Excerpts from Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s Democratic Response to President Trump’s State of the Union

February 4, 2020

During my campaign, people told me to fix the damn roads – because blown tires and broken windshields are downright dangerous.  And car repairs take money from rent, child care, or groceries.

And we – the Democrats – are doing something about it.

*** 

I was holding down a new job, caring for my newborn daughter as well as my mom at the end of her brain cancer battle.  I was up all night with a baby and during the day, I had to fight my mom’s insurance company when they wrongly denied her coverage for chemotherapy.

It was hard.  It exposed the harsh realities of our workplaces, our health care system, and our child care system.  And it changed me.

I lost my patience for people who play games instead of solve problems.

So, as a state senator, I worked with a Republican governor and legislature to expand health care coverage to more than 680,000 Michiganders under the Affordable Care Act.

***

It’s pretty simple.  Democrats are trying to make your health care better.  Republicans in Washington are trying to take it away.

***

It doesn’t matter what the president says about the stock market.  What matters is that millions of people struggle to get by or don’t have enough money at the end of the month after paying for transportation, student loans, or prescription drugs. 

***

 American workers are hurting.  In my own state.  Our neighbors in Wisconsin.  And Ohio.  And Pennsylvania.  All over the country.  Wages have stagnated, while CEO pay has skyrocketed.

 ***

 I’m so inspired by young people.

 They respond to mass shootings demanding policies that make schools safer.

 They react to a world that’s literally on fire with fire in their bellies.  To push leaders to finally take action on climate change.

 They take on a road filled with potholes with a shovel and some dirt.

***

 2020 is a big year.  It’s the year my daughter Sherry will graduate from high school.  It’s also the year she’ll cast her first ballot, along with millions of young Americans.

 The two things are connected.  Because walking across the graduation stage is as important as walking into the voting booth for the first time.

 ###