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Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder to testify before House Committee about Flint

In a statement, the governor offered "to explain mistakes made by water quality experts that led to the current crisis."

Michigan Governor Rick Snyder will appear before the House Oversight Committee to answer questions about his handling of the water crisis in Flint, in which the city's residents were exposed to lead poisoning.

Chairman Rep. Jason Chaffetz invited Snyder to appear before the committee at a time yet to be determined, and Snyder accepted the offer.

READ MORE: An American Disaster: The Crisis in Flint

Snyder said in a statement that he requested the opportunity to appear before the committee, and offered "to explain mistakes made by water quality experts that led to the current crisis."

That characterization drew a rebuke from ranking member Rep. Elijah Cummings.

"The reality is that he is finally bowing to mounting public pressure to answer questions before Congress about the central and critical role his administration played in this man-made disaster," Cummings said.

Chaffetz and Snyder are both Republicans. Cummings is a Democrat.

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy will also testify at the hearing, Chaffetz said in a statement.

The water crisis in Flint began after the city left the Detroit water system in a cost-cutting move in 2013. Water officials didn't properly treat water from the Flint River despite warnings, causing lead to leach from pipes and into drinking water.

Despite assurances that the water was safe to drink, private tests in August confirmed the water contained high levels of lead, and in September a pediatrician compared blood tests and found a spike in lead poisonings in Flint.

Snyder said Friday he welcomes the opportunity to answer questions about the crisis.

"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 a statement Friday.

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"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 said.

The Department of Justice and the Michigan Attorney General have launched investigations into the debacle.

There have been calls that Snyder resign over his handling of the crisis. A Michigan state board this week approved a petition seeking his removal.

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