Two House Democrats facing tough re-elections in the upcoming midterm elections did not travel to their home state of Michigan for President Biden’s trip to Detroit on Wednesday.
Michigan Democratic Reps. Dan Kildee and Elissa Slotkin said they remained in D.C. to participate in official duties while Congress is in session. Other House members from Michigan, however, traveled with Biden for the Detroit trip.
“Congress is in session today,” Kelly Montgomery, Kildee’s press secretary, told Fox News Digital. “Congressman Kildee will be in Washington, D.C. to vote and attend a committee hearing promoting fair trade deals.”
Similarly, a spokesperson for Slotkin’s office told Fox News Digital that Slotkin will remain in D.C. on Wednesday to partake in congressional votes and committee hearings.
Despite Slotkin and Kildee’s decision to remain in D.C. for official duties, Gustavo Portela, the deputy chief of staff and communications director for the Michigan GOP, insisted it’s “no secret” as to why the two representatives decided not to appear alongside President Biden during his visit to the state.
“It’s no secret why out of touch Democrats Dan Kildee and Elissa Slotkin aren’t spending the day with Joe Biden,” Portela said. “Biden’s plan to curb inflation has only made it worse for working Michiganders, with grocery prices now at a 12 year high. They can’t hide from the havoc they’re wreaking into family budgets and this November we’re going to send them packing in favor of working class champions Paul Junge and Tom Barrett who will work to find relief for Michigan families.”
Slotkin is running for re-election in Michigan’s 7th Congressional District, which is one of three House races in the state that Fox News Power Rankings rates as a “toss up” in the November midterms. Kildee is running in the 8th Congressional District, also rated as “toss up.” The third seat is the 3rd Congressional District, held by Republican Rep. Peter Meijer, who lost his primary to GOP nominee John Gibbs.
Though she missed Biden’s trip to Detroit this week, Slotkin has welcomed Biden to the state previously. Last October, Slotkin welcomed Biden at Capital Region International Airport in Lansing ahead of his speech touting the infrastructure bill and his Build Back Better agenda.
Slotkin, one of 15 House Democrats who did not vote for Pelosi to become House Speaker for the 116th Congress, currently represents the state’s 8th District in the House and is seeking re-election to the House to represent the state’s 7th District. Slotkin will face off against her GOP challenger, Tom Barrett, and one other candidate.
Kildee, who was first elected to the House in 2012, currently represents the state’s 5th District and is seeking re-election to the House to represent Michigan’s 8th District. Kildee will go head-to-head on Nov. 8 against his GOP challenger Paul Junge, as well as two other candidates.
Biden traveled to the state to attend the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, where he toured the newest models in auto-manufacturers electric vehicle portfolios and is expected to announce a new infrastructure plan to make driving electric vehicles more accessible.
Biden’s announcement pertains to a $900 million plan to build EV chargers across 53,000 miles of the national highway system, a White House official said. The plan will include construction in 35 states, the official added.
Several members from the Michigan Congressional delegation flew with the president aboard Air Force One to Detroit on Monday. Those members include GOP Rep. Fred Upton, as well as Democratic Reps. Andy Levin, Haley Stevens, Debbie Dingell, and Brenda Lawrence.
Michigan Democratic Sen. Debbie Stabenow, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, and Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Michael Regan also traveled aboard Air Force One with Biden to Detroit.
Absent from the flight from D.C. to Detroit was “Squad” Rep. Rashida Tlaib, who represents western Detroit and surrounding suburbs in the House. While she did not fly with Biden to the state, Tlaib welcomed Biden upon his arrival to the city.
Michigan Democrat Gov. Gretchen Whitmer also reunited with Biden during his visit to the state after being out of the state the last time he visited Michigan in November 2021.
A photo from the event showed Biden and Whitmer walking hand in hand as Dingell, President of the United Auto Workers Ray Curry, and Stabenow looked on.
Biden’s trip to Detroit comes one day after the Labor Department announced that the consumer price index, a broad measure of the price for everyday goods including gasoline, groceries and rents, rose 8.3% in August from a year ago. Prices climbed 0.1% in the one-month period from July.
Fox News’ Lawrence Richard and Megan Henney contributed to this article.