tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN May 4, 2016 2:00pm-4:01pm EDT
decisions to make but he has a and very of support high in the polls. host: are you giving him advice? guest: i just wrote a column that says bernie sanders has gone a long way without other people's advice. he hasn't returned a call in 17 years. it is on the screen. we will show that column there and the new book that is coming out why ralph nader. we will talk about that, breaking through power. website, youtheir can find more details about the book and the events. let's go to baltimore -- go to new york. caller: it is a pleasure having a direct chat with mr. nader who has been my role model for life.
his political activism -- my question for you is, don't you think that there is no document as closely held to our heart as the constitution happens to be, that it is not sacrosanct. in other words, we have to have a constitutional convention, perhaps once every hundred years. trying to have an all-out process where the populace -- the constituents, 300 million would participate and then do a referendum, trying to have the documents revised to reflect the realities of the day rather than allowing it to be exploited by the establishment where the majority will be left on the fringes. host: the constitution is out of date in some respects.
for example, the words corporation and company don't even appear in the constitution. the words political parties don't even appear in the constitution. why allow it to rule us? good question. fundamental documents need renewal and expansion. the problem is, do you want to risk a convention in which you may lose some of the bill of rights and it may be retrograde. the is why we are having largest assembly of accomplished advocacy groups covering more areas of concern and reforming our country at constitution hall. why are we having this? why do we have so many accomplished civil leaders. because the election process is almost removed from the civil community. everyn groups that work day, neighborhood, community, nation, they are never asked to
participate. they are excluded. they put out reports that affect the candidates. they are ignored. 1300 people were arrested corruptionprotesting of money, hardly got any attention. this is very dangerous for society to basically have a commercialized election that is removed from the civil community. why we want people to come to constitution hall. these are groups that are pushing safe food. doesn't matter conservative or republican. they are pressing for safe pharmaceuticals. it doesn't matter what political ideology consumers have here. less pesticides? fairness in the judicial process? this business of left-right always like this, is a product
of divide and rule powerbrokers. host: this is the breaking through power event. guest: it is the greatest immersion. it is not for people with short attention spans or people with justice fatigue because it is eight hours a day, the greatest civics experience in anybody's life. if you want students to come, families to come, you will see how these groups actually overcame powerful interests in the democratic process and made life better for people. removed byhe is virtue of his knowledge and advocacy over 400 pharmaceuticals in the last 40 years that were either ineffective for their purposes or downright dangerous. he did it on a tiny budget. think lot easier to
that's it's a lot easier than we think to make change at the basic change in a country comes through civic activities and it spills over into better politics. if we don't have better politics, it is because not enough people are cynically active. >> have you invited senator sanders to speak? guest: we can't invite people speaking -- people running for elected office. i hope c-span will cover it. host: ralph in michigan, you are next. theer: i want to call about system -- the money and corruption in the political system. more like ag we are plutocracy dominated by the corporations and by the wealthy. especially with the citizens united decision that just opens the floodgates for money from
the corporations to dominate state, local, and federal positions. --ust don't see how money is it is going to be a huge flood of money into this election and it is going to control the congressional elections, even state elections. the most popular politician of according to the polls, bernie sanders, is on your side. he is saying we have got to get rid of big money, super pac's, billionaires trying to buy hasticians, and he demonstrated with millions of people giving him $27 average contributions. he doesn't go to park avenue or beverly hills for these fundraisers. this is a person running for a major presidential nomination. .hat ought to give you heart
in our constitution hall gathering, we will have mark green talking about electoral reform. the american people agree on a lot more than they disagree. civil liberties, they are against corporate welfare or crony capitalism, criminal justice reform, they don't like to be abused by corporate crime as consumers or workers. so what we need to do is demonstrate that this is got to have a powerful role during the election process. if you look at the sunday news shows, it is all politicians. some get on three or four shows in one day. where are the citizen groups? leadingy johnson is the tax reformists and he has
brilliant insights. he can't get on the air because some small news network -- but he cannot get on the air. he has had best-selling books, he is very accomplished. johnson.id cay he has taken on donald trump. you don't see that on the sunday shows. this is unfortunate because the public airwaves belong to the people. host: you can hear the citizens voice right here on washington journal. carmine in new york. republican. mr. nader, how does a corporation like general motors knowingly produce a car with the addition -- ignition switch defect and as a result, people are killed and more are injured,
and no one goes to jail. addiction --s the ignition switch defect. the answer is internal coverup. they covered up from reporting it to the proper offices inside gm. they covered it up and didn't report it to the auto safety. requirement legal -- you are right. they took their money from a fund that was made up of taxpayer money. there was no prosecution by the district attorney. part of the trump appeal is that people believe they have been on, sabotaged,p disrespected, and they are
lashing out and they see somebody lashing out verbally like donald trump, who apart from his many inaccurate statements and bigotry, they say he is the one. we have to have corporate crime enforcement. there is a corporate crime wave. you can read it in the wall street journal. people feel it everywhere around the country. prosecute is kept low by the corporate lobbyists on capitol hill. to go after money dangerous pharmaceuticals that andkilling people, air water pollution enforcing the drinking water act like a flint disaster, so it all comes down to citizens mobilizing. if 1% of the citizenry mobilizes in each congressional district, two and a half million people,
and have public opinion behind them and set up full-time offices, they could change congress in a matter of months or a year and a half or two years. that is what lincoln said. with public sentiment, you can do anything. "makingur mottos is change is easier than we think. let's not give up on ourselves. " airbag recall is set to double. host: this is an amazing coverup. look at the volume of car owners that are terrified. taking a wonderful safety feature and turning it into a potential explosive hazard. it is a lot of anxiety.
this is a japanese company operating in the u.s., europe, and everywhere. the question is, is it going to be criminal prosecution? not enough to even recall. the question is, how did the too company allow a supplier get millions of defective airbags past them. they are defective because they wanted to use a propellant. where was the quality control people at ford and general motors? story. a fascinating montana, bob is waiting there, independent. caller: mr. nader, i want to say what a big fan i am of you. i am a bernie sanders supporter.
i will probably be on the internet giving him $27 today. my bernie sanders water bottle with honor to work today. buggingg that has been me for years, i know a lot of democrats and friends of mine gore you caused -- cost the election in 2000. i like to argue with people that if you look who gore chose as a running mate, mr. lieberman, who was one of the biggest hawks after 9/11, do you think it really would have changed after 9/11 if gore and lieberman would have been in office? do you think we still would have went to war? guest: nobody knows but we do know that in 1998, both gore and
ainton got through congress resolution to topple saddam hussein. george bush used that when he was beating the drums for that criminal war of aggression that has taken over a million of iraqi lives. trillion. the $3 nobody can say. there was belligerent's. the 2000 election, george w. bush had a smaller military budget then gore was proposing. he was talking against nation building so it is very hard to predict. if people don't get involved in foreign and military paul,, barney frank, ron tried to do in the house of isresentatives, the economy going to be subordinated to the military-industrial complex.
severe deprivation, crumbling infrastructure while we spend trillions abroad making things worse. host: hector is up in san diego. democrat. caller: good morning. your particular call. i-- thank you for taking my call. it is a real honor speaking with you. pretty much, i hope and i --ieve that the democrats there is a chance that hillary will pick bernie sanders as her running mate. of the passion that the democratic party should have so can you speak to the possibility and what the chances ifld be if she does do that
they win the election by a landslide? guest: i don't think hillary will do that. adon't know any nominee of major party that will pick someone who is higher in the polls than she is and is trusted more than she is. most nominees just don't do that. my guess is bernie would not even want it. i do think he wants to go all over the world like joe biden and go on assignments like that. role in he sees his the senate leaving a mess movement. -- mass movement. host: john, you're on the air. caller: thank you c-span for this opportunity. mr. nader, i have called in again and am humbled at this opportunity to speak with you. mr. nader, have you heard of someone named fuego going around
city to city and educating the citizens at the most local of levels to take back and craft legislation at their local level interest the moneyed in their city and state? on the question of hillary and mynie, i did change registration for the primary just so i could vote for bernie.however , if hillary is the democratic nominee for the general election, i will hold my nose and vote for her in spite of the fact that hillary clinton has a ability to crafted
say whatever she needs to say to whichever audience she is speaking. she is a very well practiced and cunning linguist that can say whatever it takes. you: what john said there, look at it as simple as that of indiana, seven in 10 democrats who voted said they would be excited or at least optimistic about either a clinton or sanders presidency. trump they are afraid of so they tend to huddle together after a wild, but that is not where the action is. the powers that be are still in place in washington and wall street. they have their hopes into both -- hooks into both parties. the action will be the extent to which they mobilize back home. fracking in new york was a citizen movement. they beat the
corporations. all over the country, you see that. it has to get more visibility. it is a super bowl of civic on may 20 3:20 4, 25 and 26.-- 23, 24, iit is people learning how change occurs outside the political process. when i came to town, you could not find many politicians favoring consumer protection, much less our safety. they wereew months, passing the auto safety law unanimously. that is because they heard the rumble from the people. the facts got out. the press did a great job. we had congressional hearings. if we combine public opinion behind a sufficient amount of
full-time civic advocacy, it is a different country. the politicians will follow. they will take orders. the point, but the preamble of the constitution is we the people, not we the corporation, not we the congress. we the people. that is what constitutional hall is all about. rg.akingthroughpower.o host: that is based on a new book by mr. nader. brian is a republican from massachusetts. good morning. go-ahead, brian. caller: you said it right. thank you for the opportunity to address mr. nader. i am wondering whether mr. nader can comment on the recent passing of daniel berrigan and whether mr. nader ever met him or what he would think of the
campaign. mr. berrigan was always life and with th addressing these needs. thank you very much. host: let's move on to janet in indiana. guest: is a great american, daniel berrigan. host: janet, who did you vote for yesterday? caller: i voted for bernie sanders, and i will never vote for hillary clinton, by want to but i want to take a moment to thank ralph nader. i watched him on "washington and i wanted to thank him for starting me on my journey. guest: thank you. that is what "washington journal" is all about. host: rob in new york, a republican. caller: elected first say mr.
nader that -- i would like to , yout say mr. nader have had a real impact on my life. we met in 1992. i was enthralled with you and still am. you might recall it is rob arnold. donald trump has said some things that have been very frustrated to hear coming out of the mouth of a presidential candidate and front runner of the republican line, by don't see anything he has said as bigoted. i think it is easy to automatically brand someone that way.you referred to donald trump as bigoted , and i would like you to give an example of why you see him as such. guest: sure. he has repeated himself again and again. remember when you said that after 9/11 a lot of arabs on one side of the hudson river were shouting in the streets?
that is completely false. he went after hispanics for example. repeated statements about them. is attacks on certain refugee families. there are three syrian refugee families who have been vetted. they are trying to flee terror and rebuild their lives in south carolina, and he attacked them as if they are terrorists. this is anti-semitism against arabs. it is not just anti-semitism ews when they were excluded because people thought they were communist. he is a serial bigot. he comes back and says the hispanics love me. the women will love me. muslims will love me. i do business with them, but he wants to block the entry of all muslims here, and he said he would seriously consider closing
down some mosques. he reverses himself and says the people that he degrades will all of him. host: let me ask you in a general election matchup with hillary clinton versus donald trump, what will you do? guest: personally? i don't flag my vote, but i always vote my conscience. we have good third parties. obviously, i am favorably disposed to joel stein of the green party. if people vote their conscience collectively, they will change politics. if they vote for the least wars, they will never have any leverage. if you signal you will vote for the least, why should they give you any time, the potential nominees? people have to populate their vote. strategic or tactical vote or least worst or they can do a vote of conscience. i prefer the latter.
white vote for somebody you don't believe in just because the other person is worse? host: in maryland who is a democrat, you're on the air. caller: can you hear me? host: we can. caller: mr. nader, i have quality for a number of years and i respect where you're coming from. however, i want to know what you think about congress. the candidates can only do so much. someone like bernie sanders is 74 years of age and has no constituency. if he got the nomination as president, who does he turn to? the democrats? republicans will not follow him. where does he go? we have to go with what we have. hillary clinton is not me maybe the best candidate, but she is the best we have. thank you for your service. guest: remember, until we get rid of the electoral college, which i think is on the way out, there is a move for an interstate compact.
maryland started it in new york and california are on board that they will give the electoral votes to anyone who wins the national popular vote. they are already up to 165 and need to reach 270. as long as we have electoral college, there are 40 states that are either red or blue for democrat or republican, so you can vote your conscience in those states. you think the republicans are going to campaign in massachusetts? you think democrats will campaign in texas? if you're in one of those 40 states, you can have your cake and eat it too. you can vote for your conscious and the least worst are going to win because unfortunately we don't have competitive elections. we don't have a competitive democracy in all the states. bernie sanders has been pushing for that, by the way. he campaigns everywhere. it is not just campaign in blue states. host: jacksonville, florida, cynthia, independent. you are on the air with ralph nader. caller: good morning.
thank you for taking my call. mr. nader, i am a big admirer of years. i wanted to get your opinion on something that i have been trying to do, which is to start a petition which would begin a movement called take the pledge and mode out every incumbent. everyone, local, state, national. this would in effect get money out of politics because if every incumbent new they were going to get voted out at the next election, there would be no reason to try to run for reelection. un aroundbe an end ryu term limits. guest: that is a rejectionist point of view obviously. if you have an agenda attached to it, it will be rejection for a purpose of whatever changes
you want in the country. some peopleing, will say there are good people in politics. why do you have such a broadbrush? they are good but they are letting bad things happening. they tend to be passive. they let bush and cheney boulevard iraq. iraq.blow apart they let wall street people take over a set of challenging them an imposing standards against the bailouts. at least you are active, but always have a reason for uniform rejection. host: bill is next in maryland. a democrat. hi, joe. caller: thank you for c-span. the baderned that actors willing to go to war when not necessarily so deprived me of the luxury of focusing on a lot of the good things that
ralph nader wants. like driving the conversation in what i believe is the right direction and a good direction, priority isst alread keeping people who are ready to whose answer to our problems are expensive bloody answers out of the picture. guest: well, that is what made 25th -- may 25 is all about. high-level veterans and become scholars and advocates, and peace groups will come together. phil donahue is coming to show his documentary about a soldier in iraq who came back as a paraplegic. the point is all empires devour themselves. that is the lesson of history. we have to be very strong in terms of civic organization. that is what that day is all about.
it is to mobilize people, to wage peace, and to stop the war mongers. you know what is interesting about the warmongers? they want our country to go to war, but they don't want to go to war. a lot of them were draftdodgers during the vietnam war, and they liked the vietnam war and their buddies going over there. we have to be very strong about telling our members of congress and the white house that the first option is waging peace, preventing conflict. you look at our adversaries abroad, almost all of them were created by u.s. policy. 's group was provoked or funded to find the soviet union and then turned against us. saddam hussein was a u.s. ally. we propped him up and encouraged him to invade iran. a huge slaughter in that war. and then of course, we turned against him. amazing boomerang foreign
policy because it is dictatorial ly controlled. we have to overcome it with democratic resurgence. that is what the constitutional hall effort is. breakingee the various through power and how to do it. that is day one. breaking through congress is day four, may 26. breaking through war is day three, may 25. breaking through the press. there are a lot of voices out there that don't get on the evening news. host: final question for you here. what do you make of the debate that happens between hillary clinton and bernie sanders during this primary nominating process over who is a progressive and who is not? is hillary clinton a progressive? guest: by no means. one of the definitions of progressive is curbing corporate power, cracking down on corporate crime.
when she was in the senate, she represented new york state and wall street. she did not hold the banner of justice up. she did not ask for hearings. she did not ask for stronger corporal criminal laws. she is far from a progressive as any democrat could be. the other thing that is important to know is if bernie sanders had more debates, are think things may have changed but the democratic national committee was favoring hillary. they wanted to limit debate and put them at inopportune times against big sports events. in five months, he got very little coverage. there was an analysis of abc coverage of to the middle of december. they gave two minutes to bernie sanders and 80 minutes to donald trump. the media will have to be a little introspective as to why they did not have a higher estimate of their own
abilities and why they did not stop the shouting and slithering of the republican primary. it is a very serious reason for the media to look back and say what did we do? who did we not scrutinize? why did we give most attention to the nominees who were exiting false statements -- exu ing false statements and bigotry. they were making money off of these debates. they were setting up database. since when is a commercial corporation decide who is going to be debating? who is on tier one or two year tier two? they should be reporting. that is why i think we should get the civil society very much involved in campaigns. host: final call for you from texas, independent. are you there? caller: yes i am. host: it is your turn.
caller: i am calling from houston, texas. host: you are only a. -- are on the air. caller: we have voter fraud here in texas. it is not done by the little person. i have only seen one case of it as being an election clerk. now we have great big huge fraud based on the election of george w. bush. 800,000 votes thrown out of harris county. we have election fraud. it is always at the top. it is not at the bottom. why do i have to show up with ids? why do i have to show up and stand in huge long lines? guest: that is a good point. , western countries, the u.s. has -- among u.s. countries, the u.s. has more constricting laws for voting.
what we have to do is ask ourselves why are we making it so hard for people to vote and for candidates to get on the ballot to give them more voices and choices? that is what groups like senate for constitutional rights and the brennan center are working on. watch the software problems now. the software is owned by private companies. as researchers at johns hopkins have pointed out, it is easy in a close election to rig the software and flip it. we really have to look at this. internet has paper ballots. -- canada has paper ballots. they don't have machines. at night in this giant country, they know who won or lost because they had a paper trail. that i have machines which
engage in shenanigans. ler made a very important point. there is a strong argument for universal voting like australia. if you give the people t the right to vote no, or write in a candidate, i think our civil issues are resolved. vote, have ale stake in the system, the better the process will be. host: we want to thank you mr. nader for talking to our viewers this morning. if you want to learn what mr. nader is up to, you can go to breakingthroughpower.org. ohio governor john kasich
will announce later today that he is suspending his presidential campaign following last night indiana primary. that is scheduled for 5:00 eastern time. afterwards, we will take your calls and get your comments about the withdrawal of the ohio governor. ."litical news from "the hill months hase, who for kept her distance from donald trump as she faces a tough reelection fight, says she will support the businessman in the general election. she planned to support the nominee. toldis when a spokesperson us on wednesday. she is one of five senate incumbents facing difficult reelection battles in states that president obama carried in two thousand eight and 2012. in december, she and gop leaders have a proposal to bar noncitizen muslims from entering the country. president obama is in flint, michigan right now meeting with
local officials and residents about the water contamination crisis there. he will have remarks at flint northwestern high school starting at around 4:00 eastern time. live coverage of the president's speech here on c-span. in march, michigan governor rick snyder testified before a house committee about the plan contamination problem. here is a two-hour portion of the program leading up to the president's speech later today.
that she acted immediately upon highindings regarding the level of lead in the water. however, in the same hearing, dr. edwards, whom you refer to moment to go as both an expert antihero in this matter, repeatedly, time and again , anded her testimony obviously the entire region's actions. let me start right here. do you believe susan had been provided this committee with false testimony on tuesday? >> to the best of my knowledge, no, she did not. governor, let me ask you the same question. how do you feel about the intimony from ms. hedman
regard to the epa acting in really upon getting information? >> i appreciate your question. i had that i hope moment where i cited three e-mails in particular. talking about deq their partnership to work these issues. no flag was going off. discussions entire about the law and this issue about saying you could not do things or this and that because of the law. i have a simple question. why didn't susan question -- susan collins and wyatt, why didn't she get on the phone and call me. this is the culture that got us in the best to start with. ?here is common sense >> thank you for your answer. so is it your testimony today that you believe that susan
five did actgion immediately and do everything they could upon hearing information? did, and they did reach out, they consistently, from april on when they found there was no corrosion control. >> we have conflict and info on that. that is your testimony under oath. >> i would like everybody to look at the entire e-mail record. >> september of last year, you were praising susan hedman and other epa officials for their work on the flat water crisis. do you believe that that price of this hedman was warranted? >> i do. >> i have two letters, one from to you in september, and it was asking you, begging you, please get involved in the situation.
are you familiar with that letter? >> yes, sir. >> susan hedman responded on your behalf. you did you authorize her to do so. >> i did. her response. the entire thing. by the way, i would like both of these letters to be submitted in the record. . all of this is taking place at a time. did you the same time praised el toro? >> i did not know miguel port-olry at the time. >> so you're not aware of the report -- in september. >> i did not know him in particular. but you were aware of what he had brought forth, and you refer to him as a hero, that you are not praising him but susan hedman at the time. it, it isif you read
to her and the team and he was a vital member of the team. >> so are you aware of any ?etaliation against del toro >> no, i am not. yet, we have testimony, we have records that would reflect that he certainly was retaliated against, was fearful of greater retaliation, but you say you have no knowledge of that whatsoever. >> i do not believe that he was retaliated against. i have no indication that he was. rep. hice: mr. chairman, my time is expired. i will submit these. rep. chaffetz: we now recognize the gentlewoman from illinois, miss kelly. rep. kelly: think the witnesses for being here. governor, i have a question. are there any arrangements being made for the people of flint to get their money back for getting water that is obviously damaging?
governor snyder: congresswoman, that process has been set up. the appropriations had been made. people should not have to pay for that water. what we did, we did an analysis to show there is a water and sewer bill, but with respect to the water bill, we try to do a calculation and we roughly said about half the water was for drinking, cooking, those kind of activities. the rest is for flushing or toilets, doing your laundry. we rounded up to 65%. we went back to records of april 2014 through the period -- and again, for the mac used the end of april 2016. i will not say it is done by then. we did calculations and 65% of the water portion of the water and sewer bill amounted to $35 million, roughly. i want to ask for a supplement of appropriation, and the legislators were very supportive. we got put in place, and now we are working with the city which
runs utilities to have software programming done so we can apply it as a credit on their bill in a way it should work. as we get it set up -- i'm sorry, we are working to get this taken care of. rep. kelly: as the chair for the congressional black caucus, part of my mission is to look out for health care for underserved communities, low income communities, and communities of color. and i have to tell you, this really reeks of environmental discrimination in my opinion. administrator mccarthy, i want to talk about safety control, which the governor's task force concluded led to the mass poisoning of inhabitants. he made additions to the flint river in april 2014. they told the epa they had corrosion control in place. is that right? gina mccarthy: that is right. rep. kelly: but that was wrong. they did not have it. they said it was not necessary.
epa discovered this on april 24, 2014, the epa official miguel del toro sent a letter expressing concern they had not started implementing conversion control. there are only two scenarios for the large system to be optimized without treatment, and flint does not appear to have either of them. gina mccarthy: that is correct. rep. kelly: even though the epa told governor snyder's administration to implement corrosion control, they did not do it. months went by with no action by the state. finally on august 17, 2015, the michigan department of environment equality said the city must now recommend a treatment to fully optimize corrosion control treatment within six months. the state response was not until august. the was four months after governor schneiders and ministration said they had to do something. gina mccarthy: that is right.
rep. kelly: six months see what a long time when lead has been leaking from pipes for over a year and people throughout flint were getting poisoned. you agree? gina mccarthy: i do. rep. kelly: six months is way too long to waste. the state never implemented corrosion control prices. in december, the governor's own task force, as we have heard concluded that the actions of his ministration led to the contamination of water. do you agree with that? gina mccarthy: yes. rep. kelly: i know that you have been asked if you have any regrets. it seems like governor snyder was fighting you at every turn. they were completely unable to handle the crisis. looking back, do you regret you did not recognize the other dysfunction in the state sooner so you could step in and take away control from governor snyder and his administration? gina mccarthy: i think we spent way too long trusting the stage they would do the right thing.
we begged them to give technical assistance beginning in march. we begged them to do corrosion control. we begged them at the city level and the state level with personal communications as well as professional. rep. kelly: at the hearing today, and i have heard accusations the epa was to slow in responding to the flint crisis, i think the epa should have acted more quickly to respond to this. but it is the state that had the primary authority to enforce the safe water tricking act, correct? gina mccarthy: correct. we did not have data until july 21 to discuss a problem, and we did not have an ability then because they kept saying they are going to fix it. that is the way the law requires us to act. rep. kelly: i think it is michigan that michigan's slogan is pure michigan, because that was not the case. rep. chaffetz: now recognize the gentleman from alabama, mr. palmer, for five minutes.
rep. palmer: thank you, mr. chairman. mr. chairman, i just got my notebook back, can i yield and come back? rep. chaffetz: let's actually recognize the gentleman from arizona. >> thank you, chairman. well, administrator mccarthy, how serious do you think poisoning those humans, especially the children? gina mccarthy: it is one of the most serious areas we face. rep. walberg: let's go back. in july 2015, we are at e-mailing susan hedman about an elite memo sent by an employee, miguel del toro to a flint resident. del toro investigated and intervened.
it should not have been leaked, called a preliminary draft report and did nothing to address the serious threat that had been created for the citizens of flint. when you were made aware of these communications between headman and mayor mullings, did you ask her to resign? gina mccarthy: i did not believe -- rep. walberg: the facts are here. knowing this, did you ask her to resign? gina mccarthy: no, sir. rep. walberg: why not fire her? you know the seriousness of this issue, and you still got do it very but i am going to quote you, you praised her when she resigned. gina mccarthy: she was not criticizing miguel's report, she was indicating it was into round, more data needed to be done, and she was giving a heads up because it had gone public. rep. walberg: you know about the seriousness of lead poisoning,
and yet this is the action you take. you made another comment here earlier that it is insulting to us. congress is specific on this about safe rights and not stepping on them. i want you to go back and start looking at your at it in terms of waters of the u.s. let's keep going. is that a serious response, really, with your response to mrs. hedman. a response for somebody to understand the complexity of seriousness of lead poisoning? that is an appropriate response? gina mccarthy: she did nothing -- rep. walberg: that is my point. you know better, she knows better. this is not my first rodeo with you. all over and over. southwest colorado and then the ineptitude you had there to? i look at the determined was taken responsibility.
i look at somebody else, i want to see responsibility. american demands it. policy is the chairman over and over again, you so don't get it. member after member, you still don't get it. you have bred a culture at epa that has built on fraud, denial, incompetence, bureaucratic nepotism. gina mccarthy: i'm not try to shift responsibility -- rep. walberg: this whole hearing that is all you have done. you have never taken accountability for any of the problems at epa. maybe we could have done something a little faster. the timelines are very fluid and very ineffectual. let me ask you something else. the committee has made multiple requests for epa documents relating to flint. gina mccarthy: we are working with all of the requests.
rep. walberg: you are professional at slow walking and delaying informational that is pertinent to investigation. over and over again. some document have been redacted. you provide us with a full, unredacted company documents? gina mccarthy: we will keep releasing those. rep. walberg:are you going to release on redacted forms of these e-mails? gina mccarthy: of course we will respond to congress and allow you to do your job as well. rep. walberg: that is the same old trap we hear over and over again, and that is the not with the president promised us. the most transparent administration, period. that includes you. i am sick of this, and you should be also. america is sick of this, and you are the culture of the problem. i see someone interesting us as
governor of michigan, but i don't see anything coming from your part of the problem. it does not condone that. not only am i asking you to be fired, if you are not going to be resigned, you should impeach. rep. chaffetz: now that gentlewoman from michigan, mrs. lawrence. rep. lawrence: thank you, mr. chair. as a member of congress representing a part of michigan, this is very personal. it is a sad day for me. governor snyder, you have stated that state officials did not tell you about these problems as a matter of fact, in your statement, yusor and note is that it was not until october that you were aware of the problem. but governor, despite the huge numbers of new stories that were reported far and wide, let me show you some of those headlines. on june 2, 2014 only months
after switching to the flint water mdc 25 stated flint residents avoiding the cap, drinking bottled water instead. on june 30, mdc 25 red headline stories, stuff released to the flint river due to pump failure. it continues. flint residents concerned over the color of water. it continues. on september 7, 2014, michigan live ran flint expands boil water advisory after more positive tests were to with bacteria. and then it continues. january 2, 2015, she can live reported city warns of health risk after flint water tests revealed to much bacteria. it continues. march 2015, detroit news says flint council votes for detroit
water, mayor in em or opposed. our do any of these reports ever get reported to you, did you ever observe them? according to your statement under oath, it was not until october that you became aware. governor snyder: i was aware of water problems, and i was involved in heavy discussions to address those in terms of resources we had currently available to us. in terms of going back to your list, the color and odor of the water was not good. you don't want to see people drink that if you can help that. we didn't have all the resources we needed to do that, and they were working on these issues. in terms of e. coli and other issues, we would continually go through my administration -- rep. lawrence: i want to add another article. the national journal, which i hold right here. it says michigan to governor
snyder conceded monday that hit his administration handling of the flint water crisis is a stain on his legacy, and i quote, i am not sure of the specific dates in terms of stain. if there is any lead in the water, sometime during 2015. again, they presented some of the information about having to do with a second set of tests. governor snyder, we all know that when we are elected to an office we take an oath. and we are empowered by the electorate to hire staff. do you have regular staff meeting for those report to you? governor snyder: i have regular discussions. rep. lawrence: are you saying people you entrusted, and you pay your salary with taxpayer
money, they failed to inform you of a health crisis in your state? governor snyder: i will actually share the document with you, congresswoman. this is my briefing of september 28, 2015. rep. lawrence: before that time, all the time these headlines are going, you had a member, mr. much more your chief of staff, this is dated july 22, telling other members of your circle, sir, that i really don't think people are getting the benefit of the doubt. now they are concerned and rightfully so about the lead studies. sir, this was january 22. the 22nd. and you are saying under oath it was not until october. governor, you are my governor. this could have been my city.
and governor for the life of me i cannot understand that you as a governor, who led on the purpose of operating as a business, you are going to operate as governor of the government, that you met with your staff and they refused to bring you up-to-date, or bring you in, or get you engaged. this is a sad day in this country, and i am just sad about this, governor. i am very sad about this. accountability for those you held accountable. you said you fired or the resigned, what does accountability look like for you? rep. chaffetz: the gentlewoman's time is expired, but you may answer. governor snyder: it is a tragedy that never should have happened. i understand why people in flint should be angry. in terms of looking at this, i kick myself every day asking what more questions can i ask, what can we have done?
we have a lot of discussions about water during the entire period. and as we go back over and over again, we were told the water was safe. that was wrong. and i did not -- it was not just one department. as a continued on, we got information not only from the deq but also the health and human services deducted -- they did not see elevated levels in blood. dr. ramona spoke up. so we took outside extra experts. we failed in terms of being bureaucrats, being experts. i get mad i never should have believed them. it came down to finally saying, after reports came out in september, and dr. ramona and from professor edwards, we have to have a talk. that call was on september 28.
it is tragic to have it in the records. here is my briefing from the night before, and this information from both those departments is missing people, not talking about the real issue. when we got on that call, no, that was enough, but it was later than it should have been. i wish it had been far earlier. so the issue was they took immediate action. the eq start talking about there could be a lead problem. we had to confirm the data on the blood level. they came back and said that the doctors work was correct. in the we went into action in terms of opportunities to do things, and that was not enough. every day i get up -- rep. chaffetz: the gentlewoman -- the gentlewoman will suspend. i appreciate the connection to michigan, but the gentlewoman's
time is expired. the gentlewoman yields back. governor, did you finish that question, or can we -- ok, we will go now to mr. palmer of alabama for five minutes. rep. palmer: thank you, mr. chairman. i want to follow up on questions you asked, how did this escape your attention? i would to point out your executive response abilities include fiscal management and administrative oversight over most of all agencies. there are 18 in michigan. health and human services, education, that sort of thing. this is in no way excusing you from the failure to protect the people of the flint, michigan. but what i want to ask, and what i want to know, mr.
mccarthy, you have one agency, one agency tasked with protecting the public in terms of admin our mental issues. had this is get your attention? gina mccarthy: the issue was called to my attention on september 3. prior to that was called to susan hedman's attention. in late june, susan took action prior to that, the agency was directly involved. i do not want anyone to think that january of this year was the beginning of our involvement. we asked the heard from people back when the switch was made. we rely too heavily on the judgment of mdeq and they were acting as a partner with -- rep. palmer: i just want to point out you were, you sent an e-mail february 26, two days before mr. snyder made his call taking immediate action. it appears he took immediate action, and you wrote and said this, that these e-mails raise my level of concern.
and then you suggested that they take options to intervene, but it was not until january 21 that you issued an order demanding action. gina mccarthy: there is different levels of engagement and intervention. we aggressively intervene from day one. rep. palmer: that is not information we got, and not what we are hearing from other folks. gina mccarthy: that is a failsafe that is a very high hurdle for the agency to take. we did take that we thought that all of the other steps weren't working, and we took the steps that were available to us in january. it wasn't as though we didn't intervene in a way -- rep. palmer: there wasn't a sense of urgency here. you had a paper -- mr. mica brought that up. you had a research document, a report from mr. del toro. and you denied that he was treated like a whistleblower,
and we believe that happened. you've also seen e-mails from epa officials, to epa officials. you use personal e-mails and texting. it also went to deq governor snyder, saying the epa was going to provide cover because they say they did not get the report. we have got the e-mail. it appears to me not only did you not take action, there was a cover-up going on that involved both the state of michigan and the epa. i think fundamentally the problems are with the epa and not taking adequate action on revising the lead and copper rule. you guys have a history of covering up. you have it covered up at tax relief in georgia, a toxic group in colorado.
the pattern here. i cannot understand why the federal government has the public trust to protect the people of this country, and we failed time and time again. and again, the state of michigan is culpable in this, and i appreciate the time you have taken, but there was a whole lot more here. i am going to ask one question. this is yes or no, so don't tell us the answer. if susan hedman had not resigned, would you have fired her? gina mccarthy: i didn't need to face that. rep. palmer: no, it is yes or no. gina mccarthy: is the best i can give. rep. palmer: would you have fired her? are you incapable -- gina mccarthy: the failure identified that i understand were a failure on our part because the region -- rep. palmer: you are
filibustering. governor snyder, michigan has a $6 million surplus. you have the resources to fix this problem. governor snyder: we are devoting $238 million. we've already gotten 60 million of that approved to the legislature, and i am asking for $165 million to go in a statewide infrastructure funds to deal with not only flinch but also others as a catalyst for discussion. i am on the grounds taking action for the great team of people. they deserve a fix. and i appreciate this committee hearing them. my heart and focus is, what can i do to make flint a better place, to help make up for this tragedy? rep. chaffetz: we now recognize the gentlewoman from new jersey, mrs. watson coleman. rep. watson-coleman: thank you,
mr. chairman. one quick statement to administrator mccarthy. even in the state of new jersey we have issues with high lead content, and children are being exposed. i don't know what you are doing, but i hope that when i called back to new jersey, you all are doing something there. thank you. governor, how long have you worked with chief of staff? how long has he been your chief of staff? governor snyder: i have a relatively new chief of staff. rep. watson-coleman: the chief of staff that was in this position when this occurred? governor snyder: since january 2011. rep. watson-coleman: and before that did you have any relationship with this chief of staff? governor snyder: no. rep. watson-coleman: did you have any knowledge of the serious water problems in flint, michigan, the first time he knew? governor snyder: i can't answer that question, i don't know a specific date.
rep. watson-coleman: d relay on your chief of us rely on hours most of our lives to give us heads up and make sure nothing confronts us that would embarrass us or put us in a bad position? did you have that kind of relationship with your chief of staff? governor snyder: chiefs of staff are critical people that are a part of the team. they are a key part of the team. rep. watson-coleman: would you believe your chief of staff never pulled your coattail in conversation in office or on the phone about what was happening in flint, michigan and the complaints arising from both the residents, from other officials, as well as being reported in the media? governor snyder: we ask we had discussions on water issues in flint. in terms of issues on topics, none of these issues dealt with the lead issue until much later in the process. rep. watson-coleman: even if you were to dealing with the lead
issue, did you really do with the other issues that prevented health conditions for the present -- people treating that water? governor snyder: there are multiple concerns. the one that arose was thm. we had to address that issue. we had to get to the city of flint. rep. watson-coleman: there is a lot of discussion, but not a lot of work being done. let me go to something else. you campaigned and said the government should be run like a business. your administration and the emergency managers were pointing and gambling with the welfare of flint in order to save money. and now people are paying the price. governor, i want to know, did that emergency management system fail under your leadership in this instance? governor snyder: in this
instance, it would be much the case that they have. rep. watson-coleman: is that i a yes or no? governor snyder: in this case with the water, that would be a fair conclusion. rep. watson-coleman: that is very important because it negatively impacts the health and well-being of children, maybe even into their adult lives, their ability to learn and be successful in life. the formal advisor dennis learned the lesson because he said government is not a business. it cannot be run like one. the people of flint got stuck on the losing end of the decision of spreadsheets and public health. were you wrong to run the government like a business? governor snyder: in terms of running it like a business, -- rep. watson-coleman: why would you say so then? governor snyder: in terms of real results, and the state of michigan, we are proud like helping michigan, bringing medicaid expansion --
rep. watson-coleman: just go right on and talk about all the things you want to talk about. i'm going to ask the questions i want to ask. when they want to switch back to state water funded, we talked about -- it would be uncomfortable. did you agree it would be in comprehensible, or do you agree that was a mistake? governor snyder: i wish it would have been a change back. the challenge for funding the cost -- rep. watson-coleman: let's talk about the cost. you had the money. you amassed a budget surplus. why wouldn't you think that it was worthy to apply those resources in this situation? governor snyder: i am sure you are quite familiar, being in congress, we do not simply spend money. we need authorization from the legislature. rep. watson-coleman: did you ask for the authority at that time?
governor snyder: we got $2 million, the maximum grant we could for helping with infrastructure and water. rep. chaffetz: the gentlewoman's time is expired. governor snyder: thank you, mr. chairman. rep. chaffetz: the gentlewoman -- [speaking simultaneously] rep. chaffetz: the gentlewoman will suspend. we now recognize the gentleman from north carolina, mr. meadows, for five minutes. rep. meadows: to both of you, i am troubled today because of the testimony had a couple of days ago which will indicate that even though there is enough blame to go around, there were a number of times people acted like it was not their fault. governor, your emergency management testimony from the witness year, is troubling because he acted like, i did not know, and so -- governor, do you
believe there were people who made mistakes within your agency at multiple levels in terms of addressing the health and welfare of the people of flint? governor snyder: yes. rep. meadows: administrator mccarthy, i am going to ask you the same question, because the witness that resigned indicated that there was nothing they could have done differently, and the rest note fault on her part -- there was no fault on her part or the epa that related to this unbelievable, horrific event. you believe the epa is partially at fault? gina mccarthy: i believe we could have taken better action. rep. meadows: that is not the question. are you partially at fault? gina mccarthy: i am not playing a blame shifting game. rep. meadows: so what do you believe? gina mccarthy: the system failed. rep. meadows: both of you indicated the rules of copper
and lead are somewhat ambiguous, that they needed a little more clarity. we have heard that. would you agree with that, governor? governor snyder: i would go further and say it is a dumb and dangerous rule. rep. meadows: administrator mccarthy, would you say they are ambiguous? gina mccarthy: they definitely need clarification and need to be strengthened. rep. meadows: let me stop you there. if you are taking a look at it, here is my concern. when nobody says there is anything a fall, which are doing research, clean water safety act of 1991, required rules to be updated every six years. do you know how many times it has been updated fully since 1991? gina mccarthy: i don't know. rep. meadows: the answer is zero. the answer for fully updated, it is zero.
it was modified it slightly in 2007. and so here we have the same drinking water standards that needed to be updated, and yet the epa did nothing about it. and i could go further to say maybe the epa didn't know, but we did research on that too, and to quote the gao, in 2006, it said, indeed you needed to update your rules. are you aware they had a problem with the copper and lead rules? gina mccarthy: i am aware they were last updated in 2007 under the prior administration. that is what i am aware of. rep. meadows: let me ask you even further. i went to your documents, which are actually regulation documents saying when you are going to update the rules. in 2010, you said you are going to have a proposed rule in 2012 and a final rule in 2013. long before this problem would
have happened if you just had stuck with your original timeframe. the problem is, i can go through multiple papers here, and i can find, use get changing the goalpost in terms of the rules. in fact, even as recent as this last fall, you changed it again to say that not only are you going to do a rule sometime in the future in 2018, you don't even talk about a final rule. do not see a problem with the fact that the law requires you to do a new rule every six years, at least revisited, and you haven't revisited in 10 years, and you keep changing the goalpost? do you not see some fault? gina mccarthy: the revision started in earnest in 2013. rep. meadows: according to your own document, you said you would have it done in 2013.
gina mccarthy: we have a stakeholder group. actively told us we cannot make tweaks to this. we have to make substantive changes. things that would be helpful in this case. that does take more time than making small tweaks, and that is what we are working on now, and i am glad we know even more today than we did before. we are going to take a look at it. rep. meadows: let me tell you why i am concerned with that. in the same timeframe, the epa has passed 3571 rules in that timeframe while the people of flint and maybe washington, d.c. are waiting on a final rule. you have your own priorities. gina mccarthy: if they properly implement the law as it currently exists, we would not be sitting here today. as it currently exists, we would not be sitting here today. rep. meadows: but you are in charge, you are the administrator. gina mccarthy: the state is actually -- rep. meadows: you are in charge
of the lead and copper rule. you think the governor is? gina mccarthy: i am telling you we did not meet any change in the rules to prevent it. it was the way in which mdeq actually interpreted it and in limited it that was the problem. mdeq has said it, the government task force has said it. rep. chaffetz: we are going to come back to this. let's recognize the gentleman from pennsylvania, mr. boyle, for five minutes. rep. boyle: thank you, mr. chairman. governor snyder, over the past two years, the individual you handpicked to carry out administration met so many opportunities along the way to protect the people of flint. when the water changed color to brown and orange, your administration said the water was safe.
when people reported hair loss, rash, and even sewage, you said the water was safe. when e. coli and fecal bacteria were found in the water, and boil water alerts were distributed, your administration said the water was safe. when a harmful byproduct of disinfection in the water began to spike after the switch, your administration said the water was safe. when legionnaires disease began to infect and later kill numerous citizens, your administration said the water was safe. don't you have a moral responsibility to resign? governor snyder: my commitment is to fix the problem. this is the case or we should have demanded more answers. i said that in my opening statement. rep. boyle: and don't you have a moral responsibility as the
governor of an administration that failed and poisoned its own people, don't you have the more responsibility to resign? governor snyder: what i would say is, when you have experts you relied on, they failed. they work for me, so you have a responsibility for that. i kick myself every day wishing i would have demanded more answers and asked more questions. but to put it in context, when some thing that happens, and this is a terrible tragedy, this has been a humbling experience of my life -- [speaking simultaneously] rep. boyle: it is more than just a humbling experience. governor snyder: i am making a commitment to solving this. people deserve better. i think that answer speaks for itself. ultimately when people are at the head of a government, they have to take this possibility for their administration failures. miss mccarthy, i want to switch to you.
this has been the largest and most glaring failure since hurricane katrina, i am concerned about the extent to which this could be a canary in a coal mine. let me ask you specifically about my own home state of pennsylvania. in 2014, the pennsylvania department of health identified 18 cities in my state that have higher let x user then flint does -- led exposure then flint does. what is the epa doing to make sure other localities don't end up in the same situation? gina mccarthy: thank you for raising that. we should try to make something good happen of this. i have written to every governor and to every primacy agency responsible for implementing and enforcing safe drinking water act to look at all the protocols, look at what their guidance is, to explain to them what we know they should be doing, to actually post their
protocols, to relook and confirm to us that they are implementing the law as it has been intended. we even went further to suggest that every step they take to be posted on the web. they should post every web line on the web. i know people have lost faith in government as a result of this, but that is a way to help us and them is have everything so transparent that individuals can hold us accountable. one of the challenges we face here, he could not get a straight answer anywhere. people don't deserve that. i will take responsibility for not pushing hard enough, but i will not take responsibility for causing this problem. it was not epa at the helm when this happened. rep. boyle: thank you, and i yield back. rep. chaffetz: we now recognize the gentleman from wisconsin for five minutes. rep. grothman: i know it is difficult to get government to work for a variety of reasons.
that is why some of us left government, because it is hard to get it to work. my first question is for governor snyder. you inherit over 40,000 employees. you did not take them. for equally because of the political clout, even if you have one over a period of time, it is difficult to get rid of them. you have gotten rid of several of them. i missed a couple comments, but in general, if you go through five or six employees, you feel almost callous or uncaring. whether they were civil service you inherited or appointees. governor snyder and i use the : word in quotes, experts in the water safety division you will find their experiences between 20 some years to 30 of government experience. rep. grothman: you can be an expert, but if you do not care, doesn't matter how many classes
you taken. so largely the people that you got rid of were people that had been around for 20 years, civil service, that sort of thing. governor snyder: yes. the head of the water division had 20 years experience. rep. grothman: it is difficult for the government to close the house on civil servants. it is hard to bring their incompetence to light. the question for gina mccarthy. it seems to me before this hearing, a most callous government employee we had was susan hedman. we found it yesterday she had been reached out and grabbed by your predecessor secretary jackson. i wish secretary jackson would be here to describe what in the world she was doing hiring her. but if you go through people in your agency that has made huge mistakes, and you cannot deny that, can you would rattle off the people you feel are most responsible for this mess? dell tauro, he was not an
appointee, he was a good civil servant fighting to get answers out here. as far as i can see, when susan hedman was try to keep them in the dark. when you rattle off the people you feel most at fault in the epa. gina mccarthy: no, that would be one of the easiest things i could do to find a couple of career bureaucrats and pound the problem on. i am not going to do that. rep. grothman: i don't like it was career bureaucrats., was susan hedman. gina mccarthy: susan hedman did not know on this issue until late in june. she took immediate action. she worked -- was in june or july, i forget, i apologize. she took immediate action to reach out. she took out a death statement about the lead concerns. we did every according to the numbers. the reason why i am so impressed with susan is that she immediately came and resigned because she could have waited to
try to find somebody to blame it on. she wanted full attention on flint and the epa to resolve that situation, and she resigned. rep. grothman: when did she resign? gina mccarthy: she resigned in late january. rep. grothman: that is not immediate, that is after six . gina mccarthy:. she was working the issue every day. the question was, did we have too much interaction with the state, trusting individuals to get information? but it was susan forced our way onto the task force so we could be helpful in designing the strategy moving forward. it was susan who suggested not to go back to the detroit water. it was susan who suggested that bottled water would be necessary. she was taking the steps he needed to try to resolve the problem. rep. grothman: it seems to me the del toro made public, that would have raised the sense of crisis.
gina mccarthy: it was public. it was public the day he sent it out. rep. grothman: so rather than saying that the memo was downplaying the memo -- gina mccarthy: if you look at the entire chain of e-mails, you will see that miguel was the first person in the region turned to for advice on how to handle this. he was part of our task force. he was part of the decision every step of the way. we had not sidelined him. it was something mdeq started by saying he was a rogue employee. it was susan hedman that caused mdeq to do that, and said it is not the case. rep. grothman: i think it is incredible, all these people went through, you can not still identify people that did a bad job. it is amazing to me. gina mccarthy: i have asked the
officer of the inspector general to keep their eyes on it. i can't possibly know everything that happened. do i think that the system failed yes. , do i think apa could have been more aggressive if we knew we were not getting the information, yes. we could talk to the states, but too long. it should have been elevated. i would have loved to have an opportunity to intervene in a more aggressive way. rep. grothman: wow. rep. chaffetz: mrs. maloney of new york is now recognized. rep. maloney: administrator mccarthy, would you check on the level of lead in new york city's water and get back to me. and i am grateful that there are professional employees working for the health and to protect the health of the american people. i want to thank you for the job you are doing. gina mccarthy: thank you. rep. maloney: the people in
flint are drinking high-levels of lead in their water. and governor snyder, you utterly failed in your responsibility to protect them. earlier you testified that we needed action, we needed action by the epa, we needed action by the city council. but even after you found out that there were problems, that it was in paper in front of you, with your staff, once you knew even when you knew, you delayed , and you put people's lives in danger. on april 25, 2015, miguel del toro send an e-mail to the mdeq expressing concern with no corrosion control being used in flint, and he wrote, i am worried. i am worried that the whole town may have much higher lead levels than the compliant results indicated, and i would like to
record,ote put on the please. but governor snyder, you did not add corrosion control in april. you did not added in may. -- add it in may. you did not add it all summer long, and you did not add it in october and even when you switch ed back to the detroit water, you did not add it then. you never added corrosion control the entire time that your citizens were drinking out of the flint river. and isn't that true, yes or no? yes or no? governor snyder: in terms of -- rep. maloney: yes or no, get back to me in writing if you can't answer yes or no right now. governor snyder: there should have been controls. and common sense from day one. they were not there. rep. maloney: excuse me, i am asking the question. yes or no. get back to me in writing and i
can give you a paper trail that for six months you knew and did not do anything about it. and it was epa that warned you. it was epa that warned the state, and i find that unconscionable. i am asking you to warn me if there is anything wrong in his -- the state of new york, please. i am grateful we have professionals who can do this, who can act, and they did act. let me turn to another delay. 2015 you unveiled the action plan to address water -- address the water crisis, but you did not declare a state of emergency until january 5, 2016. isn't that right? january 16, three months later, and i find that unconscionable. theabsolutely do not call national guard in until later, january 12.
in january 12, there was an e-mail to one of your legal counsels with the subject line , "declaration questions." he wrote, "as you know, the governor can declare at any time for any reason a state of emergency." that e-mail was sent on -- in november, and yet you still waited two more months before you declared an emergency. and how can you explain that to the people of flint who are now incredibly sick? the truth is that you drag your -- dragged your feet because you did not want to take responsibility. in fact, that there is an e-mail from last november that lays out clearly what it states, and i quote, "the state will formally
owned the event if we put a governor declaration in place. " this could be viewed as the state hasn't owned up to how the waters issue was caused, end quote. and people knew in april you should be using corrosion control, but you did not for six months. you dragged your feet in declaring emergency based on political and financial concerns and said whatever you want, whatever you want about being in the dark, the warning signs. even when you did know, you did nothing. even when you did know, you did nothing. your delay is in untold number of additional people. this is a national disgrace and a national scandal. i think we all should learn from it. rep. chaffetz: the gentlewoman's time is expired. we now recognize the gentleman mr. carter. rep. carter: i am a freshman, i have been here 16 months now. i struggle with acronyms. can you help me out?
epa, what does that stand for? gina mccarthy: protection. rep. carter: protection. i thought that was the case. just a second ago, i looked up the case for protection. things, a person or preventing someone or something from suffering harm or injury. we you would agree with that? gina mccarthy: yes. rep. carter: environmental protection agency. ms. mccarthy, i am correct when i say the epa has the authority to warn the public when there is contamination in the drinking water that poses an immediate threat to human health. is that correct? gina mccarthy: yes. rep. carter: so you are aware of the e-mails in june from miguel del toro. you are aware of that? gina mccarthy: yes. rep. carter: so mr. del toro,
who we have established a few days ago, he is a drinking water specialist. he was a member, a team member of the region five drinking water task force. and when he reported high levels of lead in flint drinking water, the epa, the environmental protection agency, they did not do that. they didn't protect the public, they didn't warn the public. instead, mrs. hedman, she had a bunch of excuses. none of them which i believe, but she had a lot of excuses as to why the epa, the environmental protection agency, didn't take any action. none of them would have prevented the epa from standing up and saying hey, don't drink that water. it got lead in it. stop, don't drink it. none of the excuses she had what have prevented epa from doing it. they did not protect, they did not prevent someone or something from suffering harm. rep. chaffetz: does the gentleman yield? rep. carter: i do not yield.
ms. mccarthy, you had an op-ed in the washington post and you stated that the epa urgently told the state of michigan to act with a sense of urgency and inform the public, is that correct? gina mccarthy: it is correct. rep. carter: yet, as i understand it, you mean to say that you repeatedly told the state of michigan to warn the public about toxic levels in the waters, is that correct? gina mccarthy: we repeatedly told them they had to begin corrosion control. rep. carter: a little while ago you said i wish we could've done something different, whether it be by the law were common sense. -- or common sense. common sense would have told you, hey, stop taking the water. gina mccarthy: not at that point in time. rep. carter: at what point in time? gina mccarthy: you are referencing a report that if you look at the final, clearly shows it was most likely a localized issue. rep. carter: so what she did, she sought a legal opinion.
that makes us all feel better. my goodness. she sought a legal opinion on this. i know that everybody here feels much better about that, because the environmental protection agency, we are going to make sure we have legal opinion first before we tell people to stop drinking the water. gina mccarthy: this report was done after we have been working with the state to tell them consistently they have to start corrosion control. rep. carter: corrosion control. gina mccarthy: i said corrosion control? >> you did. at this point we know there is led in the water. gov. snyder: we were concerned about it. gina mccarthy: quite this came
from drinking the water. this advice was needed. >> everything that you have available to you. are you telling me that you got on tv and said, do not drink the water? gina mccarthy: the only thing we knew was that it was led in a very localized area. had i made the assumption commit -- ssumption, carter: i am not with you on this. environmental protection agency. why don't we change the acronym? come on. let us change it to something else. let take "prevention" out there. gina mccarthy: the law of primary authority. >> the law? >> the gentleman's time is expired.
>> thank you. this is a really tough hearing for all of us. right? sides tried to tackle the problem, because our real issue is trying to prevent it from happening again and what we can do about restoring faith, because our constituents who do not believe either of you. right? there are plenty of reasons not to believe any of you. governor i worked for three , governors. they were as lucky as i was. two different parties. 17 years. i got plenty of e-mails and calls from governors who told me to light a fire in my department and move quickly. so, i am having trouble with, i was not really sure. and i will tell you as a member of congress, when there was a veteran's waitlist, my hospital said "we do not have that." i did not believe that.
i was right. i went down there and got it myself. our social security office had millions of complaint. that may be an exaggeration. thousands. they told them everything was fine. so i went down there and got in line. it was not fine. they were harming people. obligation, the both of you. governor, particularly you. these constituents are in your control. i was a health secretary, when we had any alert, we got on it. you said that you were the common sense governor, in your campaign, when you knew that you had fecal chloroform. what caused you with everything else you saw in the press not to have a common sense approach and just fix it? because, i do not understand. the issue did get
resolved in terms of the e. coli issue. it is about hindsight. we wish we would have asked harder questions. >> what are we going to do with governors in your situation? if they say later, i wish i had done more, there were warning signs. we did a little, but not enough. the same with the federal government. what do we do so that everybody sitting here is clear that when there is a warning signal, no matter how small, and here they were not small, they were huge -- what do we do as policymakers to make sure that my constituents and people all over the country who have similar issues are going to believe their state officials and elected officials and appointees? because, that is really what i want to do going forward. how do i do that, sir? governor snyder: i stood up and said that these are failures.
i demanded that people tell me these issues. in terms of the issues for flight -- >> how many retrainings have you had? i have a problem in my district and everyone was working on it. i went to the pentagon. now they are pulling it out of the water and treating it, out of the aquifer. i am not a jet fuel expert but i am pretty sure it should not be in my drinking supply. bureaucrats and other leaders let it sit there while they studied it. give me a list of things you are doing right now to address these constituents who have been actually harmed, who could be harmed. every water system in your state, how much money have you identified and appropriated to make sure you are dealing with this productively? gov. snyder: one thing in the exhibit is an excerpt from that report.
something that i helped create. it talks about every active water customer. it talks about how many -- constituentsw many you responded to. governor snyder: the constituents? we were out to talk to every person in flint. >> your response today is to know who is affected may be, and then to talk to them? homesnyder: to go to their and ask them if they want a filter or water test? again, we have not hit every home but we are tracking it. >> let me ask a question. i think that is not, this is my opinion as somebody who has done this work my whole career, but what do you do with somebody like my mom who has a cognitive impairment? what happens when you go to her that situationut
-- constituent. governor snyder: we ask them to dial 211 so we can bring water to them. >> governor snyder, i think everyone should respect the apology you have offered. i believe that everyone realizes there were mistakes made at every level here, local, state, federal level. think that you have accepted far problem thanr this you deserve. i can tell you that several years and another committee, i chaired the water resource. i traveled all over the country. this is a problem that has been building up for many years. many of these systems in the northeast are 75 or 100 years old. is this is, where it especially acute is in the high
tax states to the low tax states. and may have been moving, i understand that flint's population is now 99,000. what is unfortunately happening, not just in flint but in many cities, the high income people have been the first ones to move. and it has left these the cities with not enough money to do all of the things they need to do. i personally have hated to see and have spoken out against the fact that we spend trillions over the last 15 years in a failed effort to rebuild the middle east. and we have not done enough for our own country. realize that this is a problem of long-standing, it was there long before you took office? -- wenyder: we haven't have a number of urban and rural areas that have major challenges. i have tried to work hard to
improve those places. getting health care to people, in terms of bringing dental care , a program where we put caseworkers in local schools. "great start" is a program we have to complement "headstart." where we are bringing opportunities for preschool to kids all over michigan. we created community adventures, a program where we put over 400 people in permanent jobs in flint in terms of people that were structurally unemployed, because federal programs were not doing enough. we're going to add to that program, to help kids early on, when they are born to get an assessment of where they are at. these are the programs. some of these are in response to lead. but the thing is, let's do things here that can not only help mitigate it, we cannot take it back, but we can do every mitigation we can.
>> look. you mentioned 267 million or something -- governor snyder: 232 million. >> my guess is there are very few cities anywhere around the sides of flint that are getting that kind of money. or that kind of attention for their systems, so i am glad that is happening. before my time runs out, i am the chair of the clean water caucus. we have been, everybody has been trying to bend over backwards to place blame someplace or another. as i said, there are many people who should be accepting responsibility for this other than you. but there are two bills that i have, hr 49 which is the sustainable water infrastructure investment act. 4468, the infrastructure trust fund act, to set up a trust fund for wastewater
systems. if people want to do more than just place blame, if they want to try to do something cities -- something to help cities all over this country. i would appreciate it if they would talk to me about these bills. i yield my time to the chair man. rep. chaffetz: i think we will go to the next speaker unless you have something else. the gentleman yields back. we will go to the gentleman from vermont. >> i thank you governor for being here. you are witnessing the usual scene here in washington where we are trying to figure out whom to blame the most. we have a real problem. we have a real problem. governor you have major , responsibility. i want to focus on the solution. a lot of governors if they had this problem they would be digging trenches and replacing pipes. you have requested from the michigan legislature a little over $2 million, is that correct?
gov. snyder: yes. $60 million has already been appropriated. >> is it the intention in using this money in addition to dealing with infrastructure issues to address the health needs of these children who have been permanently injured as a result of ingesting lead in the water? governor snyder: absolutely. >> explained to me with the plan is for mental health. explain to me what the plan is for cognitive disabilities. explain to me what the plan is for day care. explain to me what the plan is to assist these parents whose kids are in their arms, are not whole like they would be, whose future is compromised, and these parents have to figure out how to go to work when their kids need them at home. so my question is, do you
acknowledge those are real issues as a result of ingesting lead? what in the $238 million is going to address those ongoing needs? governor snyder: what i gov. snyder: what i would say is, it is worse than you stated in my view. in terms of what we are doing, in terms of physical, social, and educational well-being the programs breakdown as follows. i apologize on the time limits. early on there is a program to , help kids from birth to have assessment a couple of times a year and have follow up services. we are talking about adding developmental childcare. to help kids be on that point. >> let me interrupt. i only have five minutes. governor snyder: i'm sorry, you asked me that. >> i did. you can submit that in writing. i am a parent.
you have these programs you just announced. i am trying to figure out today what i do tomorrow. and who does a parent call? when things are not working out. who does a parent call when they are late for work because their child is having an episode? you know will there be somebody , answering the phone? governor snyder: my commitment is to get a long-term solution to this. >> so let me ask you this. ,you have about a billion dollars in michigan, partly from a rainy day fund. governor snyder: it is about $600 billion. >> in the rainy day fund and then you have some from your surplus. governor snyder: it is being identified for a state water infrastructure fund. >> let me ask you this, let's say that when your own assessment reaches the conclusion that it meets those needs you have acknowledged, this did not actually fully state how bad it really is.
if new revenue is required to meet the obligations to these young children years from now that your assessment shows today that money will be needed and it requires you to promote revenue raising measures in order to get it. would you do that? governor snyder: we have identified ongoing dollars that we think are appropriate to cover the cost of those programs. one of the things i have in particular is a $50 million reserve. it is too soon to tell all. >> we do not know what is going to cost. we just do not know. we are in the wild blue yonder, here. i know you wish this did not happen. there is an open ended problem where we are going to be hemorrhaging lives and futures unless we really -- now --
really double down now. what assurance what i have as a haveat i have -- would i as a parent that these needs will be met if i do not have a state saying whatever it takes we're going to be there. governor snyder: that is why i made a commitment to start these reserves. and that we will learn more. >> one other question. i buy into the argument that a of my republican colleagues make about local control. done at thengs local level, the better. the request now is the $750 million. rep. chaffetz: the gentleman's time has expired. >> i appreciate the indulgence. rep. chaffetz: there is a vote on the floor but it is the intention of the chair to continue the hearing until its conclusion. both of these people have a lot aims to do rather than wait around for us to vote. members will have to make a
choice and we will continue until we have run through the questioning. we will now recognize the gentleman from california. >> thank you. one of my favorite quotes from justice brandeis is "the cure for what ails government is frequently sunshine." so my comments are consistent with that. if you could be brief i would appreciate that. as you know, the committee has requested copies of all of your records relating to the flint water crisis. toldweek, your attorney staff that you deleted many of your e-mails. he also said that you only started preserving e-mails in april 2013 when litigation hold was placed on your account. is that true? and have you ever of knowledge -- acknowledged that? governor snyder: i hope that would have been corrected. that is not accurate. >> in your state address, you
committed only from 2014 and 15. have you committed since them? -- then? governor snyder: i am releasing my personal e-mails going back to 2011. we are going through the process of departmental e-mails. we have 23,120 pages of documents up on the web. >> in terms of the timeline, the switch was march 2013, a month before you stopped deleting your e-mails. have you directed any of your staff to search back for any flint related e-mails prior to 2013? gov. snyder: again, i thought that i mentioned and indicated that the belief you had about the deletion was inaccurate. >> i just wanted to see if you were consistent. i'm not an attorney. last week, your lawyer sent documents that were blacked out for a variety of reasons.
and there are a lot of reductions, for example we have a copy of what you sent us. there was a document telling governor rick snyder that includes a line about flint water and then a 49 page reduction. is there a reason as far as you can remember why there were 49 pages of reductions? governor snyder: i do not review the specific ones. those would've been issues other than flint. >> would you release the information on the reductions? as we often ask for people to release their information. gov. snyder: if you have that request, i am happy to go through the process. there is confidential information that could create liability. >> so you are making a commitment to release those things? gov. snyder: there are things that we need to be careful about.
i already had this discussion. >> and there were campaign related e-mails, are you also willing to share those e-mails with us, because some are concerned about is being overlap in terms of what you are doing with flint. you have your e-mail which you personally manage and campaign related -- gov. snyder: it was an account created for my campaign that i have personal e-mails in. >> as long as you're willing to share with the committee is asking for and explain why you cannot specifically come on both accounts, that would be helpful. currentave asked your and former staff to search their e-mails, are you willing, in terms of the relationship to this issue, are you willing to share that with our staff? gov. snyder: i believe we have
already done a lot of work on the government e-mails. i would have to look into the personal e-mails. >> and in regards to texting. are you equally willing to share that with the staff? governor snyder: i believe people are already making those reviews. >> just to comment. with all the respect to epa, in california we have great -- andtrators and that i i have had the pleasure to work with them, but when you look at california as a threshold, we are proud to go beyond that. this is decades of democratic and republican administrations. forgive me it seems as if for people who believe in states' rights and local control you would be more willing to accept both responsibility when you slipped up. it seems with the finger-pointing, i know in california we would be very
threshold would be the california threshold, not the epa threshold. do you have a comment on that? governor snyder? when you fail, the responsibility is the federal government, but when you do well, it is because the state has done well. so there seems to be a disconnect here, from my perspective. gov. snyder: i stood in front of the entire state of michigan and talked about this failure, and how i apologized, and would try to fix it. i have been very clear about accepting responsibility for the people who work for me, to the so-called experts who crated the crisis, and this terrible tragedy that should never have happened. i want to make sure it never happens again, and i want to take care of the people of flint.