Sure it's poison. But think of the savings!

Good news, everyone! The government will keep on operating until December! We're saved from total congressional gridlock until after the elections! Even better, after nearly a full year of sitting around with EPA-approved inanimate carbon rods up their asses, Our Leaders in Washington have even reached a deal to help Flint, Michigan, replace its poisoned water system. Amen and hallelujah!

Under the deal, the House will vote Wednesday on an amendment to a pending water-projects bill that would authorize up to $170 million in infrastructure funds for communities such as Flint whose water systems are blighted by “chemical, physical, or biological” contaminants.

House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.), addressing the Economic Club of Washington Wednesday morning, said the amendment would “help unlock” the spending bill. “We should be able to move this through, I believe, before Friday,” he said.

An aide to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said the amendment vote “represents a bipartisan agreement … that will, at the end of the day, provide the necessary funding Flint needs” once the bill passes and is reconciled with a Senate bill that authorizes $220 million in aid.

You see, the continuing resolution (CR) to keep funding the government at normal levels for three more months was blocked in the Senate Tuesday by Democrats who said, in essence, "The fuck you're going to pass this CR without doing something for Flint, which may not be in the news every day, but still has actual human beings who aren't able to drink the water coming from their taps, and are you fucking kidding?" Only they said it all Senate-y, with a bunch of "my distinguished colleagues" and "Point of order" and less "jesus fucking christ the water is poison and we need to fix it!" Because the Senate is about comity.

Republicans had been playing their own game of Continuing Resolution Chicken, providing funding for dealing with the Zika virus but tying it to cuts to Planned Parenthood and allowing Confederate flags to be displayed in military cemeteries, because that's how Congress works. Finally, last week, Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell blinked, spat out some half-chewed Romaine lettuce, and brought forth a clean CR that removed the restrictions that Dems wouldn't vote for ever in a million years -- all fine and well, except it also lacked any funding to fix Flint's lead-tainted municipal water system, which needs to be totally replaced.

With Democrats demanding funding for Flint, the bill failed to advance Tuesday on a 55-to-45 vote. The vote could be retaken as soon as Wednesday, setting up a vote on final passage no later than Friday.

Rep. Dan Kildee (D-Mich.), who co-authored the amendment with Rep. John Moolenaar (R-Mich.), said the agreement was “a step forward” to ensuring Flint gets aid but that work would have to continue.

“The people of my hometown have waited over two years for their government to help them in their time of need,” he said in a statement. “We will continue to fight until Flint aid reaches the President’s desk.”

It's not all sunshine and clear tapwater just yet: the Flint relief won't be included in the CR -- which has to pass in order to keep the government open past Friday -- but in a separate water projects bill, which will be voted on after the elections. However, the compromise announced Tuesday should guarantee the inclusion of help for Flint in that water-projects bill. The White House issued a statement Monday urging both houses to get their act together: "Congress should quickly pass targeted funding to support Flint, Michigan, whether in the Water Resources Development Act or another vehicle."

So Hooray, Flint! Your poisoned water pipes may be dug up and replaced someday, at least at some point before the lead-poisoned children of the current crisis have grandchildren of their own. Maybe.

[Washington Post / LAT]

Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.


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