. President Barack Obama speaks to guests gathered for a rally at General Electric's Waukesha gas engines plant on January 30 in Waukesha, Wisconsin. (Scott Olson / Getty Images)
Washington — President Barack Obama will make his first trip to Michigan in 14 months on Friday when he holds an event on the economy in East Lansing.
A White House official declined to elaborate about the event. Details are expected to be released this week.
It will be Obama’s first trip to Michigan since December 2012, when he toured the Detroit Diesel plant in Redford Township. It also comes just weeks after the U.S. Treasury completed its exit from General Motors Co. in December, which ended the government’s remaining restrictions on the company.
Obama has been barnstorming the country this week, talking about his economic plans he unveiled in the State of the Union Address, including calling on Congress to hike the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour, extend emergency unemployment benefits, approve fast-track authority for trade deals and boost infrastructure spending. He visited a Maryland Costco, a U.S. Steel plant near Pittsburgh and a GE Gas Engines facility in Wisconsin, among other stops.
“America cannot stand still, and neither will I. So wherever I can take steps to expand opportunity, to help working families, that’s what I’m going to do with or without Congress,” Obama said in Wisconsin. “I want to work with them, but I can’t wait for them. We’ve got too much work to do out there, because the defining project of our generation — what he have to tackle right now, what has driven me throughout my presidency and what will drive me until I wave goodbye is making sure that we’re restoring opportunity to every single person in America.”
Since Obama’s last visit, Gov. Rick Snyder signed into law controversial right-to-work legislation and Detroit filed for a record setting Chapter 9 municipal bankruptcy.
Obama hasn’t commented on Detroit’s bankruptcy but in January on a trip to Detroit to visit the North American International Auto Show, Vice President Joe Biden said no federal bailout was coming.
“The city will do it on its own, but there’s no reason why the federal government can’t do what we’re already doing,” Biden said, saying the federal government would help where it could. “There are things that the city was entitled to, to begin with, that aren’t new monies but they are monies that have been reorganized and brought back in at the mayor’s disposal.”
Obama has made about a dozen visits to Michigan — most early in his term — and many focused on the auto industry and the $85 billion auto industry bailout. After polls showed him ahead against challenger and Detroit native Mitt Romney, Obama didn’t campaign in Michigan again after April 2012.