WASHINGTON —Senate Democrats on Thursday proposed up to $400 million in emergency federal aid to Flint, Michigan, half of what the state’s Republican governor says it will cost to replace and fix the city’s lead-contaminated pipes.

Senate Republicans were noncommittal on whether they would back the measure that would spend money without any offsetting budget cuts and add to the deficit.

The Senate could vote as early as next week on the proposal.

Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., said “there’s no doubt” in her mind that if the water problem had occurred in a wealthy, white community, the state would have responded immediately.

Pointing to a large photo of brown water in a Flint sink, Stabenow said that if one of Snyder’s supporters had called the governor’s office “and said, `Our water looks like this. It smells. Our children are getting rashes. People are losing their hair. Help us.’ I don’t think it would be very long at all before it was fixed.”


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