Michigan lawmakers respond to SOTU

Last night, several Michigan lawmakers released statements in response to President Donald Trump’s State of the Union Address.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer delivered the Democratic response to President Trump’s State of the Union Address at East Lansing High School, where her daughters attend.

In her response, the governor stayed focused on the problems Democrats across the country have taken action on, like rebuilding our infrastructure, creating paths to good-paying jobs, and improving health care, while Republicans in Washington work to move our country backward.

Right now, more than 275 bipartisan bills are gathering dust on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnel’s desk, and Republicans in Washington are working to dismantle the Affordable Care Act and rip health coverage away from people with pre-existing conditions. In her response, the governor highlighted work Democratic governors across the country are doing to improve access to health care.

“Instead of looking after people with pre-existing conditions, the president is asking the courts to rip those life-saving protections away, and every other benefit Americans have under the Affordable Care Act,” said Governor Whitmer. “It’s pretty simple. Democrats are trying to make your health care better. Republicans in Washington are trying to take it away.”

In her State of the State address, Governor Whitmer urged Republicans in the legislature to work across the aisle to enshrine protections for people with pre-existing conditions into state law. In the Michigan House, Democratic Reps. Padma Kuppa, John Hoadley, and Matt Koleszar have offered a good proposal to protect Michiganders’ access to health care in case the president is successful in dismantling the ACA.

The governor also highlighted action she and Democratic governors are taking to fix our infrastructure so everyone can drive to work and drop their kids at schools safely.

“During my campaign, people told me to fix the damn roads, because blown tires and broken windshields are downright dangerous,” said Governor Whitmer. “And car repairs take money from rent, child care, or groceries. And we, the Democrats, are doing something about it.”

Last week, as part of her Rebuilding Michigan plan, the governor asked the State Transportation Commission to issue $3.5 billion in state road bonds to fix Michigan’s most highly-traveled state roads and freeways. The STC voted 6-0 to approve the bonds, meaning we can start moving dirt and fixing the roads this construction season.

The governor also focused on jobs and the economy in her remarks. “It doesn’t matter what the president says about the stock market,” said Governor Whitmer. “What matters is that millions of people struggle to get by or don’t have enough at the end of the month after paying for: transportation, student loans, or prescription drugs. American workers are hurting. In my own state. Our neighbors in Wisconsin. And Ohio. And Pennsylvania. All over the country. Wages have stagnated, while CEO pay has skyrocketed.”

Since she was sworn in as Governor, Michigan has announced nearly 11,000 new good-paying auto jobs for Michiganders. And last year, Governor Whitmer gave tens of thousands of Michigan workers a raise by directing the Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity to expand the right to overtime pay.

The governor also highlighted Democratic governors’ work across the country to raise wages for hardworking families.

Governor Whitmer ended her response by urging the American people to stay focused on what their leaders are doing for them, not just what they say.
“Remember, listen to what people say, but watch what they do,” said Governor Whitmer. “It’s time for action. Generations of Americans are counting on us. Let’s not let them down.”

Michigan Congressman Jack Bergman State of the Union response
After attending President Donald J. Trump’s State of the Union Address, Congressman Jack Bergman issued the following statement:
“Tonight, President Trump delivered a message of optimism that has lifted Americans across the entire country – and from every walk of life. Grit and hard work drive the American dream, and the policies of this Presidency have grown small business optimism to historical heights and created an atmosphere where Michigan businesses have added 102,000 jobs – including 17,000 manufacturing jobs. While not without obstacles, the outlook for northern Michigan and the Upper Peninsula is bright.
“President Trump rightly outlined the challenges continuing to face our nation, including: a broken healthcare system with rising costs, excessive drug pricing, national security threats, expanding rural broadband access, border security concerns, and continued trade imbalances. Congress must put aside the politics and extreme partisanship seen in recent months, and come together to work towards solutions that put America first and benefit American workers.
“While challenges remain, the spirit of our great Union is strong.”

U.S. Senator Gary Peters (MI) State of the Union response
“There is a lot more we can do to help working families in Michigan and across the country. I hope that we can find common ground and make progress on issues important to Michiganders: lowering prescription drug costs and expanding skills training and apprenticeship programs. We should build on some of the successful career and technical education programs in Michigan — like in Saginaw where Rick Burmeister, President of the Saginaw Intermediate School District board – is working with educators to ensure students get the training needed to pursue successful careers. We should also focus on efforts to protect the Great Lakes and our drinking water, repair our crumbling infrastructure and effectively secure our borders.”

U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow response on the State of the Union Address
“Contrary to the President’s remarks this evening, this Administration has been relentless in its efforts to take health care away from Michigan families. Health care is personal—not political. That’s especially true for Michigan’s Andrea Pietrowsky, who joined me tonight as my guest at the State of the Union. Her 5-year-old daughter, Louisa, was born with a severe congenital heart defect and has undergone three major surgeries. Without the Affordable Care Act, Louisa would likely be uninsurable and her family would face bankruptcy. Andrea is concerned about her family’s future and the future for families across our state. Health care is a basic human right, and I remain focused on protecting care and lowering costs for Michigan families.”

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