LANSING, Mich. – Michigan Democrats are pressuring state Republicans to vote to release more than $5 billion in COVID relief, chastising them for holding the funds.
“Republicans need to stop holding these federal stimulus dollars hostage. We need to take a simple up or down vote. This is not a partisan issue, these dollars should be at work here in Michigan right now,” said Michigan House Minority Leader Donna Lasinski.
Pressure is also coming from U.S. Congress, as Rep. Debbie Dingell says it was time for the Republican state Legislature to sit down with Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.
Republicans have held funding, hoping to get Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to lift several of her pandemic order although demands have shifted in the past weeks from reopening schools to allowing contact sports to continue and now to demands about financial oversight.
State Republicans have released a pair of plans -- both leaving billions of dollars in Washington. They said what they want from Whitmer is to have targeted spending before approving the money although much of it is earmarked already.
In a statement, a spokesperson for Michigan House Speaker Jason Wentworth said, “Our plan addresses all needs... But it does it right and holds the Governor to a higher standard to fix the problems we all have seen.”