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Michigan Republicans in Congress Vote To Perpetuate Lead Contamination In Drinking Water

Last week, Republican members of the Michigan delegation to the U.S. House of Representatives faced a simple moral test: Would they protect Michigan’s families from lead poisoning?

Contamination of drinking water with lead causes severe mental disabilities in all people. Children, however, are especially vulnerable to the impact of this form of pollution.

A few years ago, Rick Snyder, the Republican Governor of Michigan, imposed a state-appointed Manager for the City of Flint, overturning the city’s right to pick its own leaders through a democratic process.

The Republican Manager of Flint, with the knowledge of Governor Snyder, switched the city’s water supply to the Flint River in a scheme to save money. The river water ran through corroded lead pipes, causing the drinking water of people living in Flint to be severely contaminated. Huge numbers of children living in Michigan were poisoned and will suffer for the rest of their lives as a result.

On January 5, members of the lower house of Congress, the U.S. House of Representatives, approved the REINS Act – H.R. 26. The REINS Act is designed to cripple efforts at the national level to protect Americans from pollution and product contamination.

If the REINS Act becomes law, it will be nearly impossible in the future for the federal government to do any work to help local communities protect their residents from any kind of pollution. U.S. Representative John Conyers, from the 13th congressional district in Michigan, saw that the REINS Act would prevent action to help Michigan recover from its lead poisoning crisis and prevent similar problems in the future.

So, Representative Conyers offered an amendment to the REINS Act which would have allowed efforts to protect American communities from lead poisoning to continue. “While much blame for the Flint water crisis lies with unelected officials who prioritize saving money over saving lives, the presence of lead in drinking water is, unfortunately, not unique to Flint. In fact, the drinking water of, potentially, millions of Americans may be contaminated by lead. My amendment highlights one of the most problematic aspects of H.R. 26: that it could slow down or completely block urgent rulemakings that protect health and safety.”

Republicans Betray FlintEvery single Republican U.S. Representative from the state of Michigan voted against the Conyers amendment.

Justin Amash voted to obstruct action to protect Michigan’s children from lead poisoning.

Jack Bergman voted to obstruct action to protect Michigan’s children from lead poisoning.

Mike Bishop voted to obstruct action to protect Michigan’s children from lead poisoning.

Bill Huizenga voted to obstruct action to protect Michigan’s children from lead poisoning.

Paul Mitchell voted to obstruct action to protect Michigan’s children from lead poisoning.

John Moolenar voted to obstruct action to protect Michigan’s children from lead poisoning.

David Trott voted to obstruct action to protect Michigan’s children from lead poisoning.

Fred Upton voted to obstruct action to protect Michigan’s children from lead poisoning.

Tim Walberg voted to obstruct action to protect Michigan’s children from lead poisoning.

After the massive lead poisoning inflicted on the state of Michigan by Republican Governor Rick Snyder, how can Michigan parents look their kids in the eye and say they voted for these Republicans?

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