(WJBK) - Governor Snyder is reversing course as he has offered to testify in front of the U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, according to communications sent to FOX 2 from the governor's office.
He asked for the opportunity to explain how the local, state and federal governments combined to fail the people of Flint and to talk about the improvements he is recommending at the federal level, as well as in Michigan to ensure a water quality crisis of this nature does not happen again.
The governor called Congressman Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) on Thursday and offered to travel to Washington, D.C. for a future hearing to explain mistakes made by water quality experts that led to the current crisis and detail the emergency response in place to help residents recover.
"The people of Flint have suffered because they were failed by all levels of government, and so it is understandable that there are questions at all levels of government," Snyder said. "In Michigan we are learning a great deal from this crisis and I am hopeful the federal government also will use this as an opportunity to examine health and safety protections in place, assess infrastructure needs, and avoid this type of crisis in the future."
Snyder was not invited to the first Flint water hearing held Feb. 3 by the U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. Keith Creagh, interim director of the Department of Environmental Quality, represented the state at the hearing of the full committee.
Snyder did get invited to testify before a group of House Democrats earlier this month. He did not attend as he was giving his budget proposal that same day.
"It's disappointing for the Governor of the State of Michigan is not here to answer questions from his point of view. We offered plenty of opportunity to do so," Kildee said.
Snyder last fall appointed an independent task force to identify where specific failures occurred within state government. Their report is expected in the coming weeks. The state Office of the Auditor General also examined events leading to the water crisis, and released a report.