In a series of articles over the last couple of weeks, the Detroit Free Press has reported that State House Republicans are withholding federal funds for schools, health departments, renters and landlords. Republicans are holding Michiganders hostage in a bid to wrest the power of executive mandates from Governor Whitmer.

House Appropriations Committee chair Thomas Albert, a Republican from Lowell, also states that Republicans need transparency and accountability as they meter out fractions of the allocated federal funding. That’s a large departure from the 2018 lame duck session when these very same Republicans passed over 300 bills in 13 days, including a grant of $10 million that benefited a Republican donor. Choosing a global health and economic crisis to suddenly get “accountable” belies their true motives—they hate this strong woman, our Democratic governor, and they want to see her fail and they don’t care if more people die in the process. One Republican representative claimed Whitmer had “emasculated” them!

Republican representatives must stop using Michigan citizens as pawns. They have no business holding back federal funds meant to help meet demand for vaccines, expand testing, supply PPE to schools, get teachers vaccinated and cover rent payments. That money will do us no good next November. More lives will have been lost, more businesses lost, more jobs lost.

It’s clear from reading news accounts that the Lapeer County Health Department needs more phone lines and more schedulers on those phones to handle all people who don’t have access to computers. Demand is not going down any time soon so capacity must go up, and to do that they need funding.

Please call State Rep. Gary Howell, Senator Kevin Daley Appropriations Chair Thomas Albert and demand that the Republicans release all federal COVID relief funds now. The Michigan Office of the Auditor General can cover the accountability.

—Beth Little,
Hadley Twp.