Congress Seeks Answers on Flint Water Crisis, Doesn’t Get Them

Arthur Delaney and Laura Barron-Lopez, Huffington Post, February 3, 2016

Members of Congress wanted to get to the bottom of the Flint water crisis, but several key players were missing from an oversight hearing on Wednesday.

House Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) opted not to call Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder (R) to testify, to the consternation of committee Democrats. And Darnell Earley, one of the emergency managers Snyder had appointed to run Flint, refused to testify even after Chaffetz issued a subpoena Tuesday.

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Lead poisoned Flint’s water after the city switched its water source in 2014. {snip}

“This is the United States of America–this isn’t supposed to happen here,” Chaffetz said. “We are not some Third World country where 100,000 people get poisoned.”

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In a speech last month, Snyder said the crisis began when the Flint City Council voted in 2013 to switch its water source, even though an emergency manager had total control over the city at the time and the vote was to switch to a different water system, not the Flint River. {snip}

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Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.) sided with Democrats in wanting more hearings and testimony from others involved.

“What’s nonsensical, what’s disappointing is that one of the people who is probably most culpable for the situation won’t take responsibility for it,” Amash said of emergency manager Earley. {snip}

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Darnell Earley

Darnell Earley

[Editor’s Note: Flint is 57 percent black, 37 percent white, and 4 percent Hispanic.]

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