Hispanic Caucus Letter to Republican Leadership on the Flint Water Crisis
Washington, D.C. – Representative Linda T. Sánchez , Chairwoman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC), sent the following letter to Speaker of the House Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell following the release of the Republican spending plan. The resolution ignores the dire need in Flint, Michigan, a low-income, minority-majority city.
September 23, 2016
Dear Speaker Ryan and Leader McConnell:
We are writing to you on behalf of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus to express our deep concern about the lack of emergency funds in the proposed Republican continuing resolution to help address the Flint water crisis. It is unconscionable that the current package includes funding for other states facing natural disasters but ignores Flint, Michigan, a low-income, minority-majority city.
The people of Flint, including thousands of low-income, children of color, have been exposed to dangerous levels of lead, which can severely affect mental and physical development. Unfortunately, lead poisoning is irreversible and comes with lifelong consequences for the people of Flint and their children. However, treatment and services can minimize its impact and ensure that these children are given the attention and support they need to succeed.
This is a public health crisis. Access to clean drinking water should not be a privilege, but a right for every American, regardless of the city they live in. We have a moral obligation to ensure that all Americans, including the families of Flint, have access to safe drinking water. Every day we wait is another day Flint – and the 9,000 children under the age of six who were exposed to lead through no fault of their own – wait for help from their federal government.
As Congress adjourns for the next six weeks, we ask you to think of the Flint families, and urge you to work with Democrats to pass emergency funds to address this serious public health crisis. The Congressional Hispanic Caucus stands in solidarity with Flint and implores you to include funding to address this public health crisis. The citizens of Flint are American citizens and they deserve support in a time of crisis. We will not forget them and hope you will not either.