10 Questions: Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI)

America’s New Congress is filled with hundreds of Members and thousands of stories. Each week, GOP.gov will introduce you to a new House Republican with “10 Questions.”

This week’s Featured Member is Rep. Fred Upton, who represents Michigan’s 6th Congressional District. Upton has served as Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee since 2011.

Prior to serving in Congress, Upton was a Congressional staffer with Rep. David Stockton (R-MI) and also served under President Reagan at the Office of Management and Budget.


We asked Rep. Upton 10 questions. First, the serious ones:

1. What motivates you to serve the people of your district in Congress?

Michigan’s Sixth District is beautiful and diverse and helping my constituents solve problems and helping try to improve their daily lives is what motivates me.

2. What’s one piece of advice that has helped shape the course of your life?

My faith is very important to me and my parents always taught me to treat others the way you would like to be treated. As for my career it’s been that most folks just don’t care if you have an “R” or “D” next to your name; they just want to see things get done – regardless of party politics.

3. When did you realize you were a Republican?

My parents brought me up to treat everyone with kindness and respect and to try and help folks out whenever possible. And that the best way to do that is not necessarily with more government but with local initiatives and being involved in great organizations, charities, and churches. Becoming a Republican was just a natural extension of how I was raised.

4. What were you most surprised about when you started serving in Congress?

Having served as a staffer for a member of Congress for a couple of years – I wasn’t really surprised by much. But when I first started serving it was nice that members of Congress on both sides of aisle took the time to get to know each other and really try and work together on issues. I wish we did more of that these days.

5. What’s the most important — but under-reported — policy issue you work on?

Last year Rep. Diana DeGette (D-CO) and I launched a new initiative called 21st Century Cures. This bipartisan initiative aims to close the gap between the science of medicine and the regulations that impact the volume and fate of new policies. What family out there isn’t impacted by some terrible disease? There are 10,000 know diseases, 7,000 of which are considered rare, and only treatments for 500. This is unacceptable and I know we can do better.

Now, the fun ones:

6. What was your first job?

I was a busboy at a local restaurant.

7. What book are you currently reading?

Killing Patton by Bill O’Reilly.

8. What is your favorite vacation destination?

Anywhere with a beach.

9. Where are you most likely to be seen dining when you’re home in your district?

We’ve got so many good restaurants and diners in Southwest Michigan – but I’m partial to Silver Beach Pizza which is located right by my house and has a great local craft beer selection.

10. What is your favorite professional sports team?

I’m a Chicago Cubs fanatic – my first dog’s name was “Wrigley”

Want to learn more about Rep. Upton?

Facebook: /RepFredUpton
Twitter: @RepFredUpton
YouTube: /RepFredUpton
Instagram: /RepFredUpton