And meanwhile, working families struggle to get ahead and communities like Flint still can’t trust their drinking water.

“Democrats are offering A Better Deal.

“We have a bold plan to rebuild America’s infrastructure, with $1 trillion to rebuild crumbling roads, bridges and water systems across America. Our plan puts Americans to work, creating 16 million good-paying jobs, that can support a family. Putting Americans back to work rebuilding our infrastructure, makes us more competitive in the global economy and unleashes opportunity all across this country.

“What happened in Flint is inexcusable. But the hard truth is, it’s not an isolated event.

“We have to get serious about improving America’s infrastructure and making investments in communities like Flint so that a similar crisis does not happen anywhere else.

“We can do better.”

Any bolding has been added.

~

Leader Nancy Pelosi’s weekly news conference on Thursday:

(There was no video from CSPAN for the news conference this week.)

Transcript: Transcript of Pelosi Press Conference

Leader Pelosi. Good morning. Good morning. We meet today, a very sad moment for our American people. On Monday, the entire world witnessed President Trump cower in the presence of Putin. I sadly beseech President Trump to apologize to the American people for his disgraceful, dangerous and damaging behavior with Putin in Helsinki.

I call on my Republican colleagues in Congress to join Democrats in that request for an apology. President Trump obviously seemed frightened in the presence of Putin. What was he afraid of? What is Putin blackmailing President Trump with personally, politically or financially?

Whatever it is, it is a level of blackmail that the American people cannot afford. Putin appears to be President Trump’s puppeteer, and that day in Helsinki he shined the light on the strings.

Reports about the promises made in the private meeting are even more alarming, and in addition to that, the outrageous suggestion of handing former Ambassador McFaul over for Russian questioning. What?

I thank our House Democrats on the Intelligence Committee who moved to subpoena the interpreter present in the Trump-Putin meeting. Of course, the Republicans rejected that. That the President would even entertain the idea of subjecting our diplomats to Putin’s thuggery: that is an abuse of power.

As Senator McCain said, the press conference with Putin in Helsinki was one of the most disgraceful performances by an American President in memory. I come here with great sorrow, but with the utmost respect for the people who voted for President Trump, but President Trump’s actions have degraded the dignity of the Office of the President, diminished the respect for our great nation throughout the world, and disregarded the obligation we have to our Founders.

What is at stake is the integrity of our elections. That is why we call upon House GOP to respect the Mueller investigation and to prevent President Trump from weakening sanctions on Russia for disrupting our elections.

I come here again to talk about what we need to do. We need to stop the President from weakening sanctions on Russia. We need to respect the Mueller investigation, as I mentioned. And we have an opportunity now for us, right now, a chance on the Floor of the House to defend our democracy.

This week, House Republicans brought to the Floor an appropriations package that actually eliminates funding for the Election Assistance Commission. These are grants for states to enhance their election equipment to counter cyberattacks and defend against future intrusions.

Democrats offered a motion in committee to force a vote to increase funding for the election security grants. It was dismissed by the Republicans as unworthy. Democrats will continue to push for real action to protect our democracy from Russia’s assault.

As we speak, we are providing Republicans with another opportunity, another vote on the Quigley amendment to restore vital election security grants. That is happening now, I must say. Because they changed the time I may have to excuse myself after my statement.

Democrats had hoped that instead of spending time on all of this, that there would be a stipulation of fact that as the Intelligence Community has said that the Russians disrupted our election and they continue to try to do so.

They also contend, some of them, that President Trump was aware that President Putin ordered those assaults.

Instead of this, we had hoped we would be working in a bipartisan way with President Trump. As a candidate, President Trump promised some things. For example, people are concerned about the high cost of prescription drugs. During the campaign he said, ‘We’re going to negotiate like crazy.’ Apparently ‘like crazy’ means we’re not going to negotiate at all. When it came to stand up to the drug companies, he cowered, something he does, refusing to enable the Secretary of HHS to negotiate down drug prices and sending pharmaceutical stocks soaring. That very day.

The night he won the election, President Trump promised we’re going to rebuild our infrastructure, which will become, by the way, ‘second-to-none.’ He had repeatedly talked about infrastructure, but that night: ‘build our infrastructure second-to-none.’ We welcome that opportunity to work in a bipartisan way. Largely the infrastructure debate is largely bipartisan. But almost two years later Congress still hasn’t seen a big, bold infrastructure bill, which we could work in a bipartisan way to enact, creating millions of good-paying jobs.

President Trump promised to drain the swamp, but he has turned it into a cesspool at the expense of the water our children drink, the air they breathe, the rights of America’s consumers, the integrity of our American democracy and health and economic security of the American people.

Democrats are here to offer A Better Deal for the people with Better Jobs, Better Wages, and a Better Future.

Now I’m going to have to be excused because they have moved up the vote until now.

~

The Hill: Let Flint serve as a warning: Congress must to do more to improve the nation’s infrastructure

Nancy Pelosi and Dan Kildee wrote an op-ed, published in The Hill, about the Flint water crisis:

July 20, 2018

It is completely unacceptable that an American city—Flint, Mich.—still does not trust the drinking water coming out of the tap.

By now, most Americans know the story of Flint’s water crisis. State officials, obsessed with budget cuts, switched the city’s water source from the Great Lakes to the Flint River to save money. These same state officials also failed to treat the city’s water properly, leading to dangerously high levels of lead leeching into Flint’s water and into the homes of 100,000 residents. Almost immediately, Flint families recognized there was a problem, but state officials dismissed their concerns, telling them to just ‘relax.’

Four years after the water switch, Flint families still depend on filters and bottled water. In the richest country in the world, clean drinking water should be a basic human right.

Today, House Democrats are going back to Flint. During our visit, we will meet with families, receive an update on the progress being made to repair the city’s water system, and highlight what more needs to be done to help Flint’s recovery. While the Flint water crisis has faded from the national headlines, our visit to Flint is an important reminder that this crisis is not over, and that Flint families still need our support.

More at the link.

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  7 comments for “Fighting Back: “Flint’s water crisis isn’t just about water, it’s about a failed Republican philosophy of government that puts money ahead of people.”

  1. JanF
    July 21, 2018 at 8:01 am

    More from the Pelosi Kildee op-ed in The Hill

    What happened to Flint is a terrible human health tragedy that was entirely preventable. But the hard truth is, what happened to Flint is not an isolated event. Many other America’s cities and towns are just one mistake away from a similar crisis. What happened to Flint is not an anomaly—rather, it’s a warning to other communities across the country that we must get serious about repairing our aging infrastructure.

    Republicans in Congress have seemingly already forgotten about the lessons from Flint. Just this week, House Republicans voted to cut $300 million for water infrastructure improvements. By cutting investments for repairs to water systems, Republicans are failing to protect public health and increasing the likelihood that other communities will face their own public health crisis.

    Republicans have also failed to take up legislation to rebuild America’s aging infrastructure. Americans drive on crumbling roads and bridges to get to work and get their kids to school. Instead of having cutting-edge schools, millions of students are in buildings that are unsafe and outdated. Well into the 21st century, we still have American families without access to high speed internet. And many communities like Flint still have unsafe drinking water and are not getting help from the federal government to replace dangerous water systems.

    Democrats are offering a better deal. We have a $1 trillion plan to rebuild America’s infrastructure—including our roads, bridges and water systems—across America. Our plan puts Americans to work, creating 16 million good-paying jobs. Putting Americans back to work rebuilding our infrastructure will make us more competitive in the global economy and unleash greater economic opportunity in communities across the country.

  2. bfitzinAR
    July 21, 2018 at 10:18 am

    Our team is still being civil, still crediting the Rs with some variety of good intentions that can be brought out with logic, facts, and a little caring about their constituents. Truth is that the Rs don’t give a single god-damn about their constituents, facts, logic, or America. They are deplorable, evil – and will continue to be so. Getting them out of power is the only hope for logic, facts, caring, infrastructure, environment, economy, and people.

  3. Louis Prandtl
    July 24, 2018 at 2:08 am

    Ok, finally i got somewhere to comment. Learning how to navigate the new website:)

    • JanF
      July 24, 2018 at 6:51 am

      Hi, Louis! I think I remember you from the old Moose. The new Moose is an account-only site so I would have to set you up with an account and password for you to comment without your comments being held for moderation each time. Let me know if you want me to do that or if you are just driving by and waving. :)

      • Louis Prandtl
        July 31, 2018 at 1:21 am

        JanF,
        Finally I was able to find your reply. Sorry I’m quite ignoramous about navigating the new website. Would you please set up my account? My email is same as before: [removed for security].
        v/r
        Louis

        • JanF
          July 31, 2018 at 6:29 am

          Hi, Louis! It turns out that you have an account but it has been a while since you logged in. Watch for an email from wordpress at motleymoose dot net with a new password and some notes.

          The best place to find people is in the Welcomings post, the check-in. You can find them here: Welcomings. A new one is posted every Saturday night (dated Sunday morning) and we chatter there all week long.

          Hope to see you later!

  4. July 27, 2018 at 8:04 am

    Thanks for the post, Jan! I just read somewhere that we need to go back to the days when the rich were taxed 92 percent. THAT money could go to repair infrastructure and ensure a clean water supply.

    However, will we even have a world to live in? Fossil fuels—or fossil fools, if you prefer the term—are warming the world so rapidly that the planet may burn up.

    Rich Rethugs are completely devoid of moral sense.

Comments are closed.