President Donald Trump on Friday urged Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to work with and not against citizens calling for her to loosen the stranglehold on everyday life imposed by her executive orders.
“The Governor of Michigan should give a little, and put out the fire. These are very good people, but they are angry. They want their lives back again, safely! See them, talk to them, make a deal,” Trump tweeted.
The Governor of Michigan should give a little, and put out the fire. These are very good people, but they are angry. They want their lives back again, safely! See them, talk to them, make a deal.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 1, 2020
Trump’s tweet followed a contentious Thursday in which Michigan residents who oppose Whitmer’s edicts demonstrated outside of the Michigan State Capitol building, with some entering the building as well.
Protesters waved signs and American flags, and in some cases carried legal firearms.
Some demonstrators chanted “Let us in!” and “This is the people’s house, you cannot lock us out,” according to NBC News.
Protest moves inside Michigan Capitol. Crowd attempts to get onto Hoise floor. Lots of Michigan State Police and House sergeants at arms blocking door. pic.twitter.com/4FNQpimP4W
— Rod Meloni (@RodMeloni) April 30, 2020
Republican state legislators also called for a relaxation of the stay-at-home orders.
Republican state Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey, for instance, was among those calling for Whitmer to stop governing by executive order.
“Now, the legislature must make a choice to either allow our governor to continue to govern by executive order or to trust our constituents to take the necessary precautions to protect themselves and their families without the governor mandating a one-size-fits-all, stay-at-home order,” he said Thursday on the floor of the Senate, according a transcript of his remarks posted on the Michigan Senate GOP website.
“Citizens count on a government structure of checks and balances,” Shirkey added. “The legislature is the voice of the people and we must have a seat at the table to ensure the concerns of our constituents are considered as part of the decision-making process.
“The end of the governor’s emergency declaration means we return to a system of checks and balances that ensures all voices are heard. It also means the legislature must vote to ensure continuity of other necessary changes made via executive order,” he said.
Republican state House Speaker Lee Chatfield called for a bipartisan solution.
Today, we offered our hand of partnership to the governor. No politics. We’re all in this together and we should all work together. We believe upholding the democratic process is best for MI people. She just said no. Very disappointing. #InThisTogether https://t.co/thExZnZSsg
— Lee Chatfield (@LeeChatfield) May 1, 2020
“We believe you can prioritize public health yet be reasonable in your approach to fighting COVID,” Chatfield said on the House floor. “There is a misnomer out there, a complete false narrative, that you either have to choose public health or you have to choose jobs to put food on the table or you have to choose constitutional rights, because in a time of crisis you can’t have all three. And that is false.”
Whitmer, however, acted that same day to show the Republicans and the people who was boss.
The governor issued an executive order to end the state of emergency she had declared, then imposed a new one, using a 1940s-era law to do so, according to CNN. She also used a 1970s-era law to declare a state of emergency and state of disaster through May 28.
Another executive order she issued Thursday keeps theaters, bars and casinos closed and limits restaurants to takeout, drive-thru and delivery .
Whitmer insisted her actions were about public health and not power.
“While some members of the legislature might believe this crisis is over, common sense and all of the scientific data tells us we’re not out of the woods yet,” she said in a statement Thursday.
“By refusing to extend the emergency and disaster declaration, Republican lawmakers are putting their heads in the sand and putting more lives and livelihoods at risk,” Whitmer said. “I’m not going to let that happen.”
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