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Michigan lawmakers react to Biden speech

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AP
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President Joe Biden declared that “America is rising anew” as he called for an expansion of federal programs to drive the economy past the coronavirus pandemic and broadly extend the social safety net on a scale not seen in decades.

“America is ready for takeoff. We are working again. Dreaming again. Discovering again. Leading the world again. We have shown each other and the world: There is no quit in America,” Biden said.

Speaking in highly personal terms while demanding massive structural changes, the president marked his first 100 days in office by proposing a $1.8 trillion investment in children, families and education to help rebuild an economy devastated by the virus and compete with rising global competitors.

And to be expected, the speech drew harsh criticism from Republicans and high praise from Democrats. Here is what some Michigan lawmakers had to say: 

Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer: U.S. Rep. Bill Huizenga: 

“Tonight, as he approaches his 100th day in office on Friday, President Biden spoke to the American people about the promises he’s delivered on and outlined his plans to help us build back better from the pandemic.

“His agenda makes game-changing investments in the fundamental, kitchen-table issues that I ran on—schools, small businesses, families, infrastructure—and towards our future. Thanks to the administration’s competent leadership at every level, we have put over 230 million shots in arms, delivered checks to millions of Michigan’s working families, and had meaningful conversations about policies and solutions instead of lurching from distraction to disaster. I am proud to have a partner in the White House, and I look forward to pairing the federal dollars available to us with state resources to create jobs, invest in our kids and schools, build up roads and bridges, and expand job training programs. Looking ahead, I urge Congress to pass the American Jobs and Families Plans so we can work together to create tens of millions of good-paying jobs, build up our infrastructure, and give families childcare, pre-K, and paid leave. Let’s get it done.” 

U.S. REP. BILL HUIZENGA

“Despite campaigning on a platform of unity, President Biden has put forward a tax and spend agenda the likes of which we have never seen with virtually no Republican input. With the annual federal budget coming in at roughly $4.4 trillion, President Biden has proposed nearly $6 trillion in new spending in the first 100 days of his Administration. This eye-popping spending spree adds up to $17,951.46 for every man, woman, and child in America.

“Instead of governing as a unifier like he promised, President Biden has put forward a highly partisan agenda in 100 days that increases federal spending by a whopping 35% while threatening to eliminate an estimated 1 million jobs through his proposed tax increases. Rather than appease the progressive wing of his base, President Biden could help more American families by adopting a targeted approach that focuses on bipartisan solutions to strengthen our economy, secure our border, and repair our infrastructure in West Michigan and communities across the nation.”

U.S. SEN. GARY PETERS

“After taking office at a time of unprecedented crisis in our country, I am proud of the progress we have made in President Biden’s first 100 days and the relief we delivered to families, small businesses and communities in Michigan and across the country. Through my work as Chairman of the Homeland Security Committee, I was pleased to help the President drastically expand vaccine distribution as part of the American Rescue Plan. “Our work is just getting started as we continue to build back better. President Biden laid out a strong vision for upgrading our infrastructure — our roads, bridges, and access to broadband — and making critical investments in families to ensure they can not only care for their families but prosper. “In the coming months, I also look forward to continuing to work with the Biden Administration to bolster our domestic manufacturing capabilities and supply chain, spur additional economic growth and strengthen our national security — including to address serious threats facing us here at home.”