Dan Benishek

Dan Benishek


Benishek Applauds Move Towards Soo Locks Study


Washington, D.C. -  In response to efforts by Dr. Benishek and a bi-partisan group of members of the House and Senate, the Army Corps of Engineers has agreed to perform an Economic Impact study on the Soo Locks.  This study is critical to the effort to increase the priority of the construction of a replacement Lock in the Army Corps' list of authorized projects.  

The funds for this study were being held by the Office of Management and Budget due to a technicality.  Following a letter sent by Dr. Benishek to the OMB, the funds have now been released and the 

"Ever since I came to Congress, I have been fighting to see a replacement lock built in the Soo.  An unanticipated shutdown of the locks would be crippling to the economy, not just here in Michigan, but across the country.  This study by the Army Corps is an important step in the process, and I am pleased to see that it is moving forward.," said Dr. Benishek, Michigan's only member of the Natural Resources Committee.

This summer, Dr. Benishek led a bipartisan delegation of officials from Michigan, Minnesota, and Canada to the Locks for an update from the Army Corps on the efforts to create a replacement Lock.  Additionally, he offered an amendment to the Energy and Water Appropriations Bill to emphasize the importance of completing this project.

Congressman Benishek is a member of the Great Lakes Task Force, a group of legislators dedicated to developing solutions to the environmental challenges facing the Lakes.  A native of Michigan's Upper Peninsula, he is Michigan's only member of the Natural Resources Committee.

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Benishek, Dingell Introduce Legislation to Support Federal Recognition of Burt Lake Band


Washington, DC - Representative Dan Benishek, along with Rep. Debbie Dingell, will introduce today legislation to support the efforts of the Burt Lake Band to become recognized by the federal government as an official tribe.  The Burt Lake Band is a Cheboygan County based group of Native Americans who have been seeking federal recognition for many years.

"Native American tribes are an integral part of Northern Michigan's history and culture.  I am proud to support the Burt Lake Band's efforts to become a federally recognized tribe, and I am hopeful that we will be able to move this bill through the legislative process," said Dr. Dan Benishek, who represents Michigan's First District.

"The Burt Lake Band has a long and well-documented history in Michigan and they deserve to be recognized as the sovereign nation they are," said Dingell. "Passing this legislation to reaffirm their status as a federally recognized tribe is simply the right thing to do and is long overdue. I want to thank Congressman Benishek for his leadership on the issue and look forward to working with him to pass this vital legislation."

Currently, Michigan is home to 13 federally recognized tribes, 8 of which reside in the First District.  Surrounding tribes and the County of Cheboygan have both expressed their support for this legislation.    

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Benishek Backs Good Neighbor Authority


Washington, D.C.:  Rep. Dan Benishek, M.D. (MI-01) expressed his support for the U.S. Forest Service (FS) and Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNA) working together to sign a Good Neighbor Authority (GNA) master agreement.  The signing of the GNA master agreement, which is a result of work that began in the 2014 Farm Bill, supported by Rep. Benishek, will allow the State of Michigan to perform forest and watershed restoration services on federal forest system lands.  These joint efforts, a major goal of the 2014 Farm Bill, will work to improve management of federal forest lands.  The master agreement between the Hiawatha, Ottawa, and Huron-Manistee National Forests in Michigan and the DNR is one of the first GNA agreements in the nation.

"Ensuring that our forests in Michigan are both productive and well managed is one of my top priorities.  Healthy, managed forests in our area provide a major source of revenue for our economy here in Northern Michigan, and I was proud to support these reforms in the Farm Bill.  I look forward to continuing to work with both the Forest Service and MDNR to see these plans implemented," said Dr. Benishek.  As Michigan's only member of the Natural Resources Committee, Dr. Benishek is acutely aware of the importance of effectively managing Michigan's forest lands. 

The First District of Michigan is home to three national forests, which play a crucial role in the state's economy.  Michigan's forest products industry generates about $1.3 billion in economic activity per year and creates thousands of jobs.  In addition to maintaining healthy forest conditions, the partnership will also provide additional wood fiber to the forest products industry.  According to Bill O'Neil, Michigan's state forester and chief of the DNR Forest Resources Division, "This partnership will allow for more timber sales, which means more work for local loggers and other forest products companies and great news for the state's economy."

The Good Neighbor Authority allows Michigan to work across jurisdictional lines with the federal government to preserve and manage forest lands.  The unique insight provided by state foresters and officials should be key in preservation efforts, as well as economic advancements.   

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Benishek Applauds Expansion of Traverse City VA Clinic


Washington, DC - The VA announced today that they will move their Physical Therapy, Mental Health, and Home-Based Primary Care staff to an expansion of the Traverse City Clinic located at 880 Munson Ave.  This move follows calls from local Veterans Service Organizations, as well as requests made to the VA by Congressman Benishek.

"I am pleased that the VA is moving forward with this critical expansion of the clinic in Traverse City.  This facility serves so many veterans, especially those in rural areas, who depend on it for access to care.  I will continue to monitor the VA's progress on this move, and I look forward to seeing the expanded facility open to serve soon,"  said Dr. Benishek, Chairman of the Subcomittee on Veterans health.  

The VA anticipates that the expansion will open in February of 2016 after necessary renovations are made. 

Dr. Benishek spent 20 years as a VA doctor treating patients at the Iron Mountain VA facility.  As Chairman of the Veterans Health Subcommittee, he played an integral role in creating and helping to pass the landmark reform legislation, leading many of the hearings that uncovered the VA's incompetency.  Dr. Benishek was also successful in getting a new law enacted based on an idea from a local veterans that provides Veterans Service Organizations (VSOs) greater access to federal surplus property, such as spare vehicles and equipment, for use at their facilities.    

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Benishek Acts to Defund Planned Parenthood And Scale Back Obamacare


Washington, D.C.-  Today, the House of Representatives passed HR 3762, a bill that uses the Congressional budget fast-track reconciliation process to defund Planned Parenthood for one year and to eliminate a number of key portions of Obamacare, such as the individual mandate, the employer mandate, the medical device tax, and others.  Rep. Benishek, who supported this bill, released the following statement:  

"This legislation is so important because it can actually make it to the President's desk and give him the opportunity to prevent taxpayer dollars from funding the horrific disregard for human life shown by Planned Parenthood.  This legislation also gives the President the chance to repeal several portions of his misguided health care plan, so that we can improve the quality of care available for patients.  This bill is an opportunity for President Obama to do right by the American people and finally eliminate these unwanted public policies"  

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Benishek Demands Answers from VA on Bonus Abuse


Washington, DC -  At a hearing of the House Committee on Veterans Affairs today, Rep. Dan Benishek joined a unanimous Committee in voting to subpoena top VA officials to testify on abuses that occurred with relocation incentives at the VA hospital in Philadelphia.  An Inspector General report suggested that VA employees were improperly awarded hundreds of thousands of dollars in moving expenses, yet still, no one has been prosecuted or fired. 

"We will not have a functioning VA until we have an accountable VA.  It has become clear that the VA cannot properly police its own behavior, and that is why it is necessary for Congress to exercise its oversight authority and expose the truth about what is occurring at VA facilities around the country," said Dr. Dan Benishek.

On November 2nd of this year, VA officials will appear before the Committee to deliver testimony on this matter, or else they will be held in contempt of Congress.  

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Benishek Bill to Protect Sportsmen Advances


WASHINGTON, DC: Dr. Dan Benishek (MI-01) supported H.R. 2406, the " Sportsmen's Heritage and Recreational Enhancement (SHARE) Act, during a markup in the House Committee on Natural Resources today. This legislation, which he helped author, will work to protect and enrich our Nation's hunting and fishing heritage while also promoting wildlife and habitat conservation in a responsible manner. Now that the Committee on Natural Resources has passed the legislation, the bill is eligible for consideration on the House floor.

"Hunting and fishing are a part of our national heritage, and it is just common sense that they should be permitted by default on all federal lands. This bill protects the rights of sportsmen to access and enjoy the lands that are owned by all of us, and I am proud to see this bill move through the legislative process," said Dr. Benishek, an Iron River native and lifelong resident of Michigan's Upper Peninsula.

Dr. Benishek authored a component of the bill that would create an "open until closed" policy for sportsmens' use of federal land and block environmentalist groups from limiting hunting, fishing and shooting on America's federal properties.

"There are few things in life I enjoy more than going grouse hunting at my camp in the Ottawa National Forest, or trout fishing in the Paint River. These are activities that every American should have the opportunity to enjoy," added Dr. Benishek, who serves on the House Committee on Natural Resources.

The initiative to protect sportsmen rights on federal lands is supported by organizations such as the U.S. Sportsmen's Alliance, National Rifle Association, Safari Club International, Congressional Sportsmen's Foundation, and the American Sportfishing Association.

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Benishek Votes For Select Committee to Investigate Abortion Provider


Washington, D.C. - The House voted today in favor of H. Res. 461 - "Establishing a Select Investigative Panel of the Committee on Energy & Commerce," a bill that would allow the Congress to examine the need for further legislation to protect the lives of the unborn in light of a series of videos which appear to show Planned Parenthood officials negotiating the price of fetal organs for sale.

"As a father and a grandfather, I found these videos to be horrifying and unacceptable. I believe that the Congress should thoroughly investigate whether any laws have been violated by Planned Parenthood in the course of providing abortions. Further, I believe we must act to ensure that our current legal framework prevents these barbaric practices from occurring in our country," said Rep. Benishek, a doctor who treated families in Michigan for over three decades.

Congressman Benishek is a native of Iron Mountain, MI, where he served as a doctor both at the VA and in private practice for over thirty years.  He and his wife, Judy, have five children and five grandchildren.  

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Dr. Benishek Announces Agriculture Grants


Washington, D.C. -  The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced today the awarding of more than $113 million in program grants to support farmers growing "specialty crops," which include products such as cherries, apples, asparagus, and other Northern Michigan products.   

Included in the awards are several Michigan Universities:

  • Michigan State University, East Lansing, Mich., $6,515,655
  • Michigan State University, East Lansing, Mich., $27,606

Congressman Dan Benishek, a Member of the House Committee on Agriculture said, "Grants such as these demonstrate why it was so important for us to pass the Farm Bill last year.  Agriculture is a huge part of the Northern Michigan economy.  This program helps farmers across our district continue to create jobs and grow the economy."

Today's announcement is a result of the 2014 Farm Bill, which passed the House of Representative last year.  These grants are administered by USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) and USDA's National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA).

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Deadline Approaches for Military Academy Nominations


WASHINGTON, D.C.-   Each year, Dr. Benishek has the honor of nominating a number of young men and women to our nation's military academies. The application submission deadline is October 16, 2015. Applicants must submit complete documentation of all required information by this date. Students will then be scheduled for an interview with the advisory board on November 10, 2015. All applications should be mailed to:

Congressman Dan Benishek M.D.

ATTN: Service Academy Nomination

500 S. Stephenson Ave., Ste. 500

Iron Mountain, MI 49801

Details can be found on Dr. Benishek's website: http://benishek.house.gov/serving-you/military-academy-nominations

This information will be helpful in advising students who are interested in applying to an academy. If you have any questions, please call the Academy Coordinator at (906) 828-2115 or e-mail her at danielle.branz@mail.house.gov

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Contact Information

514 Cannon HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Phone 202-225-4735
Fax 202-225-4744

Dan Benishek’s story is like that of many people from Northern Michigan.  Dan was born in Iron River, Michigan.  His family didn’t have much when he was growing up, and his father was killed in a mining accident when he was only 5 years old.  After his father’s death, Dan’s mother, with the help of family, raised Dan and his brother, Tim.

As a boy, Dan worked in his grandmother’s business—the Iron River Hotel.  Dan made beds, hauled beer, and cleaned the spittoons.  His grandmother paid him $10 a week for his efforts, but he had to save it for the future.

After Dan graduated from West Iron High School in 1970, he went on to earn a B.S. in biology from the University of Michigan in 1974.  Dan graduated from Wayne State Medical School in 1978 and completed a Family Practice internship in Flint at St Joseph’s Hospital.  He has served as a general surgeon in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula in a private practice since 1983. He has worked part-time at the Oscar G. Johnson VA Medical Center in Iron Mountain for the past twenty years.

Dan worked as a general surgeon in Iron Mountain for nearly 30 years and raised his family in Iron Mountain.  Along the way, it never occurred to him to get into politics, let alone run for Congress.  But, like many people in Northern Michigan, Dan just got tired of seeing career politicians in Washington waste taxpayer dollars our nation doesn’t have on bills they didn’t even read.

Since coming to Congress, Dan has been fighting every day to create jobs in Northern Michigan, improve services to our veterans, and renew the promise of the American Dream for our children, grandchildren and future generations.

Dan is an avid hunter and fisherman and a proud member of the NRA and the GOA.

Dan and his wife Judy live near Crystal Falls, Michigan.  They have five children and four grandchildren.  Prior to being sworn into Congress on January 5, 2011, Dr. Benishek had never sought nor held any previous public office.

Serving With

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Justin Amash


John Moolenaar


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Tim Walberg


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