Congressman Fred Upton, R-St. Joseph, announced today that Gabrielle Perrin, of Vicksburg, Mich., has been accepted to attend the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis, Md. Upton recommended Gabrielle for selection to the prestigious service academy last week and has personally congratulated her on the appointment.
Gabrielle is a senior at Vicksburg High School and also attends the Kalamazoo Area Math and Science Center.
“It is my great pleasure to announce Gabrielle’s appointment to the Naval Academy. This is the earliest appointment received by one of our local students in recent memory,” Upton said. “I spoke to Gabrielle last week and she was very excited with the appointment and opportunity to serve her country. It takes years of putting in the hard work to come this far. Gabrielle has excelled in the classroom and on the cross-country course, setting a good example for her peers. I have no doubt that great things are in store for this fine young woman.
“I encourage all local students who are interested in military service to contact my office.”
Upton nominates students to military service academies from Michigan’s Sixth District who have excelled in school and are interviewed by members of his Academy Advisory Board, which is made up of community leaders. The individual academies make the final decision on military appointments. Upton nominated Gabrielle and 16 other Southwest Michigan students to the United States service academies last week.
Students interested in attending a service academy are encouraged to contact Upton’s St. Joseph/Benton Harbor District Office for further information at (269) 982-1986.
The 17 service academy nominees for the 2015-2016 academic year have excelled academically as well as athletically at their respective schools and have gone through an extensive selection process, according to members of the advisory board for Congress Fred Upton, R-St. Joseph, who met with the students.
“One of my greatest pleasures as a Member of Congress is being able to nominate such talented students to our nation’s prestigious military service academies,” said Upton. “These young men and women follow in the tradition of some of America’s finest leaders and brightest minds. Each member of this group has undergone a rigorous selection process to get to where they are today. They represent the best that Southwest Michigan has to offer. We are so proud of their accomplishments and desire to serve their country.”
The selection process included an interview with Upton’s Academy Advisory Board, which is comprised of local community leaders. Upon approval by the board, the students’ names were given to Upton, who then officially nominated the students to the military academies. The individual academies will make the final decisions on military appointments. All applicants to military academies must be nominated by a Member of Congress, the President, or the Vice President.
“I encourage all area students aspiring to follow in the path of these students to contact my constituent service office in St. Joseph/Benton Harbor to learn more about the academies and nomination process,” said Upton.
Students interested in attending a service academy are encouraged to contact Upton’s St. Joseph/Benton Harbor District Office for further information: (269) 982-1986. They may also learn more about the academies by visiting Upton’s website at http://upton.house.gov/constituentservices/serviceacademynominations.htm.
Upton has nominated the following students for the class of 2019:
United States Military Academy
Matthew Robinson, Dorr, Hopkins High School
Tyler Zortman, Augusta, Sutton Park School
United States Naval Academy
Zoe Vlachos, Kalamazoo, Portage Northern HS/Kalamazoo Area Math and Science Center
Sawyer Hess, Gobles, Otsego High School
Kaylie Butt, Portage, Portage Northern HS/Kalamazoo Area Math and Science Center
Gabrielle Perrin, Vicksburg, Vicksburg HS/Kalamazoo Area Math and Science Center
Peter Sinkovitz, Richland, Homeschool
Noah Pollack, Kalamazoo, Portage Central High School
Aaron Sayles, Kalamazoo, Mattawan High School
Gyumin Lee, Sturgis, Seoul American High School
Gunner Harrison, Stevensville, Marion Military Institute
United States Air Force Academy
Daniel Christensen, Augusta, Gull Lake High School
Benjamin Lenning, Schoolcraft, Schoolcraft HS/Kalamazoo Area Math and Science Center
Hunter Simino, Portage, Portage Central High School
Nathaniel Wadas, Grand Junction, South Haven High School
Ellen Miota, Coloma, Grace Christian School
United States Merchant Marine Academy
Kelsey Ramirez, Stevensville, Lakeshore High School
While most breast cancers are found in women who are 50 years of age or older, approximately 11 percent of all new cases of breast cancer in the United States are found in women 45 and younger. House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton, R-St. Joseph, spoke on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives today urging immediate passage of H.R. 5185, legislation to reauthorize the Young Women’s Breast Health Education and Awareness Requires Learning Young (EARLY) of 2009. Introduced by breast cancer survivor Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., and Energy and Commerce Committee member Rep. Renee Ellmers, R-N.C., the bipartisan legislation renews programs related to young women’s breast health and breast cancer, including public education, research activities, and outreach and support for young women diagnosed with breast cancer.
“While diagnosis and treatment are difficult for women of any age, young survivors often find it even more challenging,” said Upton in his floor remarks. “The prevention, treatment, and ultimately curing of diseases requires an all-hands-on-deck effort to not only educate, but also innovate on new cures and treatments. Early this year, the Energy and Commerce Committee embarked on the 21st Century Cures initiative with the goal of finding cures and treatments for the thousands without one – including this terrible disease. Sadly, we have all been touched in some manner by cancer or some other disease – whether it’s a personal diagnosis or a courageous fight by a loved one. We have been encouraged and humbled by the support we have seen for this initiative, but also understand that there is a great deal of work ahead. We look forward to meeting that challenge and this bill helps us.”
H.R. 5185 passed the House by voice vote and now awaits action in the U.S. Senate.
This spring, Upton partnered with Rep. Diana DeGette, D-Colo., in launching the bipartisan 21st Century Cures initiative, which seeks to accelerate the discovery, development, and delivery of treatments and cures for patients facing life-threatening illnesses like breast cancer. Over the past year, Upton and his committee have gathered input from stakeholders – patients, health professionals, researchers, and manufacturers – to determine how to best improve the cures process. Upton and DeGette intend to unveil discussion draft legislation in January 2015.
More than 2 million Michigan adults have some form of a disability and that number is projected to increase by the year 2030, reports the Michigan Department of Community Health. We want to help give those families the opportunity to save for their future and long-term expenses, said U.S. Representative Fred Upton, R-St. Joseph, a supporter of the original Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
Upton joined his House colleagues this evening in passing bipartisan legislation – H.R. 647, the Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act of 2014 – to create tax-free savings accounts (ABLE accounts) for individuals with disabilities to cover qualified expenses such as education, housing, and transportation. Upton is a cosponsor of the ABLE Act, which passed the U.S. House of Representatives by a vote of 404 to 17 and now awaits action in the U.S. Senate.
“The ABLE Act empowers millions of Americans with disabilities, enabling them to save for their own future needs without jeopardizing the benefits and services they vitally depend upon,” said Upton. “Through access to tax-free savings accounts, we can help our most vulnerable maintain their health, independence, and quality of life.”
The creation of tax-free savings accounts for individuals with disabilities has been a top priority for disability rights advocates in Southwest Michigan.
"The ability to save money for housing or home modifications, assistive devices, accessible transportation, education & health care is critical for people with disabilities,” says Joel Cooper, President & CEO at Disability Network Southwest Michigan. “We hear from people with disabilities and family members who would like to put aside some money to pay for these necessities but cannot because they fear that this will jeopardize the health, housing, or community living supports they need to survive. We believe the ABLE Act will provide the security people need to negotiate the expenses that living with a significant disability brings.”
Under the ABLE Act, states would have the option to establish an ABLE program, under which eligible individuals with disabilities may establish an ABLE account. To be eligible, individuals must: 1) be severely disabled before turning age 26, based on a marked and severe functional limitation; or 2) receive benefits under the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Disability Insurance (DI) programs.
ABLE accounts would be modeled after existing 529 investment plans – named after section 529 of the Internal Revenue Code – that are already used by families to save for college expenses. ABLE account balances and withdrawals would not jeopardize an individual’s eligibility for Medicaid and other benefit programs.
Other key features of the program include the following:
Contributions into an ABLE account can be made by any person;
Contributions are not tax deductible;
Income earned by the accounts is not taxed;
Account withdrawals, including portions attributable to investment earnings generated by the account, for qualified expenses are not taxable;
Qualified expenses are those related to the individual’s disability, including health, education, housing, transportation, training, assistive technology, and personal support;
Individuals are limited to one ABLE account, and total annual contributions by all individuals to any one account can be made up to the gift tax limit ($14,000 in 2014);
Aggregate contributions to an ABLE account are subject to an overall limit matching the State limit for Section 529 accounts;
Individuals with ABLE accounts can maintain eligibility for means-tested benefits. ABLE account balances and withdrawals are completely excluded for the purpose of Medicaid and other benefit programs. In SSI, the first $100,000 in account balances is excluded; and
In the event a beneficiary of an ABLE account dies (or no longer has a disability) and has remaining assets in the account, the assets are first distributed to any state Medicaid plan that provided medical assistance to the beneficiary.
House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton, R-St. Joseph, today grilled Japanese automotive parts manufacturer Takata Corp. concerning its defective airbags, which have been linked to five deaths and resulted in more than 16 million vehicle recalls worldwide. Testifying before the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade, Takata was joined by witnesses from Toyota, Honda, BMW, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHSTA).
Upton expressed his outrage over the Takata’s inept response and the across-the-board failures of industry and federal regulators to keep American drivers safe.
“What should I say to the mom in Michigan who asks me if she and her family are safe behind the wheel?” challenged Upton. “Families across the country expect the safety devices in their vehicles to work; they expect them to provide lifesaving protection they can count on in the event of an accident. They expect problems from earlier models to be reported and fixed, and they expect to be able to get a defect repaired when they find out about it. But sadly, I can’t give those assurances right now.”
Immediately before this morning’s hearing, Reuters reported that in 2003 Takata conducted an investigation into an airbag failure in a BMW vehicle, but “concluded the problem was an anomaly.” This revelation follows other recent reports that Takata was testing its product for potential defects in 2004 – more than a year before the company initially claimed it learned of the airbag defects – reportedly at a Takata laboratory in Armada, Mich., and at a test facility in Auburn Hills, Mich.
Upton also called into question the failure of Honda to comply with the Transportation Recall Enhancement Accountability and Documentation (TREAD) Act, which requires manufacturers to report the information needed to help NHTSA quickly identify vehicle defects and remove those affected vehicles from the road. Upton authored the bipartisan TREAD Act in 2000 after spearheading an extensive investigation into the fatal Ford-Firestone tire malfunctions. On November 24, 2014, Honda announced that it had failed to report over 1,700 incidents since 2003 that were required to be reported under the TREAD Act’s Early Warning Reporting requirements.
This spring, Upton’s committee launched an investigation into General Motors’ and NHTSA’s response to consumer complaints related to stalling, airbag non-deployment, and ignition switch problems linked to 31 crashes and 13 deaths, including two teenagers from Upton’s own district.
“Cars are safer today, but not because a company hires lawyers and consultants to avoid reporting safety incidents,” continued Upton today. “Companies need to know that there isn't anything safe about shorting safety. We need more automakers to make safety a priority and institute safety incentives. In the case of GM, they acknowledged their safety failure, their CEO volunteered to testify, and they hired a new safety officer to implement company-wide culture changes. I’d like to see that same level of urgency, that same admission of mistakes, and that same commitment to do better today.”
Watch Upton’s opening remarks HERE
Watch Upton’s questioning with Takata and Honda HERE
Learn more about today’s hearing HERE
After peeking inside Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s, R-Alaska, energy manifesto Monday for clues on how she’ll run the Energy and Natural Resources Committee next year, we turn today to the corresponding plan by House Energy and Commerce Chairman Fred Upton, R-Mich.
Upton’s “Architecture of Abundance,” unveiled in a July speech, takes critical aim at “policies rooted in the old ideas of energy scarcity” to reflect the rapidly changing energy dynamics of the past several years.
That’s a sentiment expressed on both sides of the Capitol, where lawmakers from both parties have called for addressing issues associated with the fracking boom, including environmental concerns, infrastructure, and exports, to name a few.
Upton’s plan showcases the committee’s legislative work in the 113th Congress, in contrast to Murkowski’s proposal revealing a detailed look at her own thinking. The contrast reflects Murkowski’s time spent in the minority doing her homework and Upton’s having the luxury of legislating for the four years he’s been atop the powerful Energy and Commerce panel.
Upton’s committee has carefully laid the groundwork for a multitude of energy bills that have passed the House through regular order. As a result, the committee will be set to hit the ground running at the outset of the new Congress.
Remember that Upton, with the help of Energy and Power Subcommittee Chairman Edward Whitfield, R-Ky., and Environment and the Economy Chairman John Shimkus, R-Ill., has conducted a great deal of oversight during his tenure. Those efforts, which will be amplified through coordination with Senate GOP counterparts over the next two years, will also help shape policy.
House Republicans’ energy bills will find a much friendlier reception in a GOP-led Senate in the next two years than they found in the Democratic Senate for the last four years. The result may be less emphasis on sending message bills across the Capitol and more focus on finding areas of agreement with some Democrats, and even the White House, that could actually move energy legislation across the finish line.
Enacting an energy bill may be a heavy lift in the current political climate, but recall that a Democratic House and Senate overcame stark policy differences with President George W. Bush in 2007 to negotiate the last major energy law, the Energy Independence and Security Act (PL 110-140).
Upton’s plan is based upon five “pillars,” all of which have sparked bipartisan interest: modernizing infrastructure, maintaining diverse electricity sources; boosting U.S. manufacturing by overhauling federal permitting processes; energy efficiency and innovation; and “unleashing energy diplomacy.” Bipartisan efforts to legislate in these areas could lead to surprise breakthroughs on energy. …Read More
Michigan today leads the nation in manufacturing job creation, accounting for more than a half million jobs and more than 90 percent of the state’s exports, according to the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM). That is a record of economic growth and opportunity that we want to see continue, says House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton, R-St. Joseph.
Upton and his colleagues in the U.S. House of Representatives today passed important legislation that will boost manufacturing in states like Michigan and help create more jobs. H.R. 4795, the Promoting New Manufacturing Act, supports U.S. employers by providing them with greater transparency and timeliness in obtaining the federal permits necessary for new manufacturing. H.R. 4795 passed the House by a bipartisan vote of 238 to 172 and now awaits action in the U.S. Senate.
“The United States has all the ingredients to strengthen our domestic manufacturing dominance,” said Upton, who was recently recognized by NAM for his leadership on issues of importance to domestic manufacturers. “We have the affordable energy supply to run our factories, especially our growing abundance of natural gas. We have private investors willing to invest billions of dollars on new projects in America. We have a workforce that is second to none, but many of whom need jobs. And we have the technical knowledge to build manufacturing facilities that are the cleanest and most efficient in the world. All we need is a regulatory process that will allow it to happen.”
H.R. 4795 increases public transparency by requiring the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to publish on its website the total number of preconstruction permits issued; the percentage of permits issued within one year of the filing of a completed application; and the EPA Appeals Board’s average timeline for deciding appeals of preconstruction permit application decisions.
“We want to be a world leader in manufacturing, not in red tape,” continued Upton. “I am glad the President identified the potential of new American manufacturing in his State of the Union address, and acknowledged that there is red tape that needs to be cleared away. Passage of H.R. 4795 will help make this goal a reality for our job creators here in Southwest Michigan and across the country.”
H.R. 4795 also gives states and permit applicants the critical information they need by requiring the EPA Administrator to issue implementing guidance when publishing a final rule to establish or revise a national ambient air quality standard.
That was the theme when medical thought leaders converged on New York City recently for the Faster Cures Center of the Milken Institute’s “Partnering for Cures” conference where Fox News’ own Dr. Manny Alvarez was a panel moderator.
The event brings together medical experts, policy makers, industry leaders, and philanthropists to share ideas on how they can work together to speed the research and development of cures for the world’s most devastating diseases. …
Dr. Sangeeta Bhatia, a professor and director of the laboratory for multiscale regenerative technologies at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), who spoke at the meeting, said combining medicine and technology has paved the way for important discoveries in her own work.
“One of the key breakthroughs was using engineering technologies, the microfabrication tools that were developed for making computer chips, to instead make little liver tissues,” Bhatia told FoxNews.com. “And that combination of fields has really accelerated progress, so now we can make little human microlivers. They're as big as the head of a pin, and we can use them to predict how patients would respond to drugs, to make them safer, and also to make medicines to kill infections of the liver like hepatitis and malaria.”
Medical breakthroughs like Bhatia’s microlivers have caught the attention of policy makers who recognize the need to revamp the notoriously slow process of bringing medical innovations to the market.
“Most of our institutions, the [National Institutes of Health], the [Food and Drug Administration] — they were founded back before we did the kind of research that we do now so quickly,” said Rep. Diana DeGette (D-CO). “Right now, it costs up to a billion dollars, [and takes] 10 years to get a new drug approved, so our challenge is to figure out how to restructure these agencies, so we can move these drugs more quickly through so they can get to the patients.”
DeGette teamed up with Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI), chairman of the Committee on Energy and Commerce to create the “21st Century Cures” initiative – a bipartisan piece of legislation that aims to bridge the gap between the pace of medical research and governmental agencies which oversee its development into life-saving drugs and devices.
"[With] disease, it doesn’t matter if you’re a Republican or a Democrat or Independent … We want to solve these issues,” said Upton. “[There are] 7,000 diseases; we have cures for only about 500, and why can't we work together to try and help every family across the country in speeding up the approval of drugs and devices?”
Upton and DeGette plan to move their bill through Congress in 2015. Not only will “21st Century Cures” speed the process of curing some of the world’s most devastating diseases, Upton said, it will also create jobs and keep venture capitalists stateside.
Read the full story online here
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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This Congress, our House Committee on Energy and Commerce held 189 hearings, had 90 bipartisan bills pass the House, and saw 37 bills signed
Congratulations to Vicksburg High School's Gabrielle Perrin on her appointment to the United States Naval Academy! I spoke to Gabrielle last
Congratulations to the 17 Southwest Michigan students that have been nominated to our nation's prestigious military service academies. These
Thank you to House Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp, House Dean Rep. John D. Dingell, Senate Armed Services Chairman Carl Levin, and House Intelligence
It was my honor to speak on the House floor today in recognition of my good friend and colleague Rep. John D. Dingell for his years of service