By Bronte Price, PoliticKING
Governor Rick Snyder (R-MI) and EPA chief Gina McCarthy testified before congress on Thursday, in a much anticipated hearing on the Flint water crisis. It was the third hearing on the topic before the the Republican led House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.
McCarthy argued with House Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz over whether the EPA is to blame for the slow-response to warn residents about the dangers of the lead-contaminated drinking water.
"You had the opportunity, you had the presence, you had the authority, you had the backing of the federal government, and you did not act when you had the chance, and if you’re going to do the courageous thing, you too should step down," Chaffetz said.
— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) March 17, 2016
Representative John Mica (R-FL) also pointed his questions at the EPA. He noted that state officials had been fired for ignoring the evidence that Flint's water was dangerous for residents, and he suggested that the same should happen at EPA. "I think you should be at the top of the list. They failed at the local level, they failed at the state level, and we failed at the federal level. And who’s in charge?" Mica said.
Representative Elijah Cummings, the ranking Democrat on the committee, directed his line of questioning at Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder. “There is no doubt in my mind that if a corporate CEO did what Governor Snyder’s administration has done, he would be hauled up on criminal charges,” Cummings said during his opening statement. “There will now be an entire generation of children who suffer from brain damage, learning disorders, and many other horrible effects of lead poisoning that were afflicted on them by Gov. Snyder’s administration,” he added.
— USA TODAY (@USATODAY) March 17, 2016
Cummings also accused Snyder of failing to act despite the fact that he was aware of the lead problem in Flint. Quoting emails from Snyder’s administration, Cummings made it clear that senior staff members knew about the problem. “It seems like there are two basic possibilities. Either your chief of staff told you about these concerns and you did nothing, or he didn’t tell you and you are an absentee governor,” he concluded.
Watch as Joy Behar likens politicians to terrorists over the Flint water crisis:
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