The Detroit News
Melissa Nann Burke
July 4, 2022
The Detroit Regional Chamber Political Action Committee endorsed incumbents in two competitive congressional primaries last week — Democratic U.S. Rep. Haley Stevens in the 11th District and Republican U.S. Rep. Peter Meijer in the 3rd District.
Brad Williams, vice president of government relations at the chamber, said that with two qualified candidates and “friends of the chamber” to choose from, the decision came down to which is more “pro-growth and job creation-friendly” and has a voting record to match.
“That is why Congresswoman Haley Stevens is our pick for the 2022 primary election,” said Williams. “Her commitment to Michigan’s manufacturing industry and insight into business issues on a national and local level earned her an endorsement from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in 2020 and make her the best candidate in the Democratic primary for the 11th District.”
In west Michigan, the chamber said Meijer in his first term has “established himself as a national leader through efforts like his bipartisan work to uncover errors made in the Afghanistan withdrawal, his membership in the Problem Solvers Caucus, and his ability to craft positions with conservative principles that have broad bipartisan appeal,” Williams said.
“Rep. Meijer represents a new and effective breed of congressional representatives that will benefit his district, the state, and the nation.”
Meijer of Grand Rapids Township is facing John Gibbs of Byron Center, who is endorsed by former President Donald Trump.
The chamber PAC’s board has said it bases its endorsements on responses to a candidate survey, feedback from its members, interactions with the candidate and alignment with legislative policy priorities, including improving infrastructure and transit needs, K-12 reform, supporting small businesses and boosting voting access and security.
Earlier last week, the chamber backed two candidates running for Congress in the new 13th District that covers most of Detroit — Democratic state Sen. Adam Hollier and attorney Portia Roberson, both of Detroit.
Crack pipe amendment passes
An amendment by U.S. Rep. John Moolenaar, R-Midland, that would the prohibit the purchase or distribution of crack pipes was incorporated into a spending bill for the Department of Health and Human Services.
Moolenaar offered the amendment during a markup session Thursday and the measure, which referred to pipes for use in smoking or inhaling any Schedule I controlled substance, was incorporated by the Democratic leadership’s substitute bill without a vote.
“This is a common-sense amendment because taxpayers simply do not want their hard-earned money being used to pay for crack pipes,” Moolenaar said in a statement.
A conservative outcry broke out earlier this year at claims about $30 million in HHS grants for local programs that provided “harm reduction” resources or services that minimize the risks tied to drug use, including giving out drug paraphernalia such as clean needles.
The Biden White House has denied that any taxpayer money was used by outside groups to purchase crack pipes.
“This policy does not allow for crack pipes to be included,” then-Press Secretary Jen Psaki said earlier this year.
“I would just note that this is a bit of a conspiracy theory that’s been spread out there. It’s not accurate. There’s important drug treatment programs for people who have been suffering from what we’ve seen as an epidemic across the country, and money is not used for crack pipes.”
Moolenaar also introduced an amendment that would have prohibited the Secretary of State from impeding Line 5 under the terms of the country’s 1977 treaty with Canada. The measure failed 25-30 but attracted two Democratic votes from Reps. Tim Ryan of Ohio and Henry Cuellar of Texas.