Dan Benishek

Dan Benishek


Congressman Dan Benishek Responds to the President's Budget


Washington, DC- Following the release of a 2017 Federal Budget proposal from the Obama Adminsitration, Congressman Dan Benishek released the following statement:   "President Obama once again has demonstrated how out of touch he is with the American people.  Across the country, taxpayers are crying out for an end to the reckless tax and spend policies that have driven our national debt to over $19 trillion, and all the President wants to do is double-down on this ill-advised approach to governance," said Rep. Benishek.   "President Obama's priorities are simply misplaced.  He wants to put a huge new tax on all American drivers, while at the same time cutting funding for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative - a program that is working to keep our state's most critical resource secure.  I look forward to working with my colleagues on crafting a budget that actually delivers on the priorities of the American people."   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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Benishek Responds to State of the Union Address


WASHINGTON - Following President Obama's final State of the Union, Rep. Dan Benishek released the following statement:

"Tonight what we heard from the President was more of the same - failed ideas and an unwillingness to address the threats to our nation.  Despite clear evidence that influence of ISIS is growing, we still have no plan to defeat them.  Instead, the President continues to focus on a failed agenda that attacks our Second Amendment rights and weakens our standing in the global economy.  In Congress, we plan to move forward with the priorities of the American people by doing everything in our power to keep our nation secure and to grow our economy from the ground up."   

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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Benishek Votes in Favor of Reconciliation Bill


WASHINGTON - Today, the House voted in favor of budget reconciliation legislation which repeals major portions of the President's health care law and eliminates federal funding for Planned Parenthood.   Rep. Benishek released the following statement on the bill's passage:

"I first ran for Congress because I believed that the President was taking our nation's health care system in a dangerous direction that would not benefit the vast majority of Americans.  For the first time since I have been in office, Congress will finally be sending a repeal of this ill-advised legislation to the President's desk.  Further, it is clear that a vast majority of my constituents do not wish to fund the activities of Planned Parenthood, which has been exposed for their wanton disregard of human life.  This legislation eliminates federal funding for Planned Parenthood and redirects this funding to Community Health Centers. The President should do the right thing for American families by signing Congress' reconciliation bill today."

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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Benishek Votes in Favor of Tax Extender Bill


WASHINGTON - Today, the House voted in favor of the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes (PATH) Act, sponsored by Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX).  This bill makes permanent over 20 tax relief provisions, extends for 5 years or 2 years a number of other tax relief provisions that expired at the end of calendar year 2014, provides for a 2-year moratorium on the medical device tax, and includes a number of additional tax policy changes.

"Ever since I came to Congress, I have been fighting to make our tax code easier to understand and fairer to the American people.  This bill does just that by creating a system that incentivizes job growth and business development through reforms that increase transparency and prevent unnecessary tax hikes," said Rep. Dan Benishek. 

The PATH Act includes a number of important provisions that are important to Northern Michigan small businesses, farmers, and families.  For example, the permanent extension of Section 179 of the tax code helps small businesses and farmers plan for investment in large equipment and property.  In addition, deductions for research and development tax credits, state and local sales tax deductions, and charitable tax policies have been made permanent.  These policies will work to help families, non-profits, and businesses plan for the future.

This legislation passed the House by a strong bipartisan vote of 318 to 109.

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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Benishek Acts to Protect Michigan Miners


WASHINGTON - Today the House passed H.R. 644, the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015.  This trade agreement is the result of months of negotiation between the House and Senate.  The bipartisan, bicameral legislation authorizes funds for the U.S. Customs and Border Protection and puts in place effective tools to strengthen trade enforcement at the border and facilitate the efficient movement of legitimate trade and travel.

Additionally, as a result of the efforts of Dr. Dan Benishek and his colleagues in the Michigan delegation, the bill will include strong provisions to prevent the Chinese from using currency manipulation to flood American markets with artificially low priced steel. 

"Mining jobs are a critical part of our economy in Northern Michigan.  As the son of a miner, I know how these jobs put food on the table for so many families in the Upper Peninsula.  I was proud to work with my colleagues to place provisions in this bill that put Michigan on a level playing field with our foreign competitors.  I believe that when the rules are fair, Northern Michigan workers will always outperform the competition."

Chairman Kevin Brady of the Ways and Means Committee added the following: "Congressman Benishek's strong leadership helped ensure that the final bill includes strong provisions to address currency manipulation," said House Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady.  "I value his help on trade issues and look forward to working together as we continue to pass more pro-growth legislation that will grow our economy and support American workers."

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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Benishek Votes in Favor of Transportation Agreement


Washington, D.C. -  Today, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 22, the Fixing America's Surface Transportation (FAST) Act.  This bill is a conference report that addresses the Highway Trust Fund and other key transportation initiatives.  Rep. Benishek said the following:

"So many roads are in need of repair across Northern Michigan.  This bill is an important step towards putting Americans to work on the vital highways, railroads, and bridges that are so important to the free flow of commerce in our country.  I was pleased to support this fully paid for legislation that provides the state of Michigan more resources and great control over prioritizing the state's needs, and I look forward to its enactment into law.

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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Benishek Votes in Favor of Every Child Achieves Act


Washington, D.C. -  Yesterday, the House of Representatives passed the "Every Child Achieves Act of 2015," major bipartisan legislation that will work to empower parents and teachers to return control to their local schools. This legislation will replace the No Child Left Behind Act with a number of reforms, including a prohibition on coercing states to adopt Common Core standards.  The legislation also ends the era of federally-mandated "high stakes" testing, places new restrictions on the Secretary of Education, and eliminates 49 ineffective and duplicative programs.  

"Having raised five kids in Northern Michigan, I understand that education is the gateway to success for our nation's children.  Every student deserves the opportunity to fulfill his or her potential.  This bill allows parents and teachers to make the decisions that are best for their community, and it prevents the federal government from sending down one-size-fits-all policies that rarely serve the needs of our students.  I look forward to seeing this bill signed by the President."

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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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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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.

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