Hoyer Remarks at the House Democratic Steering & Policy Committee Meeting on the Flint Water Crisis

Washington, D.C. – (RealEstateRama) — House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) attended the House Democratic Steering & Policy Committee’s hearing on the water crisis in Flint, Michigan today. House Democrats heard testimony on the ongoing emergency from public health experts and local officials. Below is a transcript of his remarks at the hearing, including the question he posed to Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha, Director of the Pediatric Residency Program at Hurley Medical Center:

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“Thank you very much Madam Chair and witnesses. Thank you very much for being here. I apologize for my lateness, we had votes and then I had meetings scheduled so I was late but I wanted to be here for the same reason that [Rep. Joe] Crowley said. To give the people of Flint the understanding – Madam Mayor, you’ll take this back – this is an extraordinary array of Members of Congress who have come out this afternoon after votes because of their great concern.”

“If I can turn to Dr. Mona [Hanna-Attisha], I know you have treated cases of lead poisoning in the past and I know you were very involved in checking up on the Walters children as I understand it. I wanted to ask you, in your experience, is the health system in Flint prepared to handle and respond to the needs of the children that now have lead exposure, but in the future – in 10, 20, 30 years that we’re going to be looking out for the consequences of this? Dr. Mona you mentioned something about Head Start and special education, my wife was very involved in that. I was sworn into Maryland State Senate in 1966… and Ted Agnew was elected Governor of Maryland. And he had a line I have always remembered in his inaugural address – he said the cost of failure far exceeds the price of progress. One-hundred dollars per day to prevent corrosive impact was saved. Thirty-six thousand and five hundred dollars a year. Three-hundred and sixty five thousand dollars for ten years. The cost of failure is going to far exceed the price of making sure the water that was being served to the people of Flint, who relied on public health service, on their Department of Environmental Quality, that they were kept safe. And they didn’t do that.”

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“Madam Mayor and Dr. Mona and all of you at the table, let me reiterate the comments that I know you’ve heard from [Rep.] Dan Kildee. Let me tell you the Michigan delegation have been on this so hard and so conscientiously and have been educating us all to the issues, and to frankly our responsibility to this. I congratulate all of you for being here, for fighting this fight, and to echo Rep. Crowley’s remarks, we’re in that fight with you. Thank you Madam Chair.”

Contact:
Mariel Saez 202-225-3130

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