The year-long pandemic is hurting Michigan residents, small businesses, and schools, but our local Republicans are stalling on helping them.
State Sen. Lana Theis, and state Reps. Ann Bollin and Bob Bezotte are part of the hard-hearted GOP caucus in Lansing that would rather pick political fights with Gov. Gretchen Whitmer than release all the $5.9 billion in federal funds to help us through this pandemic. So far, the Michigan Senate has approved spending only a fraction of these funds, leaving $4 billion more stuck in Washington.
While they stall on spending this money, they are needlessly prolonging the suffering of our residents who are struggling to pay their rent or buy food. It denies more than half the money the feds set aside for our public schools so that they cover the extra costs of COVID yet provides all the funding that is allocated to private schools. Why should public schools, teachers, and students wait for their fair share of these federal funds while private schools get all of their funds?
Why won’t Theis, Bollin, and Bezotte approve spending all the money the feds sent us for COVID testing? Michigan will be out of money in March for antigen testing, the kind of testing that is needed so kids can play sports. Why will they spend only one-third of the money from the feds for vaccine distribution? Why are they standing in the way of federal funds that should be coming to our local public health department?
President Donald Trump signed the bill last year to make this money available to Michigan. Now his fellow Republicans in Michigan are holding the money hostage.
Theis, Bollin, and Bezotte can’t even pretend to care whether their constituents can pay their rent, buy food, get access to vaccines or survive the pandemic. The pandemic is bad enough. Theis, Bollin, and Bezotte are adding to our misery.
Stop stalling and let our money go!