U.S. Rep. Fred Upton, R-St. Joseph, today released the following statement marking the one-year anniversary of the Feb. 20, 2016, Kalamazoo shootings:
"One year ago, a madman attempted to rip our community apart. These inexplicable actions reverberated across the country and brought to our corner of the state a level of pain we have never experienced before. But now, we stand together stronger than ever against hatred and violence.
“We remember the six victims snatched from our world far too soon: Mary Jo Nye, a well-respected English teacher; Barbara Hawthorne, a former Kellogg’s employee; Dorothy Brown, known in her neighborhood for her herb garden; Mary Lou Nye, a preschool and early childcare advocate; Tyler Smith, a well-liked student at Mattawan High School; and Richard Smith, a construction manager and loving father and husband.
“We also keep in our hearts and minds the two fearless survivors. Abigail Kopf, whose courage in the face of unimaginable pain serves as a daily reminder of bravery and hope, and Tiana Carruthers who selflessly put herself in harm’s way without thinking twice. We again thank our law enforcement and first responders who prevented this tragedy from being even worse.“The pain of the past never fully recedes, but when we look to the horizon – to a bright new day – we are able to find hope and renewed spirit amongst our friends, neighbors, and fellow community members. On this day of solemn remembrance, we do not turn to the right nor to the left, but instead we turn from evil.” Read More
U.S. Rep. Fred Upton, R-St. Joseph, today joined his colleagues in the U.S. House of Representatives in advancing a pair of bipartisan bills to help our nation’s veterans.
“Voting to improve the lives of our brave men and women in uniform is always the easiest vote for me to make. Tonight was no different,” said Upton. “A major problem for returning veterans, especially those serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, is finding civilian employment. These bipartisan bills will encourage businesses here in Southwest Michigan and across the country to hire and retain our veterans. I was proud to support these common-sense bills, applaud their bipartisan passage, and look forward to their swift consideration in the Senate.”
H.R. 244, the HIRE Vets Act, sponsored by U.S. Rep. Paul Cook, R-California, requires the Department of Labor (DOL) to establish the HIRE Vets Medallion Program within two years of enactment, to annually recognize private-and-public sector businesses for their efforts to employ veterans. H.R. 244 was advanced by the House on a bipartisan 409 to 1 vote.
H.R. 974, the Boosting Rates of American Veteran Employment (BRAVE) Act, sponsored by U.S. Rep. Kathleen Rice, D-New York, allows the Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs, when awarding procurement contracts for goods or service, to give preference to government contractors that employ veterans on a full-time basis. The bill would also allow the Secretary to debar contractors who purposely misrepresent their employment of veterans to receive a contract. H.R. 974 was advanced by the House on a bipartisan 407 to 0 vote.Read More
U.S. Rep. Fred Upton, R-St. Joseph, joined colleagues on the Congressional Great Lakes Task Force in sending a bipartisan letter to President Donald J. Trump encouraging the new administration to work with the task force in advancing priorities vital to protecting and promoting the Great Lakes.
“Growing up on the shores of Lake Michigan instilled in me a deep appreciation for our Great Lakes,” said Upton. “I have always worked in a responsible, bipartisan manner to improve the health and beauty of these precious natural resources. I appreciate the new administration’s willingness to engage on these important issues and look forward to working with them to promote, strengthen, and preserve our Great Lakes.”
The letter highlights several initiatives important to the Great Lakes Task Force, a bipartisan, Congressional Members Organization with the mission of advocating for the strongest policies and programs that enhance the Great Lakes. Those initiatives include:
· Funding for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI)
· Responding to the threats of nonnative invasive species such as Asian Carp
· Improving and upgrading water infrastructure, including investments to modernize the Soo Locks in Sault. Ste. Marie
You can read the full letter online here.
Upton has a long history of fighting for the Great Lakes. From keeping pollutants out of Lake Michigan, leading the successful effort to ban synthetic plastic microbeads, championing pipeline safety legislation, fighting invasive species such as Asian Carp, and more. Learn more about his work here.Read More
By Rep. Fred Upton and Sen. Gary Peters
Forget about “The Jetsons.” The future of the automobile is here and the automotive industry is completely revolutionizing how we will get around for decades to come. Thanks to the 75th Washington Auto Show, which closed on Sunday, consumers have had the opportunity to see new technological leaps and bounds from automakers that are making today’s vehicles bolder, more fuel-efficient, interconnected, and, in some cases, able to drive themselves. It's an exciting time for automakers, innovators, and consumers alike. Our home state of Michigan is leading the way in developing, testing and deploying the cars and trucks of the future.
As the birthplace of the automotive industry, Michigan is a well-known home to innovative suppliers and manufacturers that make our cars and trucks safer, more efficient and more affordable. But Michigan also has a dense nexus of engineering talent, automotive research and development centers, and universities that are developing cutting-edge vehicle innovations.
The American Center for Mobility in Ypsilanti—a world-class, collaborative testing facility—was recently designated by the U.S. Department of Transportation as a national proving ground for connected and automated vehicle technology. This 330 acre testing center will be built on the site of the former Willow Run Powertrain plant—known for building the B-24 bomber during World War II—and will bring together government, academia and industry to test new technologies in real-world conditions, including Michigan’s four seasons of weather that bring snow and ice. Along with the nine other sites designated by DOT, the American Center for Mobility keeps the United States at the forefront of this globally competitive new frontier in innovation.
These technologies also have the potential to stop accidents before they happen. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), more than 35,000 Americans died in traffic accidents last year—a seven percent increase in fatalities on our roadways from the previous year. NHTSA also found that 94 percent of roadway fatalities are tied to human error. Connected and automated vehicle technologies have tremendous potential to cut congestion, strengthen our economy, increase consumer access, and save thousands of lives.
As automakers and developers test and validate these technologies to get them ready for our roads, government must work to ensure that federal policies are keeping pace with the exponential advances in innovation. The rapid emergence of crash avoidance and driver assistance tools available to consumers today are the building blocks that will lead to fully autonomous vehicles in the next few years. Last fall, NHTSA released the Federal Automated Vehicle Policy to guide the development of automated driving technologies, and educate and prepare consumers for full-scale deployment. This guidance offers a strong framework to ensure these lifesaving technologies are safe and secure. Moving forward, Congress must continue to build on these efforts to encourage further innovation and development of self-driving vehicles, and ensure consumers are informed about their capabilities.
The future of mobility is bright, and the Washington Auto Show offered consumers and policymakers a firsthand look at these pioneering technologies. The federal government will play a critical role in bringing together stakeholders to ensure these lifesaving and transformative technologies reach their full promise. We look forward to continuing the valuable public discussion on the safety improvements and revolutionary changes self-driving vehicles are bringing to our society.Read More
U.S. Rep. Fred Upton, R-St. Joseph, introduced legislation, H.R. 829, the Prioritizing the Most Vulnerable Over Lottery Winners Act of 2017, in the U.S. House of Representatives that would strengthen Medicaid for those who need it most.
“Medicaid is meant to help the most vulnerable amongst us – not high-dollar Lottery winners,” said Upton. “Our common-sense solution would alter how Medicaid eligibility is determined for those lucky enough to hit it big playing the Lottery, while continuing to prioritize the low-income population the program is meant to assist. I will continue to work on a bipartisan basis to strengthen critical programs like Medicaid to ensure they best serve our communities.”
Under Medicaid regulations, income received as a lump sum, such as lottery winnings, is counted as income only in the month received. As a result, states are effectively not allowed to dis-enroll lottery winners from Medicaid. This forces taxpayers to bear the burden of paying the health care benefits for individuals who no longer require assistance. H.R. 829 will close this loophole by requiring states to count monetary winnings from lotteries of $80,000 or more as if they were obtained over multiple months, even if obtained in a single month.
In 2015, Upton created a Medicaid Task Force to strengthen and sustain the critical program and has a long record of working hard to ensure programs like Medicare and Medicaid are there for those that need them now and solvent for future generations.Read More
U.S. Rep. Fred Upton, R-St. Joseph, made the following statement regarding President Trump’s nominee to the Supreme Court:
“I carefully watched President Trump’s announcement and was pleased and vastly impressed with Judge Gorsuch’s credentials and gracious remarks. I have no doubt that he will serve our country with distinction and uphold our Constitution. I urge my colleagues in the Senate to quickly confirm him as they did unanimously before.”Read More
U.S. Rep. Fred Upton, R-St. Joseph, after careful consideration of the facts, today released the following statement:
“I fully support strengthening our screening processes and securing our borders, but this Executive Order needs to be scaled back. It has created real confusion for travelers and those who enforce the laws. I have heard from a number of local folks with valid concerns for themselves or loved ones as well from global companies that have legitimate worries relating to the international travel of their employees. A wiser course would have been to work with Congress to ensure that all visitors to our nation are properly vetted with appropriate documentation. Moving forward, I will continue to advocate for common-sense, bipartisan policies that protect America but also stay true to our values.”
Background: In late 2015, Upton openly rejected calls for a travel ban based on religion.Read More
When speaking about his 21st Century Cures Act, Congressman Fred Upton, R-St. Joseph, was not only excited about the future of research and medical devices, but the jobs that would come with them.
"For Southwest Michigan, the pharmaceutical industry is pretty big," Upton said. "My largest employers are Pfizer, Stryker (Medical). If you see a yellow stretcher in an ambulance, that was made (by Stryker)."
Upton has no concerns about the status of his Cures Act, or jobs in general, under a President Donald Trump Administration, saying "we have it locked down." He highlighted a shift at Stryker specifically over the past several years.
"Six years ago or so I was walking through a new Stryker facility in Portage. I don't know how many hundreds of thousand of square feet it was, massive facility," Upton said. "I was walking through with the then-chairman, Steve MacMillan. This is his first time in the building. I said 'Steve what do you think? Brand new sparkling facility.'"
MacMillan's response? According to Upton, the former Stryker executive wondered out loud if they should have built the new facility in China.
But in that time, Stryker has not only remained open in America, but has thrived.
"Two weeks ago I talked to the new chairman, Kevin Lobo," Upton said. "They were going to announce a $110 million expansion in Portage, lots of new jobs."
During the three-year fight for the 21st Century Cures Act, Upton and his colleagues realized that the research industry was moving overseas because the approval time for drugs and devices was much faster than in the United States, by a "50 percent margin," according to the congressman.
"This (law) is going to change that by expediting the approvals, and that's a really good thing for patients because we're gonna find those answers to cancer, lupus, alzheimer's," he said. "But we know when those approvals are in the United States, that's where those product are made.
"This is gonna be a pretty huge jobs bill. I'm excited about that."Read More
By Jordan Climie
Congressman Fred Upton, R-St. Joseph, had a simple idea: More could be done to foster the next era of medical innovations here in America. Patients needed a game-changer.
"We worked on this for a lot of years, three years in the running," Upton said. "We asked ourselves 'what could we do to find a cure for all these diseases that ail almost everybody?'"
The answer was the 21st Century Cures Act, legislation that will streamline processes toward treating and eliminating diseases that affect millions of people around the world.
With the Act signed into law by President Barack Obama on Dec. 13, 2016, $4.8 billion in spending will be available over the next 10 years to the National Institute of Health. Included in that will be:
- $1.45 billion for President Obama's Precision Medicine Initiative to drive research into genetic, lifestyle, and environmental variations of disease.
- $1.8 billion for the Beau Biden "Cancer Moonshot" to speed research.
- $1.5 billion for the BRAIN initiative to improve our understanding of diseases like Alzheimer's and speed diagnoses and treatment.
- Provide $500 million to the FDA.
- Provide $1 billion in grants to states to address the opioid crisis.
- Address the country's mental health crisis and help the one out of five adult Americans suffering from mental illness and substance abuse disorders receive the care they need.
"My first huge issue was doubling the money for the NIH," Upton said. "I remember going to see a University of Michigan researcher in Ann Arbor and he talked to me about literally packing up his U-Haul trailer with facts and info and submitting them to NIH, and he got a grant where he identified the breast cancer gene. Incredible."
The researcher went on to tell Upton that his research was funded over others, and he "pitied those who didn't because we probably missed out on a lot of advancements."
After that, Congressman Upton began work to shorten the time it takes to develop new drugs and devices to cure diseases, with Alzheimer's being one disease that needs attention.
"Alzheimer's will cost Medicare $1 trillion in the year 2050, so anything less that we spend is savings," he said. "We need to find a cure. We know a lot of people with Alzheimer's, it's painful for the individual but also painful for the family."
Upton and his colleagues on both sides of the aisle had dozens of roundtable discussions, according to Upton.
"Because we wanted to make it safe, we said 'you tell us what we can do as legislators to find cures for these diseases,'" he said.
There was a Michigan focus on these discussions as well. Experts were consulted during roundtables at the Homer J. Stryker M.D. School of Medicine on the campus of Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, at the Van Andel Institute in Grand Rapids, and the University of Michigan in Dearborn. According to Upton, 21st Century Cures will not only help Michigan patients, but also Michigan-based researchers, doctors, and innovators.
Upton gives credit to the Obama Administration, namely his Vice President.
"(Joe) Biden was really the point person," Upton said. "When Biden was in the chair (during the Senate vote), he was visibly weeping. I had met with him just prior to that and he gave me a big hug because he knew we were part of the big change to name it the Beau Biden ("Cancer Moonshot"). Even the Senators who opposed it went up to him to say 'I'm sorry for voting against it.'"
But the bill process wasn't without its problems, especially when it came to making sure this would have no effect on taxpayers. The Congressional Budget Office signed off on the bill, giving the all-clear to proceed. But when it came for a vote on the Senate floor after passing the House, the Senate used the money set aside for the 21st Century Cures Act for their own bills, leaving Upton without the financial support needed.
"They pick-pocketed me," he said. "We came back with more pay-fors (money set aside to help fund legislation) but didn't telegraph what they were. We kept them in the drawer until the end."
A month after the bill became law, Upton is already seeing positive changes.
"The National Cancer Institute already has promulgated regulations streamlining the testing of cancer drug formularies - 150 drugs, that will streamline the cancer trials by months, directly because of the Cures Act," he said. "Already we're making great progress in funding this fiscal year, not only for mental health, but cancer and opioids. We found a way."
Read online, via the Holland Sentinel, here.
U.S. Rep. Fred Upton, R-St. Joseph, joined Energy and Commerce Chairman Greg Walden, R-Oregon, and Subcommittee on Environment John Shimkus, R-Illinois, in releasing the following statement after President Trump signed executive actions regarding the Keystone and Dakota Access pipelines.
“We welcome today’s news and we’re looking forward to working with a president and an administration that value American energy affordability, jobs, security, and new infrastructure development. It is time for the federal government to stop picking winners and losers in the energy sector.”
Upton has been a long-time bipartisan leader in pursuing an “all-of-the-above” energy strategy and also working to ensure our pipeline infrastructure is as safe and secure as possible.Read More
2183 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515
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.
Retweeted by housecommerce
Retweeted by housecommerce
Retweeted by housecommerce
Retweeted by housecommerce
Retweeted by housecommerce
I said on the House Floor last year that this tragedy would not define, divide, nor defeat us. Inspiring to be part of such a strong community
One year ago, a madman attempted to rip our community apart. These inexplicable actions reverberated across the country and brought to our corner
Honored to have the chance to speak at the Community Discussion “Conversation on Respecting Diversity” in Kalamazoo today. We have fantastic
Great to meet with passionate patient advocates from Sodus today! Discussing NIH pain research funding and the opioid epidemic that is plaguing
Fantastic meeting today w Muscular dystrophy advocates from Kalamazoo!