Governor Rick Snyder of Flint Michigan, largely blamed for hiding the levels of lead during the ongoing water crisis in the state, will be a no-show to the second hearing on the water crisis, his spokesman confirmed.
The Steering and Policy Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives invited Snyder to testify, but cannot force him to, since the committee does not have subpoena power.
Snyder’s spokeswoman Anna Heaton told news outlets Monday that the governor had to decline the invitation because he is scheduled to make a budget proposal in Michigan on Wednesday. Surely, his budget proposal includes cleaning up the failing infrastructure in Flint that allowed this tragedy to occur, right?
Snyder was also absent from the first hearing on Flint. Democrats questioned the failure of Rep. Jason Chaffetz, who chairs the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, to ensure Snyder’s presence.
Speculation circulated that Chaffetz, a Utah Republican, did not subpoena the governor so that the committee could focus on grilling Environmental Protection Agency officials.
U.S. Rep. Dan Kildee, a Democrat and Flint native, called Snyder’s absence “deeply disappointing.” Kildee remarked:
“Flint Families deserve answers and immediate solutions from the state about what is being done to make things right for the people of Flint.”
Just who will take accountability for this crisis remains a mystery, with the key players refusing to show up in court. Perhaps we all need to force their summons with a petition? Many are demanding his immediate removal from office. Some would even like for him to be arrested.
Snyder appointed the Flint emergency manager who switched the city’s water supply in 2014 from Detroit water lines to the Flint River, which was widely known to be unfit to drink. He and the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, face criticism for ignoring the concerns of city residents about the water being supplied to them.
Reps. Rosa Delauro and Donna Edwards joined Congressman Kildee in inviting Snyder to testify last week. Their letter to the governor said:
“House Democrats are committed to getting Flint families and children – who are the victims in this state-created crisis – the immediate and long term resources they need to overcome this crisis. The ongoing Flint water crisis is a terrible tragedy.”
Featured image credit: Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)
Christina Sarich is a humanitarian and freelance writer helping you to Wake up Your Sleepy Little Head, and See the Big Picture. Her blog is Yoga for the New World. Her latest book is Pharma Sutra: Healing the Body And Mind Through the Art of Yoga.