EAST LANSING, Mich. (CBS DETROIT) — Governor Gretchen Whitmer delivered the Democratic response to President Trump’s State of the Union Address at East Lansing High School Tuesday night, 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 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, 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 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 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, 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.
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 Whitmer. “It’s time for action. Generations of Americans are counting on us. Let’s not let them down.”
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