Sen. Mike Lee is willing to drop his objection to the Flint, Mich., federal aid package under one condition: It can’t add to the deficit.
The Utah Republican would lift his hold on the legislation, an aide told The Daily Signal Wednesday, if the bill is “budget neutral,” and if relief dollars are paid for immediately after they’re spent.
As the Senate tries to reach a deal to address Flint’s contaminated drinking water, it’s unclear if either of those options is even possible.
The aid package for Flint, which is attached to a larger Senate energy bill, would redirect $250 million from an existing Energy Department fund for advanced vehicle manufacturing. Those tax dollars wouldn’t flow until 2020, but by then Lee worries the fund would be completely dry.
Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., has said that the initial version would be fully funded and wouldn’t increase spending “by one penny.”
And on Wednesday, lawmakers seemed close to reaching a deal. Stabenow doesn’t need Lee to support a refurbished bill; she just needs him to get out of the way for it to move forward.