Washington — President Barack Obama said Thursday his administration is giving $80 million in aid to Michigan mostly to help repair Flint’s water infrastructure and make the drinking water safe.
Speaking to a gathering of mayors at the White House, the president called the lead contamination of drinking water in Flint an “inexcusable” situation. He noted money recently secured in the bipartisan budget agreement helps cities build water infrastructure.
“We’re going to have that funding available to you by the end of next week, and that includes $80 million for the state of Michigan,” Obama said.
“Our children should not have to be worried about the water that they’re drinking in American cities. That’s not something that we should accept.”
A White House official later said the revolving fund money would be made immediately available. The state will decide how much of the $80 million will be directed to Flint.
In a six-hour Wednesday visit to Detroit, the president pledged that “we will have the backs of Flint’s people.”
“It was encouraging to hear President Obama say that $80 million will be coming to Michigan to help local governments, like the City of Flint, improve their water systems,” Flint Mayor Karen Weaver said in a statement from Washington, D.C. “The residents of Flint could benefit greatly from that type of money. We are waiting to see how much of the $80 million will be allocated to the City of Flint and how much of it will go elsewhere, but it’s a step in the right direction.” read more