In the latest CBC message to America, Congresswoman Brenda Lawrence (D-MI) addresses problems related to the water crisis in Flint, Michigan, calling for improving America’s water infrastructure.
Rep. Lawrence, one of the Congressional leaders looking to get to the bottom of the Flint Water Crisis, explained that Flint is not the only city in the United States that is “struggling with lead poisoning.”
“Communities throughout the United States are suffering similar fates due to the aging water infrastructure we have failed to address for generations,” Lawrence said. “The EPA and the American Society for Civil Engineers estimates there are more that one million miles of water pipeline in the U.S. and we have 240,000 water main breaks every year.”
Rep. Lawrence said, “That’s a break every two minutes.”
According to ASC, Americans will need $126 billion for water infrastructure improvements, “leaving us with a funding gap of $84 billion.”
Thankfully, Rep. Lawrence explained there has been some improvement in the ongoing Flint Water Crisis, saying, “Federal Medicaid coverage and services have been extended for Flint residents impacted by lead poisoning.”
According to Congresswoman Lawrence, 15,000 additional children and pregnant women are eligible for Medicare coverage and 30,000 current Medicaid beneficiaries are eligible for expanded service under the new waiver agreement. Head Start will receive a $3.6 million expansion to help the children of Flint.
“I and many of my Democratic colleagues also support legislation designed to address water infrastructure and community injustice throughout the nation,” said Lawrence.
Examples of this form of legislation can be found in Congressmen Fred Upton and Dan Kildee’s Clean Drinking Water Act, which was unanimously passed, and Congressman John Conyers’ Emergency Financial Manager Reform Act of 2016.
Rep. Lawrence encouraged her colleagues on both sides of the aisle to “come together and pass this critical piece of legislation” that would prohibit unelected emergency managers from making critical decisions on the behalf of citizens. This piece of legislation will prevent the crises like the ones taking place in Flint and in Detroit Public Schools, which according to Congresswoman Lawrence, will run out of cash in approximately two weeks.
Watch Congresswoman Brenda Lawrence’s address in the video clip above.
For more information about the Congressional Black Caucus, visit cbc-butterfield.house.gov.