Congressman Andy Levin Statement on the President’s Visit to His District
Congressman Andy Levin, who represents Michigan’s 9th Congressional District that includes the city of Warren, made the following statement ahead of President’s event in Macomb County this afternoon:
I am so proud to represent the people of Macomb and Oakland Counties, and to have witnessed their steady manufacturing growth following the Obama Administration’s major investments a decade ago.
I fight every day to restore the value and dignity of work for my constituents—many of whom have been left behind in this economy and do not share in the wealth that is concentrated at the top.
That is why I cannot allow the President to come to my congressional district and take credit for successes that too many have not shared in. The President may, however, take credit for the growing inequality in America made worse by his landmark tax giveaway that left the middle class of Macomb and Oakland Counties out in the cold.
The President today will also take sole credit for the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), which will replace NAFTA, and tout it as the silver bullet that will ensure economic prosperity for working people. Here, the President aims to rewrite history. His initial draft of the USMCA included no provisions at all to protect workers. It was only after House Democrats fought tooth and nail for their inclusion that any standards made it into the agreement.
Further, while I am grateful for my Democratic colleagues’ leadership in improving the agreement, I do not feel it passes muster as a trade deal deserving of workers in Macomb and Oakland Counties. I believe the deal amounts to a modest rewrite of NAFTA, as there is no meaningful way for workers in Mexico to improve their conditions and bargain collectively. Thus, there is no incentive for American companies to stop outsourcing.
The President ran on a platform of protecting and lifting up working people, but he has done the opposite. He has rolled back workplace protections; he has refused to lift a finger on raising the minimum wage or restoring the organizing power of unions; he continues his relentless assault on protections for pre-existing conditions and affordable, quality health care; he has obstructed legislation that would bring down the cost of prescription drugs; he has weakened apprenticeship programs that are proven to lead to successful careers; and he has failed to act to save pensions for workers and retirees who count on them.
I voted against the USMCA because I am meticulous in my mission to help rebuild the middle class in America. The President, unfortunately, is the opposite—reckless in his pursuit of political wins.
Until the President begins acting in earnest to help Michigan workers achieve the American Dream, he will not restore the trust he has lost over the past three years of his presidency.