Duggan lunches with Biden at White House to talk federal priorities

Melissa Nann Burke
The Detroit News

Washington — President Joe Biden had lunch Monday with Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan, according to the White House.  

A White House official said Duggan was in Washington, D.C., for meetings with administration officials. 

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan speaks during a press briefing at the White House on Feb. 12, 2021 in Washington.

Biden met Duggan "to hear about the mayor’s federal priorities and the success of President Biden’s American Rescue Plan in the City of Detroit in reducing crime, helping Americans get back to work and revitalizing Detroit’s small business community," the official said, according to a pool report. 

Biden and Duggan "had a great lunch today," Duggan spokesman John Roach said Monday. "The mayor showed him how the American Rescue Plan Act is transforming Detroit with $100 million in job training/education scholarships, the building of the Joe Louis Greenway, new recreation centers, and investments in crime reduction efforts..

"During their lunch, Mayor Duggan invited the president to visit Detroit so he can see all the different ways Detroiters are benefiting from his programs," Roach added. "The president shared that he looks forward to a future visit to see our progress firsthand.”

Just over a year ago, Duggan was at the White House in February 2021 urging Congress to pass Biden's economic stimulus plan and telling national reporters in the briefing room about how Detroit led the way on COVID-19 testing during the pandemic. 

"We did not in Detroit curl up. We fought back," Duggan told reporters at the time. "Detroiters did what we were supposed to do."

More:Biden becomes pivotal Detroit advocate

Biden last fall endorsed Duggan ahead of the November election in which he won a third term. Duggan also met with Biden when he visited an Antrim County cherry farm in July following severe flooding that hit communities across Metro Detroit.

Duggan endorsed Biden in 2019 and campaigned for him in 2020, playing up Biden's role in the auto bailout as well as on transportation funding, mortgage relief and money to combat blight in the city.

Biden overwhelmingly won Detroit two years ago but by a closer margin than Hillary Clinton's victory in the city over Republican Donald Trump in 2016.