- Associated Press - Tuesday, January 27, 2015

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - The top Republican in Michigan’s House of Representatives has replaced a Democrat on a powerful budget committee because he says Democrats wouldn’t serve in a leadership role on the panel.

Speaker Kevin Cotter assigned Democratic Rep. Harvey Santana of Detroit as vice chairman of the Republican-controlled Appropriations Committee Monday. He replaces Democratic Rep. Pam Faris of Clio on the 29-member panel.

The committee’s Democrats wrote a letter to Cotter last week protesting that he didn’t honor their preference that Democratic Rep. Brandon Dillon of Grand Rapids become vice chair.

Cotter says Democrats chose “politics over the work of the committee.” He says he’s stopping the “manufactured drama” and Santana will “put politics aside.”

House Democrats’ spokeswoman Katie Carey says it’s clear Cotter has no “meaningful plan to work with us.”

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