Sen. Lee on Federalizing Water Infrastructure Financing

March 4, 2016

WASHINGTON – Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) released the following statement Friday, concerning Senate legislation specifically designed to federalize our nation’s water infrastructure financing system.
“What is happening to the people of Flint, Michigan is a man-made disaster,” Lee said. “Congress has special mechanisms for emergency spending when it is needed, but to date Michigan’s governor has not asked us for any, nor have Michigan’s Senators proposed any. Contrary to media reports, there is no federal ‘aid package’ for Flint even being considered.”
“And for a good reason: federal aid is not needed at this time. The state of Michigan has an enormous budget surplus this year and a large rainy-day fund, totaling hundreds of millions of dollars. Governor Snyder has requested $200 million of that from the state legislature for Flint this year. Relief and repair efforts are already in the works. The people and policymakers of Michigan right now have all the government resources they need to fix the problem. And those public resources are being augmented every day by the generosity of individuals, businesses, labor unions, and civic organizations of every stripe from across the country. The only thing Congress is contributing to the Flint recovery is political grandstanding.
“What’s really happening here is that Washington politicians are using the crisis in Flint as an excuse to funnel taxpayer money to their own home states, and trying to sneak it through the Senate without proper debate and amendment. I respectfully object.”

Water Infrastructure Fact Sheet
Michigan already has the money to address this problem now.

Michigan already has access to other fully funded programs.

  • The Drinking Water State Revolving Fund has allotted approximately $25 million to Michigan for FY2016.
  • The Clean Water State Resolving Fund has allotted $58 million for FY2016.

President Obama denied FEMA aid for Flint.

To the extent the federal government is partly responsible for the Flint crisis, injured parties can access the Treasury Department’s Judgment Fund.

The proposed new water infrastructure programs are not paid for.