Lawmakers Exchange Heated Words on Right-to-Work

By: Lindsay Veremis Email
By: Lindsay Veremis Email

Along with crowds up to 10,000 strong, Lansing can expect a bitter fight among lawmakers Tuesday.

Democrats and Republicans exchanged heated words about right-to-work Monday. During an afternoon press conference, Democrats admitted they can't stop the legislation but plan to do anything they can to slow the process.

Republican leaders say there will be a vote Tuesday, but couldn't offer much of a timeline.

"The Governor of Michigan is one greedy nerd and he's one weak geek and we're not going to take it anymore," Incoming House Minority Leader Tim Greimel, D-Auburn Hills said.

House Democrats slammed the governor's support of right-to-work and called on Republicans who voted against the plan to break with party leadership.

"From floor introduction to passage the entire process in the House took 90 minutes, there were no committee hearings and no opportunity for debate," current House Minority Leader Richard Hammel, D-Mt. Morris Township said.

Hammel is demanding right-to-work legislation be slowed down and calling for a the issue to be debated in committee.

Republicans say the time for talks has passed. They say right-to-work has been debated for decades and plan to move the Senate's plan forward for a Tuesday vote in the House and then to the governor's desk.

"As far as I'm concerned tomorrow will be business as usual at the Capitol," Sen. Rick Jones, R-Grand Ledge said. "I don't think we should ever let thugs take over the Capitol and stop the process."

Jones says it's impossible to know how long the vote will take, but says it will happen Tuesday.

"There's all sorts of stalling tactics by the other sides, amendments that have to be voted on and filibustering and all sorts of nonsense," he explained.

The governor could sight right-to-work into law as early as Tuesday. House Republican leaders say logistically that's unlikely, they're not expecting Snyder to act until Wednesday.

Democrats meanwhile, plan to make a stand by continuing to vote no on other measures and pursing legal action.

"Republicans know that if they wait until next year they won't have the votes to pass this thing," Greimel said.

"I don't think they're representing their constituents very well if they simply walk away and don't want to work with us on anything at all," Ari Adler, spokesman for House Speaker Jase Bolger countered.

Despite pleas for cooperation, both sides admit grid-lock could be the future.


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