Today is a special yet solemn day of honor and reverence as we recognize a basic truth that our country was forged, and then protected, by those who have served and by those who have indeed made the ultimate sacrifice for the United States of America and our freedoms.
They were, and are, citizen soldiers. Brothers, sisters, husbands, wives, fathers, mothers, sons, daughters – brought together in uncommon circumstances but sharing a common goal: To serve their country and then make it back home to their families. And when our country needed them the most, they answered the call of duty without hesitation.
It is for those who left home, but did not return, that Memorial Day was created for.
Originally observed as Decoration Day after the Civil War in 1868, Memorial Day eventually came to honor all Americans who died in military service. Memorial Day now serves as an occasion to remember American soldiers and service members of all wars who perished while serving our country and to honor the many sacrifices made by them and their families.
So as we look forward to warmer weather and join with friends, families, and loved ones for backyard barbecues, parades, and festivals let us keep in our minds and hearts the sacrifices made by servicemen and women of the past. Let us also keep in our minds and hearts troops who are currently in harm’s way as we look forward to their safe journey home. We keep their families in our thoughts as well, as they sacrifice without their loved ones – always worrying about their lives.
Please join me in paying our solemn respects to the many generations of heroes who sacrificed their tomorrows so that we may enjoy our freedoms today. We are truly the land of free because of the brave.
Happy Memorial Day; God bless America.Read More
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Rep. Fred Upton, R-St. Joseph, today joined Michigan colleagues Dan Benishek, Mike Bishop, John Conyers, Bill Huizenga, Brenda Lawrence, John Moolenaar, Dave Trott, and Tim Walberg, in writing a letter to eight Great Lakes region governors. The letter strongly urges the governors to vote against a proposal by the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Basin Water Resources Regional Body to allow Waukesha, Wisconsin, to divert 8.2 million gallons of water per day from the Great Lakes.
“This request from Waukesha is precedent setting,” Members of the Michigan Delegation said in the letter. “We firmly believe the approval of this request would threaten the precious, finite resources provided by our Lakes. It takes all eight governors to approval the request for diversion. We ask that you use your vote to deny this request and protect all the Great Lakes states and their people.”
To read a copy of the letter, please click here.
To learn more about Upton’s work on Great Lakes issues, please click here.Read More
By U.S. Reps. Fred Upton and Bill Huizenga
The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) is the primary way Congress meets its most important constitutional obligation: To “provide for the common defense” of our country.
Last week, the House of Representatives advanced H.R. 4909, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017 by a bipartisan vote of 277-147. This is an important step toward strengthening our military and keeping our country safe.
Last September, we joined our colleagues on a congressional delegation tour of the military instillations throughout Michigan. This exceptional opportunity gave us the chance to see firsthand the important role Michigan has in shaping and leading our military. Seeing our men and women in uniform here at home strengthened our commitment to our military and their families.
Unfortunately, President Barack Obama does not seem to share this commitment. By threatening to veto this bipartisan legislation, the president is putting the lives of our men and women at risk.
Over the past 12 months, we have seen Russia, Iran and North Korea take increasingly aggressive positions against the United States. Elsewhere in the world, we have seen radical Islamic jihadists carryout horrific attacks in Brussels and Paris while continuing their assault against Christians, Muslims and Jews throughout the Middle East.
Now more than ever, our military must have the flexibility and capability to defend our citizens, our country and our interests across the globe at a moment's notice. The reality of the situation is our military is currently suffering from a readiness gap. For example, of the 271 strike aircraft in the Marine Corps, only 46 are available for flight operations. We must do better, and we need to make sure our troops have the tools and equipment needed to plan, execute, and complete their missions. This year’s NDAA makes specific investments into critical programs identified by our military leader to improve readiness and close this readiness gap that President Obama chose to ignore.
As our lives become more integrated with technology, the importance of cyber security also grows. Our future depends on a reliable and secure cyberspace for everything from civilian infrastructure and commerce to military logistics and communication. The 2017 NDAA elevates U.S. Cyber Command (CYBERCOM) to a unified command bringing together resources from each branch of the military rather than each having its own individual operation. It also fully funds $6.7 billion for cyber operations and readiness of Cyber Mission Forces, which directly impacts our CYBERCOM team in Battle Creek.
Furthermore, this year’s NDAA contains the annual restrictions against transferring detainees from the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to the United States or modifying facilities in the United States for housing detainees because using the closing of Guantanamo as a political bargaining chip would only hurt our efforts to fight terrorism. Our bill also prohibits the Department of Defense from using any funds to transfer the U.S. Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay back to Cuba.
This bipartisan bill also contains a well-deserved pay raise for our service members, and blocks the president’s ability to reduce their pay. We will continue to work on a bipartisan, bicameral basis as the NDAA moves from the House of Representatives to the U.S. Senate and then to the president’s desk. If the president follows through on this veto-threat, we will work to override his veto. Our men and women in uniform, and their families, deserve nothing less.Read More
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Rep. Fred Upton, R-St. Joseph, released the following statement after the House of Representatives voted last night to advance H.R. 4909, the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2017. The legislation was passed by a bipartisan vote of 277-147.
“Working in a bipartisan fashion, and an open process on the House Floor, we were able to advance meaningful legislation that will give our troops a pay raise, fund their training, and block the government from transferring Guantanamo detainees to United States soil,” said Upton. “At a time when unprecedented military and terror threats are playing out on a global scale we need a military that is properly prepared and there can be no excuses. Let’s work together to continue supporting our military for the 21st century by giving them the suitable tools they need to succeed in this new landscape.”
To learn more about Upton’s work to support our military, their families, and our veterans, please click here.Read More
By Louise Wrege
WASHINGTON — U.S. Rep. Fred Upton, R-St. Joseph, and Rep. Debbie Dingell, D-Dearborn, are working to raise money for FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics through the sale of a commemorative coin to honor Christa McAuliffe.
McAuliffe is a science teacher who died in the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster Jan. 28, 1986.
The bipartisan legislation, HR 5168, seeks to issue the coin to support FIRST’s efforts to mentor and foster STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education, according to a press release from Upton.
“FIRST Robotics is one of the premier groups in the country teaching our kids the benefits of science and math education,” Upton stated in the release. “Because of these opportunities, these kids will grow up to become inventors, engineers, small business owners and community leaders of all stripes.”
Dingell said in the release that she has seen firsthand the positive impact of FIRST Robotics.
“Students are not only getting hands-on experience with cutting-edge technology, they are graduating at higher rates and are more likely to pursue careers in science and engineering, where they will help tackle some of our most pressing future challenges,” she stated.
Upton and Dingell were joined by the original co-sponsors, Rep. Randy Hultgren, R-Illinois, and Rep. Suzanne Bonamici, D-Oregon.
U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-New Hampshire, has introduced similar legislation in the U.S. Senate.Read More
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Rep. Fred Upton, R-St. Joseph, recently received the 2016 “Medicare Advantage Champion” Award from the Coalition for Medicare Choices, a national grassroots organization of 2 million Americans working to protect Medicare Advantage. The award recognizes Upton’s commitment to protecting Medicare Advantage for the millions of older Americans and people with disabilities who depend on its coverage.
“I’m proud to continue supporting our seniors and those with disabilities who count on Medicare and Medicare Advantage,” said Upton. “I’m going to continue to be a bipartisan leader in this effort to strengthen these programs for those who need them now – and for those who will down the road.”Read More
Trying to get ahead of the opioid crisis
By Jim Dalgleish
ST. JOSEPH — For all its squabbles, there appears one thing Congress can agree on: America needs to get a handle on opioid abuse.
Furthermore, the old impulse to make it a law-and-order issue appears to have faded.
“We need to get away from incarceration,” U.S. Rep. Fred Upton, R-St. Joseph, said in a phone interview Friday.
The House last week by wide margins passed an 18-bill package designed to tackle the issue. Eleven of the bills came through the House Energy & Commerce Committee, which Upton chairs.
A Senate version passed in a 94-1 vote in March. Upton said he expects a conference committee by month’s end will begin to hammer out differences. He said he’s confident Congress will pass the appropriations to support grant programs created by the legislation.
“Not a day goes by when you don’t hear a story, a tear-stained story. They’re looking for help,” Upton said.
A Kaiser Family Foundation survey indicates one in five Americans have a family member who’s been addicted to prescription painkillers.
Among the problems is doctors overprescribing pain medications.
“I talked to a woman who had been in a hospital for back surgery. The doctor prescribed her 210 milligrams of a pain killer. She realized she was getting addicted and took herself to 30 milligrams,” Upton said.
The heroin problem has hit close to home for Upton. He said he knew heroin overdose victim Sam Stockman, the nephew of David Stockman, the man who brought Upton to Washington in the early ’80s to work in the Office of Management and Budget.
“This crisis does not discriminate between large and small, urban and rural, rich and poor,” Upton said in his committee’s blog site.
Sam Stockman, 25, died in 2014, and his grandmother, Carol Stockman, a former Berrien County treasurer, has been very public in bringing attention to the problem.
Upton said he has drawn energy from Carol Stockman’s efforts to shine a light on the problem.
“She has made a cause of this, for sure,” Upton said.
Highlights in the bipartisan package include a Good Samaritan bill similar to those championed in the Michigan Legislature by state Rep. Al Pscholka, R-Stevensville. The federal law would give immunity in federal courts to people who report overdoses to emergency responders.
There’s a bill mandating that veterans with emergency medical training get training to meet civilian regulations, including narcotics response. Another bill mandates an interagency task force to examine pain killer prescription practices.Read More
KALAMAZOO, MI – U.S. Rep. Fred Upton, R-St. Joseph, issued the following statement after learning of the death of Anna Whitten, of Kalamazoo, on Friday. Whitten was a long-time member Kalamazoo Community College Board of Directors, for whom one of the downtown Kalamazoo campus buildings is named. She was also an advisory committee member with the Kalamazoo Valley Museum, and had worked with numerous local organizations championing issues of education, civil rights, health care, and those incarcerated.
“Anna Whitten was more than a legend in Southwest Michigan,” said Upton, who has known and worked with her for decades. “She had the biggest heart and passion for so many in our community – particularly the most vulnerable. She demanded the very best and held us all accountable. We, indeed, have all lost a friend.”Read More
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Rep. Fred Upton, R-St. Joseph, joined his colleagues in the House of Representatives this week in advancing 18 bipartisan pieces of legislation related to the ongoing opioid and heroin epidemic sweeping through Southwest Michigan and the entire country.
“Abuse of prescription pain-killers and heroin has impacted every community – here in Southwest Michigan and across the country. As I’ve met with families throughout our corner of the state, it’s clear that this is an epidemic that has no boundaries and does not discriminate,” said Upton. “But we have to face this epidemic head on, and this week we’ve taken several important steps forward. We owe this effort to the past, present, and sadly, future victims of the opioid epidemic – our neighbors, friends, and family, across every part of the country and every demographic group. Our work will continue. We owe it to all of those in our communities who are suffering from addiction.”
To watch video of Upton’s remarks on the House Floor addressing the opioid and heroin epidemic, please click here. Upton also recently penned a blog post highlighting the efforts he’s taken over the past year to learn more about this epidemic, including inviting Cass County Prosecutor Victor Fitz to testify before the Energy and Commerce Committee, and how we should work together to try and solve it.
Of the 18 pieces of legislation passed, 11 were bills that moved through the Energy and Commerce Committee, which Upton chairs.
H.R. 1725, NASPAR Reauthorization Act
H.R. 1818, the Veteran’s Emergency Medical Technician Support Act
H.R. 3680, Co-Prescribing to Reduce Overdoses Act of 2016, as amended
H.R. 3691, the Improving Treatment for Pregnant and Postpartum Women Act of 2016
H.R. 4063, the Jason Simcakoski Promoting Responsible Opioid Management and Incorporating Scientific Expertise (PROMISE) Act
H.R. 4586, Lali’s Law
H.R. 4599, the Reducing Unused Medications Act of 2016
H.R. 4641, to establish an inter-agency task force to review, modify, and update best practices for pain management and how pain medication is prescribed.
H.R. 4843, Improving Safe Care for the Prevention of Infant Abuse and Neglect Act
H.R. 4969, the John Thomas Decker Act of 2016
H.R. 4976, the Opioid Review Modernization Act of 2016
H.R. 4978, the NAS Healthy Babies Act, as amended
H.R. 4981, the Opioid Disorder Treatment Expansion and Modernization Act, as amended
H.R. 4982, the Examining Opioid Treatment Infrastructure Act of 2016
H.R. 4985, the Kingpin Designation Improvement Act of 2016
H.R. 5046, the Comprehensive Opioid Abuse Reduction Act
H.R. 5048, the Good Samaritan Assessment Act of 2016
H.R. 5052, the Opioid Program Evaluation (OPEN) ActRead More
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Rep. Fred Upton, R-St. Joseph, and Rep. Debbie Dingell, D-Dearborn, last week introduced bipartisan legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives that will champion the FIRST Robotics program. Upton and Dingell were joined by original cosponsors, Rep. Randy Hultgren, R-Illinois, and Rep. Suzanne Bonamici, D-Oregon.
The bipartisan legislation, H.R. 5168, will issue a commemorative coin to honor Christa McAuliffe, the science teacher who tragically perished on the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster, in recognition of For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST), which was founded to inspire young people’s interest in science and technology. Funds for the sale of the coin will help support FIRST’s efforts to mentor and foster Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) education. U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-New Hampshire, has introduced similar legislation in the Senate.
“FIRST Robotics is one of the premier groups in the country teaching our kids the benefits of science and math education,” said Upton. “Because of these opportunities, these kids will grow up to become inventors, engineers, small business owners, and community leaders of all stripes. It’s vitally important that we continue to encourage this type of innovative learning and team building and I can think of no better way to help support these efforts than by honoring Christa McAuliffe, who inspired a generation of students and teachers to seek out science in order to engineer a better world. I look forward to working with my colleagues to get this bipartisan legislation passed.”
“I have witnessed the positive impact FIRST Robotics has had in Michigan for a long time and seen how smart, talented and creative the young people are who participate,” said Dingell. “Students are not only getting hands-on experience with cutting-edge technology, they are graduating at higher rates and are more likely to pursue careers in science and engineering, where they will help tackle some of our most pressing future challenges. We need to encourage this talent and creativity. This coin is a pathway to support these efforts and I am proud to work with Congressman Upton to encourage young people to be at the forefront of innovation and technology.”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.
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21st Century Cures - or "Cures" - is a nonpartisan issue that will have a profound effect on the lives of all Americans. The status quo isn't
We firmly believe the approval of this request would threaten the precious, finite resources provided by our Great Lakes.
The 77th Senior PGA Championship starts today!
It's so important that we recognize the people who protect us and put their lives on the line every day.
After helping lead months of negotiations, today the House passed a monumental update to our chemical safety laws by a huge bipartisan 403-12