Pro-Life Republicans Have Better Things To Do Than Help Flint's Poisoned Children
All life is precious unless there's money involved.
[contextly_sidebar id="4MsOP9kRhyeNehpF951ONCiS8NEUY7Ib"]Months after we found out that the water in Flint, Michigan, had poisoned some 9000 children in the city, Congress is almost ready to think about approving funds to replace Flint's corroded water pipes, some of which are still leaching lead at rates equal to toxic waste. They'd get right on it, but a couple of rightwing jackholes who regularly make big noises about being pro-life, Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Canadia) and Mike Lee (R-Deseret), had to put holds on the Flint aid bill, because Important Reasons.
Cruz, the smarmy punchable dickwad who absolutely nobody likes, placed only a "temporary" hold on the bill while he "studied the details"; a spokesman announced Friday that Senator Smirkyface had "reviewed the bill now and will not prevent it from moving forward," which is awfully fine of him. Lee, on the other hand, is still holding the bill back, but he has an excellent reason -- which has nothing to do with Flint but is nonetheless worth it, because Flint's water crisis is only affecting a bunch of black people who aren't in his state anyway.
Senate Democrats, in an effort to move the aid bill forward, have agreed to deep cuts to an "an advanced vehicle manufacturing loan program" for Michigan so the infrastructure repairs in Flint can be funded, and now are hoping Republicans will get off their asses and pass it. Any political downside for Republicans for being assholes over helping Flint?
Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), a leader in the negotiations, said those cuts amount to "ending a program that I authored" in a 2007 energy law and that the package meets "every test Republicans gave us."
Stabenow had suggested Cruz's hold could haunt him on the campaign trail.
“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," Stabenow said of Cruz. “And in Michigan this is a hugely bipartisan nonpartisan issue that everybody cares about.”
[contextly_sidebar id="ulw2REsxA9F331n3o3aNv7dm8GVIeCGW"]As for Mike Lee's block of the bill, he's angry over an unrelated "energy bill he opposed in committee," according to Politico, although an aide refused to confirm that Lee is blocking the Flint bill. Sure, there may be poison water in Flint, but what does Mike Lee get out of voting to do something about it, huh? If congressional Republicans agree to fund cleanups of every fuckup by Republican governors, that could end up costing some real money, and it's important to send the message that this is the Party of Personal Responsibility. Or as Politico explains in very carefully neutral terms:
The issue for Republicans may have more to do with concerns over how Congress spends federal dollars in emergency situations, than anything particular to Flint or drinking water infrastructure in general.
The agreement they are discussing now could set the bar for how Republicans may similar be expected to respond to other disasters, including blossoming concern over the Zika virus and opioid abuse.
“This isn’t a referendum on Flint per se,” a senior Senate GOP aide said. “This is a referendum on the process.”
Meanwhile, the water in Flint, per se, continues to be quite specifically unfit for human consumption, and children will continue to suffer brain damage that maybe some federal dollars will be needed to provide long-term special education funding for. So, you know, since the damage is a lifelong problem, another week or two of horse-trading over an energy bill shouldn't be much concern. Hell, a lot of the lead-affected kids will probably be too permanently addled to understand the congressional budgeting process anyway.
Ted Cruz's games with the Flint bill are just one more reason to detest the man; at the Washington Press Club Foundation’s Congressional Dinner Thursday night, Sen. Lindsey Graham said that while he can't stand Hillary Clinton, she's likely to become the next president because his "party has gone batshit crazy.” Graham continued:
“A good Republican would defend Ted Cruz,” said Graham, of the Texas senator, before quickly adding, “that ain’t happening.”
“If you killed Ted Cruz on the floor of the Senate, and the trial was in the Senate, nobody could convict you,” Graham said, as the audience erupted in both laughter and some “oohs.”
Yr Wonkette, of course, would never advocate violence, not even against Ted Cruz. But we might suggest that he take a nice long soak in a bathtub full of Flint's finest tap water, while Mike Lee gargles.
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.