House GOP floor leader speaks on stimulus funding fight with Gov. Whitmer

Posted at 8:28 AM, Mar 17, 2021

(WXYZ) — The power struggle between GOP legislators and Governor Gretchen Whitmer is the subject of our 7 UpFront segment tonight.

The governor and legislators have 60 days to spend $10 billion in stimulus funds provided to Michigan by the federal government. But the House budget chair wants Whitmer to include Republicans in future COVID decisions.

Last week, the state senate gave Majority Leader Mike Shirkey the power to sue the governor if she released the funds without them being appropriated by the legislators.

House majority floor leader Ben Frederick is joining us to talk about it.

You can see the full interview in the video player above.

"I think it should be noted that a great proportion of the funds have already been released, there's been billions of dollars release, particularly to the key priorities of COVID, but there's also been numerous voices over the last year that have spoken to the harms caused by COVID response policies and, I think, that's where you see lawmakers, some on both sides of the aisle, raising objections to a diminished voice in engaging with the administration on how we move forward in COVID response and also providing clarity as to what the plan even is," Frederick says. "We have one of the most ill-defined reengagement plans of any state in the country, with no specific timelines, goals, or benchmarks. So people have lost a lot of certainty and hope, as well."