Kuhn Amendment to Reinsert Governor’s Funding Request Denied by House Democrat Vote
Republican House members Thomas Kuhn (R-Troy) and Alicia St. Germaine (R-Harrison Township) today found themselves in the unique position of defending a Governor Gretchen Whitmer budget request from members of her own party.
At issue was the governor’s request for a $10 million appropriation in the Department of Veterans and Military Affairs budget to fund improvements at the Selfridge air base, including enhancing and maintaining infrastructure to accommodate the latest technology and aircraft. The investment would help ensure the base is well-equipped to support future missions and remain competitive with other bases nationwide.
The governor’s funding request was removed at the subcommittee level. Kuhn sought to reinsert the governor’s request when the bill was taken up by the full Appropriations Committee. The Kuhn amendment was defeated by House Democrats.
In addition to playing a critical role in our nation’s defense, Selfridge air base provides significant regional economic benefits. According to a 2020 study by the Anderson Economic Group, the base contributes $1.2 billion annually to Michigan’s economy and supports more than 7,700 jobs.
“For Michigan to be an aerospace leader, and to attract next-generation defense missions and high-paying jobs, we must invest in base infrastructure,” said St. Germaine, whose House district includes the base. “The governor’s request was modest and should have been retained by the Democratic majority.”
“We cannot attract and retain 2023 missions and jobs with 1985 infrastructure. A $10 million investment is a small price to pay to help make Selfridge an aerospace leader and economic engine for Macomb County and all of Michigan. This was a missed opportunity by our Democratic colleagues that will cost us jobs and future Defense Department mission opportunities,” Kuhn said.
The Department of Veterans and Military Affairs budget now moves to the full House for consideration.
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