Fred Upton

Fred Upton


Upton roundtable hears from MPI’s William Parfet, national health leaders


The House Energy and Commerce Committee heard this week from an all-star panel of leaders in the health industry as part of the committee’s bipartisan 21st Century Cures initiative. Launched this spring by Committee Chairman Fred Upton, R-St. Joseph, 21st Century Cures is taking the first-ever comprehensive look at how treatments are discovered, developed, and delivered here in the United States. By listening to experts from around the country, Upton can help determine how to best accelerate that process. By making sure federal policy keeps pace with advances in science and technology, we can get life-saving therapies and cures to patients faster while also keeping America the medical innovation capital of the world.

“The 21st Century Cures initiative affects every American as they, their families, or their friends have been affected by disease,” began Upton.

Among those sharing their expertise with lawmakers was the head of Mattawan, Mich.-based scientific research company MPI Research. William Parfet spoke about the need for collaboration between innovators in the private sector and government regulators to advance technologies and treatments at greater speeds and reduced costs.

“It’s so hard for regulations to keep pace. It’s so hard for regulations to really help allow for new innovative methods to be tested and used,” said Parfet, who is chairman and chief executive officer of the privately held firm.

Parfet was joined on the impressive panel by the Secretary of Health and Human Services Sylvia Burwell; National Institutes of Health (NIH) Director Francis Collins; Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Margaret Hamburg; philanthropist Michael Milken; renowned inventor Dean Kamen; and Dr. Dan Theodorescu, director of the University of Colorado Cancer Center.

“This really has been a collaborative effort, and we need everyone to continue providing us with specific ideas – none too big, none too small – about how we can make a significant reduction in the time and costs associated with the discovery, development, and delivery of safe and innovative new treatments and cures for patients who need them,” said Upton.

Members of the public may continue to submit ideas via The public is also encouraged to join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter using the hashtag #Path2Cures.

Click here to watch this week’s roundtable

 Click here to learn more about 21st Century Cures
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We will #NeverForget


Thirteen years ago this morning, our nation was shaken as nearly three thousand innocent men, women, and children lost their lives in the September 11th terrorist attacks. We will never forget the horrific events of that fateful day, nor will we forget those lives lost and the countless loved ones they abruptly left behind.

This Patriot Day, flags across the country will be displayed at half-staff as we remember the thousands of innocents tragically lost and honor those heroes who bravely answered the call to duty when their fellow Americans needed them.

We also keep in mind those who have continued to work around the clock to keep our nation safe and secure from future terrorist attacks – from our local emergency responders to the members of our Armed Forces. They put their lives on the line and take risks every day for us – we owe them and their families a tremendous debt of gratitude.

The world as we knew it was forever changed that morning through the acts of violent extremism. The brutal destruction, heartbreak, and bloodshed that most of us only recognized from overseas news reports, history books, or the movies became a reality upon our shores.

Ongoing instability in the Middle East and elsewhere reminds us that those who would use terror and violence against others to achieve their goals still exist. The terrorist organization ISIS poses a very serious and credible threat to the world and here at home. There is no question that we must destroy that radical threat before its terrors reach our shores. The United States should be part of a broad coalition of forces to get that job done, and I look forward to hearing the specific details of such a strategy in the days ahead.

We live in a much different world today than we did before the terrorist attacks of September 11th. While much has changed, our American values and resolve remain strong. Read More

Upton responds to President’s remarks on ISIS terrorist threat


Rep. Fred Upton, R-St. Joseph, issued the following statement in response to President Obama’s evening address to the nation on countering the terrorist organization ISIS. Upton joined fellow House Republican leaders earlier today for an hour-long closed-door briefing on ISIS and the evolving situations in Iraq and Syria.

“ISIS poses a very serious and credible threat to the world and here at home. There is no question that we must destroy that radical threat before its terrors reach our shores. The United States should be part of a broad coalition of forces to get that job done, and I look forward to hearing the specific details of such a strategy in the days ahead.”

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Upton, House vote to condemn administration’s unlawful Taliban prisoner swap


Congressman Fred Upton, R-St. Joseph, today supported a bipartisan resolution (H.Res.644) condemning the Obama administration for its failure to properly notify Congress before releasing five senior Taliban members from the U.S. Naval Station at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, in exchange for the release of U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl. The non-partisan Government Accountability Office (GAO) – the federal government’s independent internal watchdog agency – found the action to be in violation of U.S. law, which requires Congress to be notified at least 30 days in advance of such a transfer. H.Res.644 passed by a vote of 249 to 163. 

“The administration broke the law, and in doing so deprived Congress of its responsibility to consider the sequences to our national security. The lack of accountability and regard for the law is appalling,” said Upton. “Time and again we have seen former captives return to the field of battle to take up arms against the United States and our allies. The five prisoners released in May were not casual observers; they were the ones the Taliban wanted back.” 

On May 31, 2014, the U.S. Department of Defense released the five detainees from Guantanamo Bay to the State of Qatar, which brokered the exchange between the United States and the Taliban. Pursuant to the agreement, these five individuals are to remain in Qatar for one year. Each of these detainees was a senior Taliban leader who previously had associations with al-Qaeda or had engaged in hostilities against the United States or its coalition partners.

In 2010, the Obama administration undertook an evaluation of the detainees at Guantanamo Bay to determine those who could be transferred. The evaluation concluded that the five men involved in the Bergdahl exchange were too dangerous to transfer. 

While the Obama administration failed to properly notify relevant congressional leaders and committees of the exchange, approximately 80 to 90 administration officials and an unknown number of Qatari officials received notification prior to the transfer. 

The GAO also found the administration to be in violation of the Antideficiency Act for spending nearly $1 million in excess of available appropriations to facilitate the transfer.

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Upton discusses energy geopolitics with Baltic constituents


Russian incursions in Ukraine and heightening tensions in Eastern Europe dominated today’s NATO summit in Newport, Wales, where President Obama met with other alliance leaders. Those topics were also at the forefront this evening at the Latvian Heritage Center in Kalamazoo as Congressman Fred Upton met with more than 60 local community members of Baltic descent.

“Seventy-five years ago, Soviet occupation of the Baltics resulted in the displacement, imprisonment, and death of thousands while their homelands were resettled. We will not stand idly by and watch as history repeats itself,” said Upton, who serves as Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. “The United States must stand firmly behind our Baltic and Ukrainian allies in the face of Russian aggression.”

To support our allies and bring greater stability to the region, Upton pointed to the United States’ growing supplies of oil and natural gas as a powerful diplomatic tool.

“Russia has chosen to use its resources as a force of extortion – we have the opportunity to use ours as a force for the global good. By supporting policies that embrace our newfound energy abundance, the United States can support job creation, bolster manufacturing, and take care of its own energy needs, and still have enough to provide relief for our Eastern European allies.”

Speaking yesterday in Estonia, President Obama also condemned Russian President Vladimir Putin’s continued aggression against Ukraine, and committed to helping Ukraine diversify its energy sources, stating, “No country should ever be held hostage to another nation that wields energy like a weapon.”

The U.S. House of Representatives is taking meaningful action to make that rhetoric a reality. On June 25, 2014, the House approved H.R. 6, the Domestic Prosperity and Global Freedom Act, with strong bipartisan support. The legislation would help expedite the U.S. Department of Energy’s approval of U.S. liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports and end the unnecessary bureaucratic delays blocking the shipment of gas to our allies abroad. The legislation provides a commonsense solution to help diversify Europe’s energy sources and will help loosen Russia’s grip on this region of the world. But despite the urgency for action and the overwhelming support for the measure, the Senate has refused to bring the bill to a vote. Read More

Upton Announces New Location of Constituent Service Office


Congressman Fred Upton, R-St. Joseph, announced the opening of his newly relocated constituent service office in St. Joseph/Benton Harbor. The office has moved half a mile from its former Ship Street location to 720 Main St. in St. Joseph. The office’s telephone and fax machine numbers remain the same.

“One of my most important responsibilities as a Member of Congress is providing assistance to individuals who are facing difficulties in dealing with the federal government,” said Upton. “Whether you are a veteran trying to access your benefits or obtain overdue service medals, a senior with questions about their Medicare or Social Security, or a family awaiting their passports before that big vacation, our well-trained team stands ready to assist. Our door is always open and we look forward to serving you.”

Upton represents Michigan’s Sixth Congressional District, which encompasses all of Berrien, Cass, Kalamazoo, St. Joseph, and Van Buren counties as well as most of Allegan County. Upton operates two full-time constituent service offices that provide vital assistance and resources to Southwest Michigan residents and businesses in dealing with the federal government. Upton’s second service office is located in downtown Kalamazoo, Mich.

Updated Office Contact Information

St. Joseph/Benton Harbor (NEW LOCATION)
720 Main Street
St. Joseph, MI 49085
(269) 982-1986
(269) 982-0237 (f)

157 South Kalamazoo Mall
Suite 180
Kalamazoo, MI 49071
(269) 385-0039
(269) 385-2888 (f)

Washington, DC
2183 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
(202) 225-3761
(202) 225-4986 (f) Read More

Upton hears personal stories of Alzheimer’s patient families, caregivers


The 21st century should offer the promise of using present-day methods of finding – and approving – medical drugs and devices, rather than being mired in 50-year-old practices, Congressman Fred Upton, R-St. Joseph, told a group of Alzheimer’s Association advocates.

“There is no reason we should be using methodology from half a century ago instead of harnessing the technology available to us today,” he said during a meeting with invited caregivers and patient family members to discuss Alzheimer’s and other dementia diseases at The Beacon Club in Portage. “The personal stories are tragically real and impact virtually every one of us in one form or another – whether it is a parent, spouse, or other loved one.”

This, Upton said, is part of the reason why his bipartisan 21st Century Cures initiative is in the midst of a months-long listening session, talking with researchers and regulators around the country on how to develop a faster and safer way to bring about development and approval of pharmaceuticals and medical devices in the United States.

Listening to those with personal experience of working and living with those with Alzheimer’s and other dementia is another spoke in the wheel of what drives his efforts, said Upton, who is also chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

“Alzheimer’s is a challenging disease,” Upton said. “There is no cure and its impact on friends and family is difficult and devastating. This is one of dozens of illnesses and diseases that impacts families across the nation. 

“We all need to have the best possible treatments – pharmaceuticals, procedures or devices – available to us and our families in the shortest amount of time possible in order to make sure we, or our loved ones, can benefit from them,” Upton said.

Alzheimer’s is the most expensive disease in the United States, costing $214 billion in 2014, said Lindsay Brieschke, director of public policy for the Alzheimer’s Association Michigan Chapters. The cost is on target to reach $1.2 trillion by the mid-century.

“It is critically important that our elected officials understand its impact on Michigan residents,” Brieschke said, adding that she was happy for a chance to discuss the impact with Upton.

“This (21st Century Cures) initiative has the potential to influence the future of Alzheimer’s and we are thrilled to see Congressman Upton’s support,” she said.

Click here to learn more about 21st Century Cures

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Upton Backs Fort Custer for Missile Defense


If a rogue nation like Iran or North Korea can send a long-range ballistic missile to hit the Eastern portion of the United States, the country should have a system in place to defend itself, says Congressman Fred Upton, R-St. Joseph.

The U.S. Department of Defense, through its Missile Defense Agency, is considering the Fort Custer Training Center in Kalamazoo and Calhoun counties as one of four possible locations to place an interceptor site capable of shielding the United States from such an attack. Upton strongly backs the local location as his choice, he said Thursday during the public scooping meeting at The Great Hall at the Sherman Lake YMCA in Augusta.

“Look, the technology exists for rogue nations – and well-funded terrorist organizations like ISIS -- to send a ballistic missile to try to knock out the Eastern Seaboard and other parts of the United States,” says Upton, who is also chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. “It’s not a question of if the Iranians or North Koreans will acquire such capabilities it’s a matter of when. But fortunately, we have the technology to knock that missile out of the sky. For such a critical national security mission, where better than Fort Custer?

“We’re talking about an investment of more than $3 billion dollars that could provide 300 full-time jobs and 1,800 project jobs during the life of construction that could go on for several years. In addition, having the Missile Defense Agency here would help secure Fort Custer’s place in the military hierarchy.”

The Fort Custer Training Center straddles the Kalamazoo and Calhoun county lines, which falls in part of Upton’s district.

The Thursday night public meeting was to inform area residents of the potential project and review the scope of the environmental impact statement if the interceptor site is to be located at Fort Custer.

Upton personally toured the two potential deployment sites at Fort Custer before attending the evening’s public meeting.

“No doubt the folks at the Missile Defense Agency have been impressed by what they’ve seen here in Southwest Michigan and the warm welcome they’ve received. Fort Custer has a lot to offer in the way of being able to accommodate the requirements of ground-based defense system,” Upton said. “What’s more, our region comes readily equipped with the infrastructure – transportation, energy, housing, you name it – that a project of this magnitude requires.”

Three other sites are under consideration in Maine, Ohio and New York state. While the Department of Defense has not made a decision to construct continental interceptor site, the Missile Defense Agency has been asked by Congress to investigate each site.

“I’m sure the local and state governments are going to be able to work out what is necessary to try to bring this to Fort Custer,” Upton said. “Gov. Snyder is on record backing it. It’s going to bring good jobs to the area and a sense of peace the country.

“The program should be located here.” Read More

Upton, FCC Commissioner Discuss Public Safety Communications needs


In the aftermath of the 9-11 terrorist attacks, when first responders learned they couldn’t communicate with one another on their radios because agencies used different frequencies, the Federal Communications Commission began work to provide a national public safety communications network.  

It was “a critical recommendation” from the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States (The 9-11 Commission) to “have interoperability among first responders,” said Congressman Fred Upton, R-St. Joseph, during a press conference Friday with FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai. 

“This is of the utmost importance to the safety and well-being of our first responders, not just here in Southwest Michigan but throughout the country,” said Upton, who serves as Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which has primary jurisdiction over communication and technology issues. 

Upton and Pai met with a dozen representatives of law enforcement agencies throughout the Sixth Congressional District and the director of Michigan’s Public Safety Communications System to talk about the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet), its benefits and challenges. 

FirstNet grew from passage of the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012. It calls for using a portion of the proceeds from commercial spectrum auctions to fund FirstNet and its mission to provide nationwide broadband communications for first responders.  

“No one wants this to fail,” Upton said of the sale. 

Pai agreed. “This will be the first time something like this has been done,” he said. “It is complicated. 

“But, hopefully, with the guidance of public safety officials, we can deliver. I know I will take what I have learned today from my meeting here to heart and let officials in Washington know how this affects people on the ground, those actually using the system as it is today.” 

Kalamazoo Township Police Chief Tim Bourgeois lauded Upton and Pai for listening to local law enforcement leaders about concerns they have as FirstNet rolls out. 

“Fred’s been great to work with on this issue and it’s helped make Michigan a leader in this area. The fact the commissioner came and met with us says volumes about his commitment to get it right,” Bourgeois said. 

Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety Deputy Chief Karianne Thomas added: “As we look to the future, these are the types of innovations the next generation of public safety officers are going to need in order to do their jobs. We have to give them the right tools.”

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MLIVE: FCC Commissioner discusses nationwide public safety network with Southwest Michigan first responders


By Aaron Mueller -

Congressman Fred Upton and FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai were in Kalamazoo Friday to discuss with local first responders plans for a nationwide public safety communications network.

During the meeting at the Kalamazoo Public Safety 911 Center, Pai and Upton shared details with public safety officials from across Southwest Michigan about how the network will be rolled out.

In 2012, the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act called for the construction of the first high-speed, nationwide wireless broadband network for public safety.

Upton said the effort began in response to the 9-11 terrorist attacks, when public safety agencies across jurisdictional lines could not establish radio communications.

"The number one recommendation from the 9-11 Commission was that we have interoperability between first responders," Upton said.

Using nationwide 700 MHz spectrum, officials hope FirstNet will put an end to communications challenges between agencies.

The plan calls for the FCC in 2015 to auction spectrum for commercial use in an effort to raise $7 billion for the public safety network, known as FirstNet, Pai told reporters Friday.

Pai said the plan is the first of its kind, and he admitted constructing and maintaining the network will be a "complicated endeavor."

"But hopefully with guidance from Congress and public safety agencies, we can deliver," Pai said. "We are deep in the details of how this is all going to work."

Kalamazoo County Sheriff Ric Fuller said he supports FirstNet and said it will help communication between agencies locally and statewide.

"We have great concerns knowing that we live in a pipeline of communications that's (small) but we have a tidal wave of info that is coming toward this pipeline that in the end is not going to be able to get through," Fuller said. "It's going to take things like this auction to make sure we have the pipeline big enough."

Kalamazoo Township Police Chief Tim Bourgeois, who has been a state leader in public safety communication, said making FirstNet functional and efficient is critical for the future of first responder communication.

"We have one chance to do this, and we can't afford for it to go wrong," Bourgeois said, adding that FirstNet will help determine the effectiveness of communication for the next generation of first responders.

The spectrum auction was originally scheduled for this summer but was delayed to the middle of 2015 in order to work out the details of what FCC officials say will be a complicated auction.

Click here to read the full article online

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Contact Information

2183 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Phone 202-225-3761
Fax 202-225-4986

Committee Assignments

Energy and Commerce

Congressman Fred Upton (MI-06) is proud to represent the commonsense values of southwest Michigan. In 2010, Fred was selected by his House colleagues to serve as Chairman of the Committee on Energy and Commerce, which has jurisdiction over matters concerning energy, healthcare, the environment, telecommunications, commerce, manufacturing, and trade, as well as oversight and investigations.

Prior to his election to Congress, Fred worked for President Ronald Reagan in the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). While at OMB, he learned from President Reagan’s example that it does not matter who gets the credit, as long as the job gets done.

Fred has a well-earned reputation for getting things done in Washington and at home in southwest Michigan. The South Bend Tribune writes that Fred “attacks government spending and wants tax cuts retained and the budget balanced.” Fred’s hometown paper, The Herald Palladium, praises Fred as someone who has “consistently fought against out-of-control spending and bigger government” and has “always treated constituent services as a vital part of his job.”

Fred’s top priorities are job creation and economic growth in southwest Michigan.

Fred strongly supports an “all of the above” energy strategy that puts a greater emphasis on domestic energy production, the advancement of breakthrough technologies, and the development of safe nuclear power. Fred has also been a leading opponent of overreaching federal regulations that stifle economic growth, harm jobs, and raise energy costs for Michigan families and businesses.

Fred values our constitutional system of government checks and balances. Fred is focused on ensuring the federal government remains limited, transparent, and accountable, as our Founding Fathers intended. As Energy and Commerce Chairman, Fred has led the over-year-long investigation of Solyndra, the now-bankrupt solar company that was the recipient of a half-billion dollar Department of Energy loan guarantee.

Fred has also worked to increase the deployment of telecommunications services as well as ensure that free speech and private innovation remain the hallmarks of this industry by opposing needless regulation. Fred helped oversee the successful transition from analog to digital broadcasting – one of the top priorities of the 9-11 Commission. Fred has also worked to guarantee that our children are protected from online predators and indecent material.
Fred has pushed for a greater emphasis on biomedical research to improve the public health. As Energy and Commerce Chairman, one of Fred’s top priorities is to repeal the President’s controversial healthcare law and replace it with commonsense, market-based reforms that benefit patients, doctors, and employers.

Fred was born on April 23, 1953 and holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Michigan. He and his wife Amey have two children.

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