Agreement Reached over Funding for Lead Abatement in Flint, MI


Baker Donelson

On September 15, the Senate overwhelmingly approved the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA), which included $220 million for lead contamination relief nationwide, of which at least $100 million is expected to be spent in Flint, Michigan. The House-passed version of the legislation initially did not include funding for lead abatement due to committee jurisdictional differences. House Republican leadership had been hesitant to include the funding, insisting that the differences would be addressed in Senate-House conference committee. Democrats, however, insisted that the funding be included in both bills as a condition of their support for the CR. After last-minute maneuvering that included Democrats voting down a CR measure, Democrats and Republicans agreed on an amendment to the House WRDA bill that includes $170 million for Flint – paving the way for passage of the CR and lame duck conference committee consideration of WRDA that includes funding for Flint lead abatement.

Takeaway: After last minute negotiations, Democrats were successful in attaching $170 million in spending to the House-passed version of the Water Resources Development Act. The amendment and the more than $100 million for Flint included in the Senate-passed version of WRDA will proceed to a House-Senate conference committee during the post-election "lame duck" congressional session.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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