Flint, Michigan Mayor Karen Weaver testifies before the House Democratic Steering and Policy Committee at a hearing titled, "The Flint Water Crisis: Lessons for Protecting America's Children" on February 10, 2016.
Gabriella Demczuk—Getty Images
February 11, 2016 10:08 AM EST

City officials from Flint, Michigan asked Democratic members of congress to find the $55 million to fund a plan to replace the city’s lead pipes.

On Tuesday, Flint mayor Karen Weaver unveiled the plan to begin replacing the city’s lead pipes next month, the Guardian reports. Weaver and a number of other Flint authorities testified in Washington, D.C. the next day before the House Democratic Steering and Policy committee, led by Representative Nancy Pelosi.

“I implore you, on behalf of the city of Flint, to help us restore our city,” Weaver said. “I submit to you that we are not disposable people.” Many have called for pipe replacements since the current system became contaminated with lead when the water supply switched from Lake Huron to the Flint River to save money.

Michigan governor Rick Snyder declined an invitation to attend the meeting in D.C. He presented his proposed budget on Wednesday, however, dedicating $37 million to the city for 2017, the Detroit Free Press reports.

“My students cannot even walk to the nearest fountain to quench their thirst,” KMVT reports school superintendent Bilal Tawaab said at the hearing. “This has become their new normal.”

Write to Julia Zorthian at julia.zorthian@time.com.

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