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Lawmakers implore Michigan gov. to halt or delay 'right to work' law

As more protests are planned in Michigan over the controversial right-to-work bill, Rep. Hansen Clarke (D-Mich.) tells MSNBC's Thomas Roberts that he's concerned the legislation will "end up cutting wages and benefits for middle-income workers who really need the money right now."


Michigan's congressional delegation met Monday with Gov. Rick Snyder, asking him to veto or at least delay a vote on a "right to work" law moving through the state's legislature.

Democrats and organized labor groups have launched an all-out blitz they are hoping might halt legislation that would establish workers' rights to employment in a workplace without having to join a union. The Republican-held state legislature passed versions of the legislation last week, and are set to bring it up for final consideration as soon as Tuesday.

NBC's Mark Murray and Domenico Montanaro discuss the fiscal cliff deadline and President Obama's motives behind his trip to Michigan on Monday.

Snyder, a first-term Republican governor who's fashioned himself as a more pragmatic leader, has said he would sign the bill if it came to his desk.

"We strongly urged the governor to veto the so-called right to work bill, or at a minimum, ask the legislature to delay the vote on it," Sen. Carl Levin said in a conference call to describe Democrats' meeting with the governor. "The governor listened, and he told us that he would 'seriously,' in his words, consider our concerns."

Former Michigan Republican Governor John Engler, who is the president of the business roundtable, joins The Daily Rundown's Chuck Todd to talk about President Barack Obama's trip the Michigan, the fiscal cliff, and Michigan's 'right to work' law.

Snyder's office had no immediate reaction to Democrats' characterization of the meeting.

Michigan has become the latest Midwestern epicenter over labor rights as a result of this fight, following Ohio and Wisconsin. The Republican governors of those states led efforts to curb or eliminate collective bargaining rights for public employees' unions.

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Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin

National Democrats have begun to wade into the fight as well, issuing blistering statements warning against the Michigan proposal. The fight could be elevated further this afternoon, when President Barack Obama visits the Detroit area in a previously-scheduled trip.

Democrats are particularly incensed by a procedural move used by Republican authors of the bill which would prevent the law from being challenged by a statewide referendum. The Democrats who met Monday with Snyder said they had also urged the governor to change that provision, so that the right to work proposal could be brought to a popular vote.