Thursday morning, Pennsylvania Rep. Matt Cartwright and Maryland Rep. Elijah E. Cummings ripped into Michigan Governor Rick Snyder during the congressional hearing on the state of the water in Flint, Michigan.
“Even after the whole world knew that Flint residents were exposed to unimaginable levels of lead, you did not declare an emergency,” Cartwright said.
When the governor began to reply by talking about bringing in water filters and blood testing, Cartwright interrupted him and launched into a vitriolic speech.
“Governor Snyder, plausible deniability only works when it’s deniable, and I’m not buying that you didn’t know about any of this until October 2015,” Cartwright said. “You were not in a medically-induced coma for a year and I’ve had about enough of your false contrition and your phony apologies.”
“There you are dripping with guilt but drawing your paycheck, hiring lawyers at the expense of the people and doing your dead-level best to spread accountability to others,” he continued.
“Pretty soon we will have men who strike their wives saying, ‘I’m sorry dear but there were failures at all levels,’” Cartwright said, to gasps from the assembled audience. “People who put dollars over the fundamental safety of the people do not belong in government, and you need to resign.”
Rep. Cummings was just as fierce in his rebuke of Snyder.
“There will now be an entire generation of children who suffer from brain damage, learning disorders, and many other horrible effects of lead poisoning that were afflicted on them by Gov. Snyder’s administration,” Cummings said.
“I agree that the EPA should have done more,” he continued. “They should have rushed in sooner to rescue the people of Michigan from Governor Snyder’s vindictive administration, and his utter incompetence at every level.”
Gov. Snyder says that he was aware of the water issue in Flint but was assured by aides that it wasn’t severe. He insists the E.P.A was aware since April 2015 of Flint’s decision to switch water sources to the Flint river. Upon returning to Michigan from the hearing, Gov. Snyder said he will not resign and will instead work to resolve the issue.