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.
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The U.S. House of Representatives today approved bipartisan legislation introduced by House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton, R-St. Joseph, to ensure 1.5 million American satellite television viewers continue to receive broadcast programming. H.R. 5782, the STELA Reauthorization Act of 2014, extends for five years the Satellite Television Extension and Localism Act (STELA), which expires at the end of the year. The bill also includes a number of targeted reforms to better meet the needs of today’s video marketplace.
“The STELA Reauthorization Act is an important piece of legislation that ensures that millions of satellite TV subscribers continue to receive broadcast TV programming from their chosen satellite provider,” said Upton in his remarks on the House floor. “In addition to reauthorizing the distant signals offered by satellite providers, we were able to include targeted reforms that will in fact enhance the video marketplace and allow consumers to access the programming that they want, when they want it. These reforms are prime examples of the kinds of deregulatory changes we are looking at as we work to replace the 80-year-old Communications Act.”
The House approved Upton’s H.R. 5782 by voice vote. The extension must now be approved by the U.S. Senate and signed by the President before December 31, 2014.
Upton’s full remarks as delivered on the House floor follow:
Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I’m pleased to offer yet another outstanding example of bipartisanship and thoughtful policymaking from the Energy and Commerce Committee. The STELA Reauthorization Act is an important piece of legislation that ensures that millions of satellite TV subscribers continue to receive broadcast TV programming from their chosen satellite provider. We have reached across party lines and across the two houses of Congress to craft a compromise bill for this must-pass legislation that will improve the video marketplace for TV viewers across the country.
In addition to reauthorizing the distant signals offered by satellite providers, we were able to include targeted reforms that will in fact enhance the video marketplace and allow consumers to access the programming that they want, when they want it. These reforms are prime examples of the kinds of deregulatory changes we are looking at as we work to replace the 80-year-old Communications Act. They’re going to spur investment in communications networks, promote competition, and, yes, create needed American jobs.
For example, this bill eliminates the costly CableCARD integration ban that has increased the cost of cable-leased set-top boxes and makes them less energy efficient. Ultimately this is a double-whammy for consumers, because after being forced to pay for an unnecessary and antiquated technology, consumers then have to pay a penalty in the form of higher electric bills. Although we eliminated the whole mandate in our original bill that we passed through our committee, we worked with our Senate colleagues and agreed to sunset the provision in one year. This will provide time for the FCC to hold a working group on successor solutions to CableCARD without unduly delaying the benefits to consumers who choose to lease equipment from their cable provider.
This bill also evens the playing field for all video providers. It seeks regulatory parity for cable and satellite providers when it comes to protecting broadcast signals during Nielsen sweeps. It also provides satellite operators and broadcasters with the opportunity to modify local markets - like cable operators already have the ability to do. We hope that, in our update of the Communications Act, we can find additional ways to eliminate regulatory differences that no longer serve a meaningful, technical purpose or that distorts business and consumer incentives.
The bill provides other positive, bipartisan reforms, and it is our intent that as we update the Communications Act in the coming Congress that it continues along that very same path. That being said, the matter before us is the reauthorization of these provisions for the millions of satellite video subscribers that depend on them. The clock is ticking, and this bill will ensure when folks flip on their TVs, yes, their favorite show will be available, when they want to watch it. I would urge all my colleagues to vote for this bill as this Congress is quickly drawing to a close.
I particularly want to thank the Subcommittee on Communications and Technology Chairman Greg Walden, Ranking Members Henry Waxman and Anna Eshoo, and Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte as well as our respective staffs for the bipartisan and hard work on this important bipartisan legislation. I’d also like to thank our Senate colleagues, Jay Rockefeller and John Thune for their willingness to work with us to find common ground. I am proud of our committee’s record of bipartisan results. As we work toward the CommActUpdate next year to modernize our nation’s communications laws for the innovation era, continued cooperation will be critical to that success.
Without this bill, without this reauthorization moving forward, satellite viewers – millions of Americans – will have those sets turned off. It’s important that we reauthorize this bill and I’m pleased to do so in a very bipartisan way.
Southwest Michigan is invited to share the spirit of the season with our veterans, members of the military, and their families by participating in the Red Cross Holiday Mail for Heroes program. Now in its eighth consecutive year, the program allows Americans to express their warm greetings of thanks and holiday cheer with members of our Armed Forces.
Representative Fred Upton, R-St. Joseph, is encouraging area residents, schools, and community organizations to get involved in the nationwide program by sending personalized greeting cards of appreciation.
“A holiday greeting card is a simple but meaningful way to let our brave service members, veterans, and their families know how much we care,” said Upton. “The holidays are an especially important time to let these men and women know that we are grateful for their service and appreciate the daily sacrifices that they and their loved ones make for all of us.”
Beginning this year, the Holiday Mail for Heroes program takes on a different look as individual Red Cross chapters take complete control of the program, meaning there will no longer be a national P.O. Box to which cards are sent. Local Red Cross offices are collecting, sorting, and distributing the holiday greeting cards.
Upton invites constituents to drop off their Holiday Mail for Heroes greeting cards at either of his constituent service offices, in Kalamazoo or St. Joseph/Benton Harbor. Upton’s offices will be accepting cards until Wednesday, December 3.
Kalamazoo District Office
157 South Kalamazoo Mall, Suite 180
Kalamazoo, MI 49007
St Joseph/Benton Harbor District Office
720 Main Street
St. Joseph, MI 49085
The American Red Cross has kindly asked senders to keep in mind a few guidelines:
* Include a heartfelt message and signature
* Use generic salutations such as “Dear Service Member, Veteran, or Military Family Member”
* Include personal contact information such as home or email addresses
* Include inserts of any kind; these items will be removed during the reviewing process
* Send letters, packages, or gifts; only cards are accepted
* Use cards that contain glitter, which can aggravate existing health issues
Holiday Mail for Heroes participants can help spread the word through social media by using the hashtag: #holidaymail. For more information on the program, please visit: http://www.redcross.org/support/get-involved/holiday-mail-for-heroes.
The U.S. House of Representatives today approved bipartisan legislation – H.R. 5682 – to approve the application for the Keystone XL pipeline. The landmark energy project is estimated to support tens of thousands of U.S. jobs and provide for the delivery of affordable North American energy supplies. But despite the untold economic benefits and the environmental “green light” from the U.S. Department of State, the project has remained tied up in red tape for more than six years. House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton, R-St. Joseph, praised today’s bipartisan vote of 252 to 161. A vote on the legislation is expected in the U.S. Senate next week.
“President Obama famously proclaimed in January 2013 that he would do ‘whatever it takes’ to create jobs and 2014 was renamed the President's so-called ‘Year of Action.’ But when the chips are down, President Obama is incapable of saying ‘yes’ to a project that would create thousands of American jobs and advance our energy security. But despite the President’s excuses, we haven’t given up on finding a bipartisan solution,” said Upton. “Hopefully, this ninth vote is the charm, and the Senate and President will finally agree that after six years, it’s time to say yes to energy and yes to jobs.”
The Keystone XL project has been exhaustively studied with more than 22,000 pages of federal environmental review. It is also expected to be one of the safest pipelines ever built, adhering to the new pipeline safety standards that were advanced by Upton and Rep. John Dingell, D-Mich., and signed into law by the President in January 2012.
House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton, R-St. Joseph, issued the following statement in response to President Obama’s announcement that he has struck a deal with Chinese President Xi Jinping to reduce carbon emissions.
“America’s pain is truly China’s gain. If the President has his way, communities in Michigan and across the country will continue to be at a disadvantage for many years to come. The Chinese are promising to double their emissions while the administration is skirting Congress to impose drastic new regulations inhibiting our own growth and competitiveness. Michigan is at long last on the right track with a resurgence in manufacturing job creation, rising home values, and affordable energy prices. Our families and employers have come too far to turn back the clock on our recovery. Our top priority must be jobs and the economy – plain and simple.”
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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