CPC Co-Chairs Letter to Chair of House Committee on Government Reform Chaffetz

WASHINGTON– The co-chairs of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, Reps. Raúl M. Grijalva (D-AZ) and Keith Ellison (D-MN), sent the following letter to Rep. Jason Chaffetz, Chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. The letter urges Chairman Chaffetz to call Michigan Governor Rick Snyder to testify before the Committee at their hearing on the Flint water crisis later this week.

The text of the letter is below and available online here.

Dear Chairman Chaffetz:

We are disappointed that the Oversight and Government Reform Committee majority is refusing to invite Michigan Governor Rick Snyder to its hearing on the Flint water crisis. This is a catastrophe that calls for the attention of Congress, specifically your Committee. We call for a thorough investigation that looks into the appointment of an unelected Emergency Manager in Flint under the Local Fiscal Stability and Choice Act of 2012, and the decision to transfer Flint’s water supply to the Flint River. An honest examination of this crisis cannot be conducted without the testimony of Governor Snyder, and we urge you to call him to the hearing to provide his testimony on Wednesday, February 3, 2016.

Governor Snyder has admitted to missteps in his own administration. The lack of oversight and accountability at the state level requires full investigation, and a partisan hearing that aims to undercut the Environmental Protection Agency will not accurately reveal wrongdoings that occurred in Flint. With such a serious crisis ongoing, we hope that the Republican majority on the Committee will show its commitment to a genuine investigation by inviting Governor Snyder to respond to critical questions about mismanagement at the state level. 

The dangers of lead poisoning are severe and irreversible. Lead poisoning leads to decreased IQ, intellectual disabilities, and behavioral issues, which impede future academic success and employment. There is even evidence that lead poisoning is linked to criminal activity. According to a citywide health directive, all of Flint’s 8,657 children under the age of six should be considered exposed.

A hearing that fails to call Governor Snyder to testify will fail the community that has already been gravely harmed. Given the gravity of this situation, it is essential to put partisan politics aside in order to conduct a thorough investigation that truly serves the people of Flint.

Thank you for your consideration,