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(The Center Square) – While most eyes in the nation are turned toward who wins the presidential race on Nov. 3, battles for seats in the U.S. House of Representatives are also raging are also drawing attention to Michigan.

One such race pits first-term incumbent Rashida Tlaib, D-Detroit, against Republican and Detroit resident David Dudenhoefer for Michigan’s District 13 seat in the U.S. House.

Tlaib gained national recognition as one of the two first Muslim women elected to Congress in 2018. The second congresswoman is Ilhan Omar, a Minnesota Democrat also seeking reelection in November.

Tlaib and Omar are grouped together with Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., and Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass., as four newly elected representatives in 2018 dubbed “The Squad.” The four women of the Squad gained national recognition for their relative youth, outspokenness on progressive policies, and respective ethnic backgrounds.

Before serving as district chair for the 13th District Republican Committee, Dudenhoefer participated in local political activism in the Detroit area, which historically has tilted predominately Democrat and was a congressional seat held by Rep. John Conyers from 1965 to 2017. 

Although neither campaign responded to an emailed questionnaire from The Center Square, public statements and campaign materials for Dudenhoefer and Tlaib reveal vast differences in policies advocated by the candidates.

Dudenhoefer promotes zero-base budgeting over the current congressional use of base-line budgeting. By zero-base, the Republican wishes to implement a system by which Congress rewrites the U.S. budget each year rather than a base-line budget, which adds or subtracts taxpayer dollars to line items from the previous year’s budget.

Whereas Dudenhoefer has indicated he favors tax cuts across the board as well as cutting government spending, Tlaib told the Detroit News her position is to raise taxes on the wealthy, “the richest of the rich,” in an attempt to ensure everyone pays a fair share as well as eliminating corporate tax loopholes. 

She said the two biggest issues she wishes to tackle are “corporate greed and bigotry.”

Tlaib supports universal health care, but Dudenhoefer proposes a less-government oriented approach. For example, he told the Detroit News reducing government influence on private insurance would result in reduced costs and increased competition.

If elected, Dudenhoefer has said he’d like to serve on the following House of Representative committees: Financial Services; Foreign Affairs; Infrastructure; Veteran Affairs.

Tlaib, an incumbent, currently serves as the Vice Chair for the House Oversight Subcommittee on Environment. She has expressed interest in serving as the House Appropriations Committee chairperson.

Regional Editor

Bruce Walker is a regional editor at The Center Square. He previously worked as editor at the Mackinac Center for Public Policy’s MichiganScience magazine and The Heartland Institute’s InfoTech & Telecom News.