Cummings and Lawrence Request Documents—and Answers—From Michigan Governor on Flint Water Crisis

Jan 29, 2016
Press Release

Cummings and Lawrence Request Documents—and Answers—From Michigan Governor on Flint Water Crisis


Letter Follows Chairman’s Decision Not to Invite Governor to Testify and to Request Documents Only from EPA


Washington D.C. (Jan. 29, 2016)—Today, Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, the Ranking Member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, and Rep. Brenda Lawrence, the Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Interior, sent a letter to Michigan Governor Rick Snyder requesting documents regarding the water crisis in Flint, Michigan.

The Democrats’ letter follows a decision by Chairman Jason Chaffetz to reject multiple requests to invite the Governor to testify at a hearing scheduled for next Wednesday, or for the Chairman to identify any date in the future when the Committee would invite the Governor to appear.  It also follows the Chairman’s proposal to send a document request only to the Environmental Protection Agency—with no similar request for documents to the Governor.

“We need a bipartisan and complete investigation based on a search for the truth—no matter who is responsible,” said Cummings.  “We must prioritize morality above politics to understand how this crisis happened and how to prevent it in the future.  To do that, we must hear from everyone involved, including Governor Snyder, and we must request documents from everyone involved, including the state.”

“We must have a complete hearing that includes all the government agencies and officials involved in this crisis if we are to rebuild the shattered trust of the people of Flint and the American public.  To do anything less will only compound the problem and further diminish the public’s trust in our government, trust that is required for a healthy democracy,” Ranking Member Lawrence said.  “That is why I will continue to push for the governor of Michigan to be included in the witness list.  I feel strongly that the American people deserve a full accounting of this manmade disaster and that the facts are crucial to ensuring this never happens again.”

Rep. Lawrence originally requested the hearing two weeks ago, on January 12, 2016, in a letter to Chairman Chaffetz and Rep. Cynthia Lummis, the Chairman of the Subcommittee on Interior.  Chairman Chaffetz agreed to have the hearing, but declined multiple requests from Democrats to invite Governor Snyder.

The Congressional Black Caucus sent a letter yesterday urging Chairman Chaffetz to reconsider his decision, writing:  “The harm experienced by the residents of Flint is irreversible and multi-generational.  The governor has admitted harm, numerous missteps, and seemingly has a blatant disregard for the care of the citizens of Flint.  Governor Snyder has been a central figure in the decision-making process that led to the water crisis and to that end should be invited to testify before the Committee.”

Click here to read today’s letter from the Ranking Members to the Governor.

114th Congress