LANSING, Mich. — "I was surprised to see that she cut services to public school and cut funding for roads and cut funding for kids with autism and cut services for veterans," said Republican Speaker of the House Lee Chatfield.
Governor Whitmer issued 147 line-item vetos and a historic promise to redistribute the funds to reflect her priorities.
"I have yet to go through the specifics on what she has claimed as unconstitutional. I will remind her that these were all passed in a bipartisan way. These were priorities of Republicans and Democrats across the state," said Chatfield.
He says its all a part of the governor's political strategy.
"She's doing this to leverage her $.45 gas tax hike. The governor has vetoed and decided to use kids and veterans and children with autism as political pawns, I think that's wrong," Chatfield added.
Rep. Graham Filler, a Republican representing Clinton County and half of Gratiot County thinks the Governor's decision was petty.
"I think that she vetoed things just to get back at us for passing a budget without her input,” said Filler. “My guess is that she's vetoed them to use them as bargaining chips but they're gonna have a real impact on real people in the state of Michigan so I just- I can't believe she did that and there will be pushback from our caucus."
Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey said in a statement Republicans are in no rush to participate in the Governor's 'tug of war'. The speaker agrees but says negotiations will continue.
"You have a governor who campaigned on fixing the roads yet vetoed record funding for roads because it wasn't done her way. I think we have to find a way to work together we have to find a way to reach a consensus and I'm finding it very difficult to negotiate with someone who can't make up their mind," said Chatfield.
News Ten asked if he would meet with the Governor on Thursday.
"I have yet to see what time she's even offered in this meeting but I'll make very clear the last three times we've reached out with her to meet with us to talk about these negotiations she's refused to meet," said Chatfield.
Chatfield says Republican leadership will continue to work across the aisle for a long-term road fix but has not put a timeline on when that will happen.
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