Ted Cruz Blocking Aid Package For Flint

| by Jimmy King
Ted Cruz campaigns in New Hampshire, 2016Ted Cruz campaigns in New Hampshire, 2016

Ted Cruz is reportedly holding up a bill to provide aid to Flint, Michigan for repairs to its water infrastructure.  The bipartisan bill is reportedly being held up from the Senate floor after Sen. Ted Cruz has placed a “soft hold” on the bill, according to Cruz’s spokesperson Rachael Slobodien. 

The Senator and Republican presidential candidate allegedly needs additional time to examine details in the bill, according to his spokesperson, reports Politico.

Democrats have already made concessions to win over GOP support for the bill.  The bill to allow Flint and other communities across the country to make repairs to their water systems enjoys bipartisan support now that targeted spending cuts have been added to the legislation. 

Sen. Debbie Stabenow, a leader in the bill negotiations, said that Cruz’s impediment of the aid bill could damage his campaign.

“We have heard that - and not a very smart move for a man who’s going to be in a primary in Michigan on March 8.  And in Michigan this is a hugely bipartisan nonpartisan issue that everybody cares about,” said Stabenow.

The hesitance of Cruz to allow the $850 million Flint water aid bill to go forward may be representative of a larger Republican reluctance to jump for federal cash.

“This isn’t a referendum on Flint per se.  This is a referendum on the process,” said a Senate GOP aid.

Democrats are also reportedly pushing to allocate federal funding to tackle the Zika epidemic and opioid crisis, which would likely require bipartisan support to go forward. 

A GOP aid asserted that the Flint water bill is different from other crises being addressed in Congress, and said that Republicans are working on their own plans to combat these crises.

“We’re working on our own ideas and national solution here, and it’s a priority for sure.  But it’s just so early,” the aide told Politico. 

Flint, Michigan discovered lead and other toxic agents in its water supply after switching to a local water source to save the city money.  A state of emergency was declared by President Obama in the city on January 16, which allowed FEMA to give $5 million to aid the affected city, reports The New York Times.

Sources: The New York Times, Politico / Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

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