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Flint officials testify at Congressional hearing

Feb 10, 2016

Credit Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Democrats in Congress held hearings today about the Flint water crisis.

Public health experts and Flint officials appeared in front of the House Democratic Steering and Policy Committee.

Flint officials testified they need federal money to help address the short and long-term consequences of lead in Flint's water supply. They said state funds are not enough. 

Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha directs the Pediatric Residency Program at Hurley Medical Center in Flint. She said educational, nutritional, physical and mental health services must begin immediately.

"We need to intervene and we need to intervene now because this started in April 2014," said Hanna-Attisha. "And we are two years too late."

Flint Mayor Karen Weaver said that providing bottled water and water filters is a stop-gap measure and replacing Flint's lead pipes is just a first step.

"Our needs and our crisis go far beyond the immediate drinking water contamination," said Weaver. "I support the Michigan Congressional Democrats' efforts for federal funding that includes funding for infrastructure, education, and health services."

"We need the resources in the Families of Flint Act from the federal government. We need the state of Michigan to lead with resources to rectify this crisis. And we need bipartisan support now to move Flint forward," Weaver said. "I implore you on behalf of the citizens of Flint to help us restore our city and rebuild trust and confidence in our government. I submit to you that we are not disposable people."

Gov. Rick Snyder turned down an invitation to testify, citing his scheduled presentation of the budget to the Michigan Legislature.