For more than two years now, the people of Flint, Mich., have been warned to drink bottled or filtered water because the stuff coming out of their taps is tainted by high levels of lead, which is especially dangerous to kids. This would be considered a dire emergency in most communities in America, but the U.S. Senate keeps telling Flint residents they’re not a priority.
It happened again this week.
The latest roadblock? Senators including Mark Kirk (R-IL) voted Thursday to kill an amendment that would have finally addressed the ongoing Flint emergency. It was another frustrating moment in the fight for safe drinking water for all Americans, and a big blow to Flint residents who need and deserve to be able trust the water coming out of their faucets.
But this isn’t the first time Kirk has shown his apparent lack of concern for clean water. Earlier this year he voted to kill EPA limits on pollution in waterways that feed into our lakes and rivers. Perhaps it’s no wonder he’s considered one of this year’s most endangered Senate Republicans.
The people of Illinois deserve a senator who will fight both for safe drinking water and clean, unpolluted waterways for fishing and swimming. That’s why the NRDC Action Fund, along with our colleagues at the Sierra Club and LCV Action Fund, were proud to endorse Rep. Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) in her race to replace Kirk in the Senate. His vote against emergency aid for the families of Flint reassures us we made the right choice.
Kevin Curtis is executive director of the NRDC Action Fund.