Michigan House Republicans
Drama over Selfridge funding was theater
RELEASE|May 8, 2024

House GOP says funding for Selfridge was never really in danger

House Republicans today criticized Democrats who control the Michigan House of Representatives for playing games with funding for Selfridge Air National Guard Base.

Gov. Whitmer originally proposed $10 million for Selfridge in next year’s budget. House Democrats then lowered that amount to $7.5 million only to later support funding at the $10 million level.

State Rep. Alicia St. Germaine, R-Harrison Township, offered an amendment to restore the funding, which was voted down by Democrats on the House floor. The House then voted in favor of a nearly identical amendment offered by Democratic state Rep. Denise Mentzer.

Selfridge is in St. Germaine’s district.

“It looks a lot like Democrats are trying to play the part of hero by reinstating funding on the floor, even though it was the Democrats who took it out in the first place. The funding was never in danger,” St. Germaine said. “It’s manipulative.”

St. Germaine compared the situation to the movie “Hitch” in which Will Smith’s character lures a dog away from its owner so that a potential suitor can then wow the woman by returning the dog to her, winning her affection.

State Rep. Tom Kuhn, R-Troy, said that Democrats played a similar game last year by stripping funding out of the budget only to put it back later. Last year, Democrats cut funding for Selfridge, then Kuhn offered an amendment in committee to restore funding, which was voted down. House Democrats then added the funding back on the floor.

“Democrat lawmakers are again playing games with arguably the most important job center in Macomb County,” Kuhn said. “This is not what we should be doing here. This is theater.”

“It doesn’t matter who gets credit; the important thing is that Selfridge will be fully funded,” said state Rep. Joe Aragona, R-Clinton Township. “But voters should know that if lawmakers try to look like heroes, they created the situation in the first place. The funding was never in danger.”

The funding is in House Bill 5509, which is the budget for Military and Veterans Affairs. 

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