LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – As President Joe Biden joined autoworkers on the picket line Tuesday, lawmakers took the opportunity to cheer his visit and pan it.
State Rep. Brenda Carter (D-Pontiac) says she joined the UAW Local 652 in Lansing in 1997. She’s been supporting the UAW strikers.
“They’re the backbone of this economy,” she tells 6 News. “They are what make the working class. It’s what made Michigan where we are: The automotive capital of the world. And all the strikers are asking is to be paid what they’re work.”
Biden’s walk on the picket line Tuesday in Metro Detroit was ‘historic’ she says.
“Anybody that supports our Michigan workers, supports our economy,” she says.
U.S. Congressman Dan Kildee (D-Flint) also cheered Biden’s appearance in the state.
“I think what the workers are asking for now that the companies are highly profitable, let’s just get us back to where we were before all of that,” he says. “I think that’s a fair request and I’m happy the president is speaking up on their behalf.”
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, another Democrat, issued a statement about the president’s visit as well. “The President is committed to strengthening our workforce by bringing jobs here from overseas – and since taking officer, he’s helped bring 36,000 auto jobs home.”
But for Republican Congressman John Moolenaar the hoopla around the presidential visit is unwarranted. He called it a “15-minute visit.”
He also said Biden “offered zero solutions to his own failed policies. Biden’s unrealistic goals on electric vehicles and green energy have pitted the auto companies and workers against another.”
Former President Donald Trump will be stumping in Michigan on Wednesday. He’s planning to meet with workers at an auto supplier in Macomb County. He has been arguing that he supports the strikers.
Union President Shawn Fain is not keen on Trump’s help.
“Every fiber of our union is being poured into fighting the billionaire class and an economy that enriches people like Donald Trump at the expense of workers,” Fain said in an emailed statement. “We can’t keep electing billionaires and millionaires that don’t have any understanding what it is like to live paycheck to paycheck and struggle to get by and expecting them to solve the problems of the working class.”