On Wednesday, President Obama took a trip to North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Michigan, but while he was there he took time out of his itinerary to talk about the water crisis in Flint — and he didn’t mince his words.
During a speech, the president let the people of Flint know that he hears their cries:
“I am very proud of what I’ve done as president, but the only job that’s more important to me is the job of father. And I know if I was a parent up there, I would be beside myself if my kids’ health could be at risk. That’s why over the weekend I declared a federal emergency in Flint.”
The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) has identified at least twenty-seven kids with elevated levels of lead in their blood. However, that number is likely astronomically higher when you consider how long the people of Flint were drinking the contaminated water Governor Rick Snyder assuredthem was safe — even when he knew it wasn’t. Unlike Obama, Snyder didn’t think about how terrified parents must be for their children. His main concern was “balancing” a budget, safety be damned.
The president also blasted Republican lawmakers for “short-changing” the people of Flint:
“It is a reminder of why you can’t shortchange basic services that we provide to our people and that we together provide as a government to make sure that public health and safety is preserved.”
The horrifying thing about all of this is that if it were up to the GOP, this would happen a helluva a lot more often. The Republican Party absolutely despises regulations that they believe are unnecessary — that includes clean water and air. As a matter of fact, last week while the Flint water crisis was raging on, Republicans in the House voted to overturn provisions of the Clean Water Act that protects streams. Last June, Senate Republicans voted to repeal the very same thing.
Think about that for a minute. Lawmakers on both a state and federal level have known about the crisis in Flint for more than a year, and the GOP voted to repeal laws related to clean water at least TWICE in that time. These pro-life lawmakers didn’t care at all that tiny humans were literally being poisoned, the only thing that mattered was sticking it to Obama because they didn’t like his new provisions for the Clean Water Act.
While Republican representatives in the federal government were trying to gut the Clean Water Act, Governor Snyder was busy ignoring the crisis in Flint. He knew that people were drinking dirty and instead of fixing the problem he just allowed children to continue to ingest lead. Not only did he know it was happening, he didn’t care enough to stop it!
The Flint water crisis a perfect example of what happens when Republicans are left in charge of anything — and it’s terrifying.
Featured image: video screenshot