Dan Benishek

Dan Benishek

MICHIGAN's 1st DISTRICT

Benishek: Chattanooga Victims Deserve Purple Hearts

2015/07/30

Washington, D.C. - Following the tragic attack on a military recruiting center in Chattanooga, TN where five U.S. servicemen lost their lives, Dr. Dan Benishek has signed on to a House Resolution that calls for Purple Heart Medals to be awarded to those who were killed. 

"It is clear that these men gave their lives defending our nation from those who wish us harm.  What happened in Chattanooga was an attack on every American, and it is my belief that these men should be awarded the same honors as those who give their lives in our defense overseas," said Dr. Dan Benishek, the parent of a sailor who served in the Afghanistan conflict.

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Benishek Gets Amendment Added to VA Reform Package

2015/07/30

Washington, D.C. - The House passed today, H.R. 1994, legislation to overhaul how the VA operates and manages problem employees.  Included in this bill as an amendment is Dr. Dan Benishek's Demanding Accountability for Veterans Act.  The added language will require the VA to name individuals within the Department who are responsible for fixing problems identified by Inspector General reports.  Additionally, it will require the IG to identify the parts of their reports that the VA has asked them to alter. 

"The VA Accountability Act is a huge step forward for our nation's veterans.  I am particularly pleased that my bill will be included in this landmark reform package," said Dr. Benishek, Chairman of the Subcommittee on Veterans Health.  "Our veterans have earned a VA that provides access to timely, quality care.  This legislation will ensure that we can hold bureaucrats at the VA accountable to those who have risked everything to protect our country and our way of life."

The VA Accountability Act includes provisions that allow problem employees at the VA to be removed without year-long delays.  Additionally, the bill will make it easier for small businesses to hire veterans.  The bill was passed by a bi-partisan vote of 256 to 170. 

Last week, the House unanimously passed Dr. Benishek's Veterans Information Modernization Act.  

 

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: No Sanctuary for Law-Breakers

2015/07/24

WASHINGTON, DC - Today, the House passed the Enforce the Law for Sanctuary Cities Act (H.R. 3009), legislation introduced by Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA) that would deny funding for states or local governments that fail to enforce immigration laws that protect Americans. 

"The law is the law, and we simply cannot allow states and municipalities to ignore the rules that protect American lives.  Today's bill is just common sense, and I will continue to work to ensure that America's immigration laws are enforced," said Dr. Dan Benishek.

H.R. 3009 follows the tragic death of Kate Steinle who was killed in cold blood by an illegal immigrant who was protected by the sanctuary city laws of San Francisco.

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Benishek: Not One Red Cent to Planned Parenthood

2015/07/23

Washington, D.C. -  Following the release of videos revealing the disturbing practice of the sale of organs from aborted babies at Planned Parenthood clinics, Dr. Dan Benishek has helped author legislation to completely prevent any taxpayer resources from going to the abortion provider.  HR 3134, the Defund Planned Parenthood Act of 2015, would immediately halt all sources of Federal funding for Planned Parenthood, and is currently co-sponsored by 124 Members in Congress. 

"Like many in Northern Michigan, I am horrified by recent reports of illegal tissue sales at Planned Parenthood.  I am supporting a complete investigation of this sordid matter, and I will fight to prevent a single dime of taxpayer funds from going to Planned Parenthood," said Dr. Dan Benishek, a member of the Pro-Life Caucus.

In addition to this legislation, Dr. Benishek has co-signed a letter to the Department of Justice requesting that they look into the claims of illegal organ sales.  He has also backed a House investigation led by the Energy and Commerce Committee, as well as several other pieces of legislation to prevent tax dollars from funding any abortions.  

 

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 to President Obama: Hands off the 2nd Amendment

2015/07/22

Washington, D.C. -   The Los Angeles Times recently reported that the Obama Administration is in the process of moving to use the Social Security Administration to broadly expand restrictions on the ownership of firearms.  If this plan proceeds, seniors who receive assistance from a third-party with their disability benefits would be reported to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System as ineligible to own or purchase firearms.  It is estimated that this move could jeopardize the 2nd Amendment rights of over 4 million Americans.

"The 2nd Amendment is a fundamental right that  ensures that every American can protect their life, family, and property from harm.  This proposal would deny that right to millions of law-abiding citizens who are not a threat to anyone," said Dr. Dan Benishek. 

In response, Dr. Dan Benishek has authored a letter to President Obama objecting to this executive overreach.  To read the text of the letter, click here.  Additionally, the Congressman co-sponsored H.R. 3126, legislation that would prohibit the Administrator of Social Security from releasing information on any American to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System without the court order that the individual represents a threat to themselves or to others, which is currently required by law.    

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Benishek Reacts to Secretary McDonald Testimony on VA Budget Shortfall

2015/07/22

Washington, D.C - Secretary Robert McDonald of the Department of Veterans Affairs testified today before the House Veterans Affairs Committee on the nearly $3 billion shortfall that currently exists in the VA's budget.  The VA has threatened to close every hospital and clinic across the country unless Congress appropriates new funds to cover their cost overrun.

"Congress will never allow veterans to go without care.  The VA, however, must be held accountable for this gross incompetence.  Any emergency funding bill must be accompanied by true reforms to how the VA operates.  Veterans have earned more than incompetence and obfuscation," said Dr. Dan Benishek, Chairman of the Subcommittee on Veterans Health.

Yesterday evening, the House passed unanimously Dr. Benishek's Veterans Information Modernization Act, a bill that will require the VA to collect and make public basic information on the cost of treating veterans through this system.  This transparency measure is designed to ensure that lawmakers and VA officials have access to the information they need to better plan and manage resources.  

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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Veterans Data Modernization Act Passes House Unanimously

2015/07/22

Washington, D.C. - Today, the House of Representatives voted on HR 2256, the "Veterans Data Modernization Act," a bill that was authored by Congressman Dan Benishek.  This legislation will require the VA to collect basic data on the cost of providing care to veterans.

"I wrote this bill after learning in hearings that the VA does not currently collect basic information like the cost of treating a patient.  In order to fix the VA, we need transparency, and this bill delivers that," said Dr. Benishek, who worked as a surgeon at the VA for over 20 years. 

This legislation comes on the heels of reports that the VA has run $3 billion dollars over budget and may have to close hospitals and clinics unless additional funds are allocated to the Department.  HR 2256 will allow lawmakers and VA officials to better make decisions to improve access to veterans care.  

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 Responds to Obama's VFW Speech

2015/07/21

Washington, D.C. - President Barack Obama spoke today at a VFW Hall to address the state of the Veterans Affairs hospitals across the country.  This address comes on the heels of reports that wait times have not improved at the VA and have, in some cases, gotten worse since last year's scandal was brought to light. 

"Through the Committee on Veterans Affairs, I have been working to reform the culture of "bureaucrat-knows-best" that has failed our veterans at VA clinics across the country.  I call on the President to be a willing partner in this reform.  Veterans deserve and have earned access to the highest-quality health care in our nation, and instead of defending bureaucratic incompetence, I urge the President to get past the excuses and join us in finding solutions to fix this broken system," said Dr. Dan Benishek, Chairman of the Subcommittee on Veterans Health.

The President's speech follows an announcement that despite having their budget increased every year for the past decade, the VA is currently facing a $3 billion cost overrun that could lead to the closure of hospitals and clinics across the country.    

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 Votes in Favor of Veterans Entrepreneurship Act

2015/07/14

Washignton, D.C. - Yesterday evening, Dr. Dan Benishek voted in favor of H.R. 2499, the Veterans Entrepreneurship Act.  This bill would make it easier for veterans to get the capital needed to start their own business by waiving the upfront guarantee fee on Small Business Administration 7(a) Express Loans.

"So many veterans are struggling to integrate back into civilian life after they return home.  Bills such as these ease that transition and help our vets use the skills they have acquired to grow our economy and create jobs in Northern Michigan," said Dr. Dan Benishek, who is the only Michigan member serving on the House Veterans Affairs Committee.

The Veterans Entrepreneurship Act passed on a widely bi-partisan basis, and now heads to the Senate for further consideration.  

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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Dr. Dan Benishek Votes in Favor of 21st Century Cures

2015/07/14

Washington, D.C.-  Dr. Dan Benishek voted in favor today of the 21st Century Cures Act, a bill that will remove barriers to research by creating access to health data that can inform new therapies and treatments. Additionally, the bill will modernize clinical trials by allowing for increased use of patient-generated registries to speed the recruitment of participants. 

"As a doctor, I know that there are many life-saving cures caught up in the regulatory morass of the federal government.  We need to incentivize and encourage medical innovation, and that is exactly what the 21st Century Cures Act does," said Dr. Benishek who worked as a surgeon in Northern Michigan for over thirty years. "I am so grateful for the work of my colleague, Rep. Fred Upton, on this issue, and I look forward to seeing this bill advance in the Senate."

In addition to providing more tools to those seeking to research new cures, the 21st Century Cures Act provides regulatory certainty to those who are developing new medical apps for consumer use.  The bill also creates an "Innovation Fund" of $1.75 billion that will support young scientists through the National Institute of Health. 

H.R. 6 passed the House on a widely bi-partisan vote of 344 to 77 and now heads to the Senate for further consideration.  

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Contact Information

514 Cannon HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Phone 202-225-4735
Fax 202-225-4744
benishek.house.gov

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

Bill Huizenga

MICHIGAN's 2nd DISTRICT

Justin Amash

MICHIGAN's 3rd DISTRICT

John Moolenaar

MICHIGAN's 4th DISTRICT

Fred Upton

MICHIGAN's 6th DISTRICT

Tim Walberg

MICHIGAN's 7th DISTRICT

Mike Bishop

MICHIGAN's 8th DISTRICT

Candice Miller

MICHIGAN's 10th DISTRICT

Dave Trott

MICHIGAN's 11th DISTRICT

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