In the midst of the continuing spread of the coronavirus in Michigan, the Michigan Legislature has scheduled a special session for Friday to create an oversight committee to examine how Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has responded to the crisis as well as consider bills that would strip the governor of some of her powers.

The extraordinary move, at a time when Whitmer is looking to extend her stay-at-home order past its May 1 expiration and encouraging all Michiganders to confine themselves to their homes as a way to stop the spread of the coronavirus, is a sign of an escalating rift with Republicans in the Legislature, who are eager to have her reopen the state’s economy.

Speaker of the House Lee Chatfield, R-Levering, tweeted: “The House & Senate will convene tomorrow to create a special oversight committee on COVID-19 to examine our government’s response. Michigan needs to handle this pandemic seriously yet properly. It’s what the people deserve, and we will see that it happens.”