WASHINGTON – House Speaker Paul Ryan and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi struck a deal late Tuesday to deliver federal aid to address the water crisis in Flint, Michigan, potentially removing a major flash point in negotiations to keep the government fully operating past Friday.
Under the deal, the House will vote Wednesday on an amendment to a pending water-projects bill that would authorize up to $170 million in infrastructure funds for communities like Flint whose water systems are blighted by “chemical, physical, or biological” contaminants.
A Pelosi aide said the amendment vote “represents a bipartisan agreement . . . that will, at the end of the day, provide the necessary funding Flint needs” once the bill passes and it is reconciled with an already-passed Senate bill that authorizes $220 million in aid.
The breakthrough came after the Senate blocked progress Tuesday on a stopgap spending bill, led by Democrats who vowed not to support any spending extension until Congress guarantees federal funding to address the Flint crisis.