In the latest show of Senate Republicans’ heartless duplicity, some 47 GOP Senators forced a vote on an amendment proposed by Sen. Dan Coats (R-IN) that would have stripped federal funding for water treatment in Flint, Michigan, from the upcoming Energy and Water Agencies Appropriations Act. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and his gang of obstructionists – who were joined by one Democrat, Claire McCaskill (D-MO), interestingly enough – were defeated by a single vote, a dangerously narrow margin that could have blocked funding for a bill that three out of four Republicans co-sponsored in the first place!
Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) issued a furious statement which resoundingly condemned McConnell and the rest of his fellow puppets for their consistent refusal to keep their word on any issue, making symbolic votes for the public and then trying to wiggle their way out of their obligations when they think nobody is looking:
“Three of the four Republican cosponsors of legislation to help the people of Flint voted to eliminate the funding source today. It is a disturbing trend that Senate Republicans are regularly unable to fulfill their commitments. The Senate cannot function if senators do not keep their word.
“Republicans have proven once again that they are willing to turn their backs on the people of Flint. Every time the Senate comes close to a bipartisan compromise to help children suffering from lead poisoning, Republicans find an excuse to back away. Today, Republicans voted to remove a funding source for legislation to tackle Flint’s water crisis without offering a single dime to clean their poisoned water. More than 100,000 people – including 9,000 children under the age of six – have been poisoned in the city of Flint, and it is unconscionable that Republicans would attempt to deny them the support they desperately need.
“Sadly, Republicans are happy to attack clean energy programs to please the Koch brothers, but they remain unwilling to lift a finger to help the people of Flint. I call on Republicans to end this unwarranted obstruction and protect the people of Flint and millions throughout the nation.”
The DSCC also blasted the Senate Republicans – particular calling out Senators in vulnerable seats like Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), Richard Burr (R-NC), Charles Grassley (R-IA), Mark Kirk (R-IL), John McCain (R-AZ), and Pat Toomey (R-PA) for abandoning the almost 9,000 children in Flint who were permanently poisoned with dangerous amounts of lead thanks to the machinations of Republican Governor Rick Snyder. The inhumanity of their relentless attempts to strip funding for Flint’s recovery is indescribable and further proof that the Republican Party holds no regard for the voters they ostensibly represent or the people they are supposed to be caring for. If you live in any of the states listed above – you know what to do. It’s far past time we replaced these corporate obstructionists with true lawmakers who will actually do their jobs.
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Opinion columnist and former editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.