Michigan Governor Rick Snyder and Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy continued to disagree where the most blame lies during their Congressional hearings on the Flint water crisis.
Lawmakers interrogated Snyder and McCarthy about their involvement in city’s water crisis on Thursday.
Rick Snyder, McCarthy battle back and forth on Flint water at hearing https://t.co/gYvSyaxpps
— Matthew S. Dolan (@matthewsdolan) March 18, 2016
“Plausible deniability only works when it’s plausible. You were not in a medically induced coma for a year. I’ve had about enough of your false contrition and your phony apologies,” Rep. Matt Cartwright (D-Pa.) said to Governor Snyder.
Emails recently released by Snyder’s administration show the governor’s top staff members knew of the issues with the water months before the government took action.
Rep. Cartwright to Snyder: I'm not buying that you didn't know about any of this until Oct. 2015. #FlintWaterCrisis pic.twitter.com/EqrBdMUeOd
— Local 4 WDIV Detroit (@Local4News) March 17, 2016
Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) cited emails where Snyder’s Chief of Staff gave warnings that Flint should go back to Detroit’s water “before this thing gets too far out of control.”
During the hearing, he said that Snyder should resign. Calls for Snyder’s resignation have grown recently, including from both Democratic candidates for president.
BREAKING: @RepCummings Calls on @OneToughNerd to Resign https://t.co/4CLE8xou4f #FlintWaterCrisis
— House OversightDems (@OversightDems) March 17, 2016
McCarthy received her own fair share of criticism from the lawmakers as well.
Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz, Chairman of the House Oversight & Government Reform Committee, said McCarthy had “the authority under the law” to fix Flint’s water and that she “didn’t do it.” He also called for McCarthy to resign.
Oversight chair calls for EPA chief’s resignation after Flint https://t.co/a5bwOkTS1z
— Jason Chaffetz (@jasoninthehouse) March 17, 2016
While Snyder admits the state bears a lot of the responsibility, he also asked why the EPA Administrator did not “just get on the phone and call” him.
McCarthy testified that she did not believe her administration caused the problem. “Looking back on Flint from day one, the state provided our regional office with confusing, incomplete, and absolutely incorrect information,” she said.
“We should not have been so trusting of the state for so long when they provided us with overly simplistic assurances of technical compliance rather than substantive responses to our increasingly growing concerns.”
Watch the hearing yourself here:
(Image: Saul Loeb/Getty Images)