WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Fred Upton, R-St. Joseph, today met with Kalamazoo Central High School student Grady Hively to congratulate him in person on wining the Congressional Art Competition for Michigan’s Sixth Congressional District – which is represented by Upton. Hively, 16, and his mother Nancy, were in Washington, D.C., for a reception featuring the winning artists from congressional districts around the country.
“It was great to finally meet Grady and his mom who traveled all the way from Kalamazoo to see Grady’s great work displayed in the U.S. Capitol,” said Upton. “It was a special moment for sure. Fostering emerging and young artists as they develop their talent is one of the best parts of the job and after chatting with him today I expect big things from Grady in the future.”
Hively’s pastel of the Castle, which was built in 1895 by one of the city’s prominent business owners, Frank Henderson, was done as part of the classes he’s been taking at the Kirk Newman Art School at the Kalamazoo Institute of Art.
“We are delighted to be the inspiration for this wonderful work of the art,” said Francois Moyet, owner of The Henderson Castle Inn. “It’s a fantastic opportunity for the public to see it and the work beautifully showcases a prime site in Kalamazoo. We are very proud of it. The artist did amazing work. I myself will be flying to D.C. in the next two months to see the art hanging in the U.S. Capitol. It’s very exciting.”
To learn more about the Congressional Art Competition please click here.
To view additional pictures please click here.
After learning of the death of Elson Floyd, former president of Western Michigan University, who recently took leave from his position at Washington State Univerisity, Congressman Fred Upton, R-St. Joseph, issued the following statement:
“Elson Floyd was a dear friend whose great work at Western Michigan University propelled him into the ranks of top college presidents in the United States, following in the footsteps of Diether Haenicke and blazing the trail for John Dunn. I learned lifelong leadership lessons from Elson. He helped the community in the areas of economic development and was wonderful at Washington State University. I know my colleague Cathy McMorris Rodgers shares my observations. He was a true friend.”Read More
BENTON HARBOR, Mich. – As part of this year’s “Lest We Forget” Tribute to Vietnam Veterans, Congressman Fred Upton, R-St. Joseph, presented service medals to the sisters of 2nd Lt. Jay Barklow Martine, who was killed in action July 18, 1967, in Vietnam.
“It is an absolute honor to be able to present these medals to the sisters of Jay Martine, who so courageously fought for our country and lost his life in the effort,” Upton said. “We must always take time to remember our brave veterans and service members – and especially their families – who have given so much in support of our great nation and to say ‘Thank you.’”
Muriel Martine and Marci Rendell, both of Coloma, were presented several medals earned by their brother, a Buchanan resident who was the first from the area to die while serving in Vietnam. He received full military honors at his burial.
The medals presented to Martine’s sisters are replacements of the originals, which were lost in a house fire several years ago. Upton staff assisted in obtaining the medals.
Martine earned the Bronze Star for bravery, acts of merit or meritorious service; the Purple Heart, awarded to those who are killed or wounded while serving; the National Defense Service Medal for honorable active military service; and the Vietnam Service Medal, which is awarded to those who served in Vietnam. Also presented was the Republic of Vietnam Campaign Ribbon, an Expert Badge with Pistol Bar and Sharpshooter Badge with Rifle Bar.
Martine, who was born in Niles and raised Buchanan, graduated from Galien High School in 1962. He entered the Army in 1966. After graduating from Officer Candidate School, he was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in 1966. An Infantry Unit Commander, he died of a gunshot wound while serving in the Quang Ngai Province of South Vietnam.Read More
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Fred Upton, R-St. Joseph, and members of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce today advanced H.R. 6, the 21st Century Cures Act, by a unanimous 51-0 bipartisan vote.
“This historic day marks a big bipartisan step forward on our path to cures,” said Upton, who chairs the committee. “We have all said too many early good-byes to people we love and treasure. Every single person has a common goal: we want more time with those we love. In this, the greatest country in the world, Americans deserve a system second to none. We can and must do better. The time for 21st Century Cures is now.”
The 21st Century Cures Act is the product of more than a year of listening to patients, care givers, innovators, regulators, and researchers. During the conversation, the committee received countless ideas in response to committee white papers, eight Health Subcommittee hearings, and more than a dozen roundtable discussions hosted by both the committee and members in their districts across the country – including one at the Western Michigan University Homer Stryker M.D. School of Medicine.
In January, the committee launched the legislative phase by circulating a discussion document, which included a number of ideas proposed by both Republicans, Democrats, and throughout the year-long listening session. The Subcommittee on Health held a hearing on the discussion document on April 30, 2015. Subcommittee members then met on May 14, 2015, to consider the discussion draft before voting to forward the bill to the full committee.
Learn more about H.R. 6 here.
Learn more about the 21st Century Cures initiative here.Read More
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Fred Upton, R-St. Joseph, joined the majority of his House colleagues in advancing six bipartisan bills aimed at helping U.S. veterans and their families as they make the transition from military to civilian life.
“Voting to support our nation’s brave veterans is the easiest vote we make,” said Upton, who also chairs the House Energy and Commerce Committee. “Our veterans and their families sacrifice so much for us and they deserve a 21st Century Department of Veterans Affairs that is accountable to them. I look forward to continuing to work with my colleagues in a bipartisan manner to ensure that our veterans and their families receive the quality support, care, and benefits they have earned.”
The package of bills approved by the House listed below:
H.R. 474, the Homeless Veterans’ Reintegration Programs Reauthorization Act of 2015, provides a full five-year extension of the Homeless Veterans’ Reintegration program, which provides services including grant money for job training programs, to help our veterans reintegrate into the working world.
H.R. 1038, the Ensuring VA Employee Accountability Act, requires the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to maintain all written reprimands and admonishments that a VA employee receives while working in the Department as long as they are an employee of the Department.
H.R. 1313, the Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business Relief Act, would allow a surviving spouse of a veteran who has a service-connected disability rating of less than 100 percent, and who does not die due to their service-connected disability, to retain the veteran’s small business status through the VA’s “Vets First” program for up to three years following the veteran’s death.
H.R. 1382, the BRAVE Act, allows the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to give preference to government contractors to award contracts for goods and services for businesses that employ veterans on a full-time basis. The bill would also require the VA to exclude contractors who willingly and knowingly misrepresent their employment of veterans.
H.R. 91, the Veteran’s I.D. Card Act, Directs the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to issue veteran identification cards for all veterans honorably discharged. Current regulations only allow veteran’s cards to be issued to those veterans who have completed time-in-service requirements or have received a medical discharge. H.R. 91 ensures veterans who serve the minimum obligated time receive an I.D. card.
H.R. 1816, the Vulnerable Veterans Housing Reform Act of 2015, allows veterans to receive benefits for low-income housing assistance while maintaining their eligibility for all housing calculations.Read More
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Fred Upton, R-St. Joseph, today lauded the speedy approval of two critical pieces of bipartisan legislation, the 21st Century Cures Act and H.R. 1321, the Microbead-Free Waters Act of 2015. Both pieces of legislation advanced through the House Committee on Energy and Commerce’s Subcommittee on Health by voice votes.
The 21st Century Cures Act is the product of more than a year of listening to interested stakeholders to gain feedback on what can be done to speed up the discovery, development, and delivery of life saving cures and devices. This feedback loop included a bipartisan roundtable at the Western Michigan University Homer Stryker, M.D. School of Medicine and in meetings with stakeholders and patients during a trip to Southwest Michigan with Rep. Diana DeGette, D-Colorado, in March. In January, the Energy and Commerce Committee launched the legislative phase of the 21st Century Cures initiative and in April, the Subcommittee on Health held a hearing on a draft discussion document.
“The history of health innovation is remarkable,” said Upton, who serves as chairman of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce. “But the future is where I’ve set my sights. I’ve got my eye on 21st Century Cures. And I want to ensure that the laws, regulations, and resources governing the quest for better and faster treatments keep pace with scientific advances. There is no cause more worthy, no challenge more urgent. We need 21st Century Cures, and we need them now.”
Click here to watch Upton’s opening statement
The Microbead-Free Waters Act of 2015 would prohibit the sale or distribution of personal care products containing synthetic plastic microbeads by January 1, 2018. This legislation would establish a national standard so manufacturers would not have to comply with the patchwork of state laws and protect U.S. waters including the Great Lakes.
“It’s hard to believe something smaller than a pinhead could cause such big problems, but that’s what is happening with synthetic plastic microbeads in cosmetic products,” said Upton. “This issue is so important to Southwest Michigan and the entire Great Lakes Region. This is an important bill in protecting the beauty and cleanliness of the Great Lakes and I look forward to moving it through the legislative process.”
To learn more about these two pieces of legislation, please click here.
To view pictures from today’s subcommittee markup, please click here.Read More
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Fred Upton, R-St. Joseph, today met with Van Buren County Deputy Brian Matthews to congratulate him for being honored today at the National Police Officer Memorial for winning “Officer of the Month” in June of 2014 by the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund.
Matthews and other officers were returning on a flight from a week of training in Arizona on March 2, 2014, when an officer from Muskegon suffered a stroke. Thanks to Matthews’s quick thinking and action, he was able to assist and stabilize the injured officer. The flight made an emergency landing, and the injured officer was quickly ushered to a local hospital where he was treated and released. Without Matthews providing assistance and steady calm, the injured officer may have suffered grave consequences.
“Thanks to Deputy Matthews’s quick thinking and steady action, he ultimately saved a life,” said Upton, who also serves as chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. “National Police Week is a time to reflect and thank those who protect and serve every single day. I offer a heartfelt thank you to Deputy Matthews, his family, and all of our brave police officers for their service and dedication to our communities and country.”
Van Buren County Sherriff Dale Gribler praised Matthews as well, “We are extremely proud of Brian. He is what all officers should aspire to be – an officer who is committed to his family and who is committed to providing quality law enforcement services to the public he protects.”
National Police Week draws attendees to our nation’s Capitol each year from departments throughout the United states as well as agencies from around the world to pay tribute to those who have died in the line of duty.Read More
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Fred Upton, R-St. Joseph, joined the majority of his House colleagues in advancing H.R. 1732, the Regulatory Integrity Protection Act of 2015. H.R. 1732, which advanced through the House by a bipartisan vote of 261-155, aims to protect U.S. waters and stop the Environmental Protection Agency’s flawed “Waters of the U.S. Rule” proposal, commonly known as “WOTUS” Rule.
“Tonight we came together and advanced common sense legislation that aims to fix a flawed proposed rule,” said Upton, who was an original co-sponsor of the legislation. “The proposed Waters of the U.S. Rule would have dire consequences for our Southwest Michigan economy and threaten jobs. Our bipartisan legislation aims to make life easier for Southwest Michigan farmers and private landowners, give local stakeholders a voice in the process, and provide fairness. I look forward to working with my colleagues in the House and Senate in order to move this critical legislation to the president’s desk.”
In March 2014, the Obama administration announced the proposed “WOTUS” Rule, which would allow the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to fully regulate bodies of water on private lands. This controversial proposal would bring waters on private property, typically off-limits to federal regulation, under strict jurisdiction and permitting requirements. The rule was developed without first consulting with local and state authorities or examining the potential impact on Southwest Michigan citizens, farmers, and other stakeholders.
H.R. 1732 ensures that local and state stakeholders have a renewed voice in this critical rulemaking process. It gives the EPA 30 days to withdraw the current flawed rule and charges the agency to develop a new proposed rule while performing real outreach and consultation with local stakeholders and those who would be most affected by the proposed rule.
For more information, including a list of groups supporting H.R. 1732, please click here.Read More
This week, in communities across the country – and here at home – we are celebrating the hard work, determination, and persistence of small business owners and local entrepreneurs by taking part in National Small Business Week. First established in 1963 by Presidential proclamation, National Small Business Week celebrates and recognizes the critical contributions of America's small business owners and entrepreneurs.
My top priority continues to be promoting job creation and economic growth here in Southwest Michigan. Small businesses are truly the backbone of our local economies; they help drive local economic growth, engage folks in a wide variety of commerce, and help develop local leaders for the challenges of the future. They also provide good-paying local jobs. Michigan small businesses alone employ 1.8 million workers, more than half of the state's private workforce in 2012.
In Southwest Michigan, we have small businesses and innovative entrepreneurs of all shapes and sizes. I had the pleasure of taking part in a "Small Business Crawl" in Kalamazoo last summer. I ate breakfast at a food truck, bought a small work at an art gallery and studio, toured an hourly studio rental business, and sampled food and drink at a craft brewery. What I learned was that while all small businesses are unique, they all work to bring our communities closer together, drive innovation, create good-paying local jobs, and increase America's global competitiveness.
Here in Congress it's our job to work toward facilitating a positive economic environment so that small businesses and entrepreneurs can thrive. Unfortunately, sometimes unnecessary regulations unilaterally imposed by Washington bureaucrats cut into the bottom line of Michigan entrepreneurs and small business owners making it more costly for them to do business and harder for them to create jobs. We need to work in a bipartisan fashion to cut red tape, create a fairer tax code, and rein in overzealous regulations so that small business owners and entrepreneurs can ply their trade, not push paper.Read the piece online in the Kalamazoo Gazette here. Read More
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today Congressman Fred Upton, R-St. Joseph, and members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Health held the first legislative hearing on H.R. 1321, the Microbead-Free Waters Act of 2015. The bipartisan legislation, authored by Energy and Commerce Committee Ranking Member Frank Pallone, D-New Jersey, and cosponsored by committee chairman Fred Upton, would require the Food and Drug Administration to prohibit the sale or distribution of personal care products containing microbeads by January 1, 2018. The legislation would also establish a national standard to protect the environment and ensure that manufacturers do not face a patchwork of State laws.
“Microbeads are those tiny little scrubbers in your soap, cleansers, and even toothpaste. On their own, they are nearly invisible, smaller than a pinhead. But once they’ve been flushed down the drain is when the problems begin,” said Upton during an opening statement. “Because they are so small, they escape water filtration systems and end up in our bodies of water, including the Great Lakes. I will not stand for any activity that puts our beloved Great Lakes in jeopardy. Simply put, microbeads are causing mega-problems.”
“Plastic microbeads are commonly-used abrasive agents in personal care products, such as facial cleansers and toothpaste,” said Dan Wyant, Director of the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality. “Microbeads were found in Great Lakes surface waters during a study in 2012 and 2013. Just as we don’t tolerate plastics littering our roadsides and filling our landfills, we should not allow plastics – of any size – to taint our beautiful Great Lakes. Michiganders love the Great Lakes, and they expect strong leadership on issues related to the lakes.”
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.
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Happy 4th of July - Have a safe and festive weekend celebrating the birth of our great nation. http://t.co/eFkqwvgy4u
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Above all, today is a day of celebrating our independence. A celebration of all that is America – our ideals, our principles, our friends,
Enjoyed giving an update this morning at the Lakeshore Rotary Club
Inspiring morning today at the groundbreaking for the new 9/11 Resiliency Plaza in downtown Benton Harbor.
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Everything you need to know about the bold, bipartisan 21st Century Cures Act, all in one place: http://energycommerce.house.gov/cures #Cures2015