Federal Government Avoids Shutdown, Sends Money to Flint

Posted on December 15, 2016 by Dene Westbrook

The Senate recently passed legislation to fund the federal government until April 28, avoiding a government shutdown by less than an hour. The measure passed 63-36 after a group of disgruntled Democrats backed away from their threats to block or delay the funding measure because of a dispute over healthcare benefits for retired miners.

Senators will have to reach an agreement by late April on spending levels for the rest of fiscal year 2017 while juggling the confirmations of various executive branch nominees and perhaps a Supreme Court nominee. They will also be working on regulatory reform and a budget to pave the way for tax reform.

The Water Resources Development Act passed by a vote of 95 to 3, and it includes access to $100 million to repair Flint’s drinking water infrastructure; $50 million to address health care needs of children with lead exposure; the authority for the state of Michigan to forgive $20 million in past drinking water loans to Flint; and a requirement the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency warn the public within 15 days of high lead levels in drinking water if a state fails to do so.
John LaMacchia is the Assistant Director of State and Federal Affairs for the League handling transportation, infrastructure, energy and environment issues. He can be reached at [email protected] or 517-908-0303.


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