Sen. [crscore]Ted Cruz[/crscore]’s staff announced the Republican presidential candidate will release his hold on a bipartisan bill giving federal aid to Flint, Mich., a city suffering from a lead-tainted water supply.
Cruz spokesman Phil Novack told reporters Thursday night the GOP presidential candidate initially held up the bill because he wanted to review it before it went to the House floor.
“He will not prevent it from moving forward,” the spokesman said.
The bill, introduced as part of the bipartisan Energy Modernization Act, would make $220 million available to fix Flint’s lead-tainted water pipes and other infrastructure issues.
The agreement will be removed from the energy bill and attached to a House bill requiring the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) give citizens a heads up when their city’s water is tainted with lead.
A slew of other Republicans also joined Cruz in placing holds on the bill.
Kristina Baum, a spokeswoman for Oklahoma Republican Sen. James Inhofe, claimed there were “a few holds” on the energy bill, but refused to identify those halting it.
Republicans have suggested the Flint scandal is not akin to most natural disasters, such as floods or tornadoes, because the tainted water was caused by government actions — or inaction.
There will be a GOP debate in Michigan next week, and the state’s primary is March 8.
Environmentalists argued Cruz’s initial hold was to be expected.
“Ted Cruz only cares about one thing — and that’s Ted Cruz,” Michael Brune, executive director of the Sierra Club, told reporters Thursday night. “It’s clear that he’ll do anything to promote his own political aspirations without any regard for what’s right for Flint and communities like Flint across the country.”
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