SENATORS REACH BIPARTISAN DEAL ON FLINT WATER FUNDING. A group of at least 10 senators reached a deal Wednesday on a spending package to help the city of Flint, Mich., replace corroded pipes that have caused a lead contamination emergency in the town. The breakthrough legislation does not provide direct funding solely for Flint. The financing would be available to any city with emergency-level water contamination. Power Post has more:
The agreement includes $70 million in credit subsidies for water infrastructure projects, $100 million for subsidized loans and grants to help states with spoiled water supplies and $50 million for public health programs.
The financing package would be offset by rescinding $250 million in loan credits for a program that was intended to help auto companies develop fuel economy technology.
HOUSE DEMS ASK GOP TO LISTEN TO WHITE HOUSE ON BUDGET. House Democrats, led by Rep. Chris Van Hollen, the top Democrat on the Budget Committee, want GOP leaders to rethink their decision to not invite the White House to testify on the details of their budget. The Hill has more:
Rep. Chris Van Hollen (Md.), ranking member of the Budget panel, along with the committee’s 13 other Democrats wrote a letter to Chairman Tom Price (R-Ga.) urging him to reconsider a joint decision with the Senate to skip hearings with White House budget chief Shaun Donovan to discuss the fiscal 2017 budget plan.
“Denying the president’s budget a hearing is a blatant breach of longstanding protocol, and a crass display of partisanship,” the House Democrats wrote.
ROMNEY WARNS OF A TRUMP TAX BOMBSHELL. Former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney told Fox News on Thursday that he thinks Donald Trump is hiding a major tax bombshell that could seriously harm his campaign.
“Either he’s not anywhere near as wealthy as he says he is, or he hasn’t been paying the kind of taxes we would expect him to pay,” Romney, a former Massachusetts governor, told Fox News’ Neil Cavuto …
Romney said he is very sensitive to tax issues because his own past with the IRS became a liability in his 2012 campaign. Democrats slammed Romney for paying a low tax rate thanks in part to receiving much of his income through investment income, which is taxed at a lower rate.
“The reason I think there’s a bombshell in there is because every time he’s asked about his taxes, he dodges and delays and says ‘well, we’re working on it.’ Hey, we’re not talking about the taxes that are coming due this year… We’re talking about taxes that already filed,” Romney, said in the Fox interview.