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Obama heads to Detroit, old Congress out, new Congress in

Jan 7, 2015

Sen. Gary Peters and five others from Michigan were sworn in with the 114th Congress this week.
Credit U.S. Representative Gary Peters

This week in Michigan Politics, Jack and Emily discuss President Barack Obama's Detroit trip as well as the state's outgoing and incoming US Congress members.


Obama in Detroit

President Barack Obama kicks off a three-state tour today with a stop at a Ford plant in metro Detroit.

The president is expected to address growth in the American auto industry as well as showcase his economic policies.

Lessenberry said the president is prepping for his upcoming State of the Union address.

“[President Obama] wants to highlight the fact that the auto bailout really worked,” Lessenberry said. “I think he’s trying to draw attention to it and rally nation-wide support.” 

Out with the old

The swearing-in of the 114th Congress on Tuesday means Michigan has lost some of its most senior members.

The state said farewell to five congressional members whose combined experience totaled over 130 years.

Lessenberry said the loss in seniority will certainly impact Michigan’s influence in DC, but probably not as much as some are saying.

“The two biggest giants [we lost] were democrats, and they’re [already] in the minority,” he said.

In with the new

Washington is familiar ground for some of Michigan’s newest congressional members.

Sen. Gary Peters was sworn in after serving several terms in the US House, while Rep. Debbie Dingell took over the seat her husband John held for nearly six decades.

Lessenberry said members new to the DC scene may need some more time to “get their feet wet.”

“But,” he said, “You never know.”

– Rebecca Kruth, Michigan Radio Newsroom