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Congresswoman Brenda Lawrence

Representing the 14th District of Michigan

Gov. Snyder asks to testify before Congress on Flint water crisis

February 16, 2016
In The News

Governor Snyder says he now wants to testify before congress to “explain mistakes made by water quality experts that led to the current crisis, and detail the emergency response in place to help residents recover,” according to a statement released Friday.

Snyder’s office says he called the chairman of the U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, to ask for the opportunity to testify.

Snyder Press Secretary Dave Murray says the governor will use the opportunity to call for a national conversation on infrastructure.

“In Michigan, we’re learning a great deal from the crisis," said Murray, "and the governor is hoping the federal government will also use this as an opportunity to examine health and safety protections in place, assess our infrastructure needs, and avoid this sort of crisis in the future.”  

That committee already held a hearing about the Flint water crisis earlier this month, but the Republican leadership didn’t invite Snyder to testify.

That decision angered some Democrats, including Rep. Brenda Lawrence of Michigan, who sits on the House Oversight committee and specifically asked that Snyder be called to testify.

Meanwhile, the House Democratic Steering and Policy Committee did invite Snyder to appear before them at a separate hearing on February 10, but Snyder declined, saying he needed to give his budget proposal in Lansing that same day.  

Now it looks like there will be yet another round of congressional hearings, including Snyder’s testimony, held by the House Oversight committee.

“We appreciate Governor Snyder’s willingness to appear before the Committee and look forward to hearing from EPA Administrator McCarthy as well … The diverse and insightful panel of witnesses assembled will shed light on many of  our remaining questions and help us propose reforms to the authorizing committees,” Chairman Chaffetz said in a statement Friday.

Chaffetz’s office also released the following list of people who’ll be invited to testify at this new hearing:

PANEL I:

  • Ms. Susan Hedman, Former Region 5 Administrator, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
  • Mr. Darnell Earley, Former Emergency Manager, City of Flint, MI
  • Mr. Dayne Walling, Former Mayor City of Flint, MI
  • Mr. Marc Edwards, Charles P. Lundsford Professor of Environmental and Water Engineering Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
  • Mr. Miguel Del Toral, Region 5 Water Expert, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

PANEL II:

  • The Honorable Rick Snyder, Governor State of Michigan
  • The Honorable Gina McCarthy, Administrator, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.