Fred Upton

Fred Upton

MICHIGAN's 6th DISTRICT

ICYMI: Fighting for our Great Lakes

2017/03/21

Fighting for our Great Lakes

By U.S. Rep. Fred Upton

Holland Sentinel

Whether it's a lazy Sunday on the lake with family, fishing with friends, enjoying a sunset pontoon boat cruise or any number of activities — Michiganders all have a deep, personal connection to our lakes.

This is why it was so alarming to learn of a proposed drastic funding cut for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative under a budget proposal from the White House last week. Having grown up on the shores of Lake Michigan, I've always had a deep appreciation for our Great Lakes and have always worked in a responsible, bipartisan manner to improve the health and beauty of these precious natural resources.

As a fiscal conservative, I also understand that, as a nation, we face serious concerns regarding our national debt. We absolutely do need to make tough choices to balance our budget. But gutting protections for our Great Lakes is the wrong place to do it.

This is the reason I recently joined my colleagues on the Congressional Great Lakes Task Force in sending a bipartisan letter to the new administration urging them to work with the task force in advancing priorities vital to protecting and promoting our Great Lakes. Among the initiatives highlighted was the GLRI. The GLRI is the main federal program tasked with forming a public and private partnership to protect and restore our Great Lakes. Since 2010, Congress has provided more than $2 billion in funding to GLRI to promote the cleanup of toxic hotspots, curb the growth of harmful algal blooms, and promote the overall well-being of the Great Lakes. This funding is also critical in our fight against invasive species like Asian carp, which threaten our delicate ecosystem and must be prevented from reaching our Great Lakes.

In short, the GLRI has proven to be a tremendous success. Not only has it helped our Great Lakes environment, it has helped Michigan's economy. According to a recent University of Michigan study, more than 1.5 million U.S. jobs are directly connected to the Great Lakes and Michigan has the highest number of jobs that depend on the lakes. If we cannot protect these natural resources, we lose the ability to attract new business and retain talented workers here at home. We simply cannot afford for Lakes Michigan, Superior, Huron, Erie, and Ontario — the largest group of freshwater lakes on Earth — to be spoiled.

The good news? Congress has the final say on all budgetary matters and we're only at the first step in the appropriations process that actually funds the program. As we move forward, I will be fighting hard alongside colleagues on both sides of the aisle, including Great Lakes Task Force Co-Chair Rep. Bill Huizenga, so we can make sure our Great Lakes are properly protected.

— U.S. Rep. Fred Upton, R-St. Joseph, represents Michigan's 6th congressional district. He can be reached through upton.house.gov/contact.

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Upton Applauds Federal Funds for Flint

2017/03/17

U.S. Rep. Fred Upton, R-St. Joseph, today released the following statement on news that the city of Flint, Michigan has been awarded a $100 million emergency grant to fund drinking-water infrastructure:

“These much-needed funds will provide a huge benefit to the people of Flint. We worked extremely hard, on a bipartisan basis, to make sure this funding was included in the Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation Act. From the start of this crisis, I have been an outspoken proponent of aid for Flint. The federal government had a role to play in this tragedy, and so the federal government bears responsibility to help make the situation right. I was proud to support these efforts and will continue to work with colleagues on both sides of the aisle to upgrade our nation’s water infrastructure needs.” 

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Upton Meets with Southwest Michigan Farmers

2017/03/15

U.S. Rep. Fred Upton, R-St. Joseph, today released the following photo and statement after meeting with a group of Southwest Michigan farmers in his Washington, D.C., office.

“Today’s meeting was productive and informative. Farmers are the backbone of our Southwest Michigan economy and we discussed ways we can work together to improve their economic outlook and provide much-needed certainty so they can plan for the future. We also had a frank and open talk about our broken immigration system and the negative effect it has on our agricultural labor workforce. I continue to stand with our farmers and look forward to being a constructive partner into the future.”

Background: Upton has long-supported bipartisan immigration reform. He recently co-sponsored legislation, H.R. 1468, the Recognizing America’s Children Act, that provides legal status to undocumented children and young adults. This legislation would provide certainty for many families and local farmers dependent on migrant labor. Learn more about this legislation here. Learn more about Upton’s support of Southwest Michigan farmers here.

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Upton Statement on Obamacare Repeal and Replace Efforts

2017/03/07

U.S. Rep. Fred Upton, R-St. Joseph, today released the following statement in regards to the American Health Care Act (ACHA) – House Republicans’ legislation to repeal and replace Obamacare:  

“This has not been easy, but as I’ve listened to folks on all sides of this debate one thing is clear: Obamacare has not delivered on countless promises. Clearly, the current system is not working for many. It’s time to fix our healthcare system in a responsible way.

 To ensure no one has the rug pulled out from under them, our legislation provides a stable transition period for those currently enrolled in Obamacare and for states like Michigan that expanded Medicaid.

 We deny insurance companies the ability to discriminate against those with pre-existing conditions and allow young adults to stay on their parent’s insurance until age 26. We also expand health savings accounts, and encourage small employers to band together to provide health insurance to their employees. All while eliminating the individual and employer mandate penalties and harmful Obamacare taxes such as the medical device tax.

 I also believe the American people deserve an open and transparent debate on these issues, and look forward to beginning this week. I will continue to work with local leaders, patients, healthcare providers, our governors, and all others wanting to be constructive as we move forward in this process.”

 The Energy and Commerce Committee, of which Upton is a member, is scheduled to hold a markup of the bill Wednesday. The legislation is available for anyone to read at readthebill.gop

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Upton Urges Full Funding of Great Lakes Restoration Initiative

2017/03/03

U.S. Rep. Fred Upton, R-St. Joseph, today issued the following statement on reports that funding for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) will be cut for Fiscal Year 2018:

“These reports are alarming. We have previously communicated with the new administration that our Great Lakes must be a priority and the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative must be fully funded. Congress will have the final say on all budgetary matters and we are only at the first step in the appropriations process which actually funds the program. As we move forward, I will be fighting hard alongside colleagues on both sides of the aisle so we can turn this around and make sure our Great Lakes are properly protected.”  

In February, Upton joined colleagues on the Great Lakes Task Force in sending a letter encouraging the Trump administration to focus on the Great Lakes and fully fund the GLRI.

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Upton, Peters, Stabenow, Dingell Call for Federal Funding to Support Testing of Self-Driving Vehicle Technologies

2017/03/02

U.S. Rep. Fred Upton, R-St. Joseph, U.S. Senators Gary Peters and Debbie Stabenow and U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell called on the Trump Administration to prioritize the development and testing of connected and self-driving vehicles in the President’s proposed budget for 2018. The Members of Congress sent a letter to Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Director Mick Mulvaney and Department of Transportation (DOT) Secretary Elaine Chao urging them to include $200 million in their 2018 federal budget request for facilities designated by DOT as proving grounds for automated vehicle testing. In January, DOT designated ten sites across the country as national proving grounds, including the American Center for Mobility in Ypsilanti.

“The auto industry is in the midst of a seismic technological shift that will revolutionize the transportation of people and goods in our lifetime…Ensuring that American innovators can safely develop and implement this technology will not only save lives but also solidify our nation’s position as the world leader in the future of mobility,” wrote the Members in the letter. “Identifying and selecting these initial proving grounds was a crucial first step, but USDOT must now work quickly to ensure that testing and evaluation at these facilities can begin as soon as possible. Technology in this area is changing rapidly, and only through thorough testing can we both encourage innovation and assure public confidence in these revolutionary technologies.”

The letter calls for federal funding to help support the development of automated vehicle proving grounds and promote safe testing to validate these self-driving technologies and ensure they are ready for use on American roads. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), more than 35,000 people are killed on our roads and highways annually. Connected and self-driving vehicle technologies have the potential to reduce accidents and save thousands of lives.

The American Center for Mobility was one of ten sites to earn a federal designation. Famous as the site of the former Willow Run plant which manufactured one B-24 bomber every hour during World War II, the American Center for Mobility will be a world-class connected and automated vehicle proving ground that will keep Michigan and the United States at the forefront of the mobility transformation.

The full text of the letter can be found here or below:

 

The Honorable Mick Mulvaney

Director

Office of Management and Budget

Eisenhower Executive Office Building

1650 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.

Washington, D.C. 20503

 

Dear Director Mulvaney:

As you prepare the President’s Budget for Fiscal Year 2018, we write to urge the inclusion of funding within the Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s account to support the safe testing and deployment of connected and automated vehicle (CAV) technologies at federally-designated proving grounds.

The auto industry is in the midst of a seismic technological shift that will revolutionize the transportation of people and goods in our lifetime.  Connected and self-driving vehicles have the potential to reduce dramatically the more than 35,000 lives lost on our roads and highways every year and to transform fundamentally the way we get around.

Ensuring that American innovators can safely develop and implement this technology will not only save lives but also solidify our nation’s position as the world leader in the future of mobility.  It is critical that the Federal government play a leadership role in ensuring that CAV technologies are safely developed and tested in a thorough and thoughtful manner, aligned with voluntary industry standards.

The Department of Transportation, recognizing this urgent need, last year solicited proposals from facilities across the country to be designated as USDOT Automated Vehicle Proving Grounds.  The intent was to form an initial network of proving grounds focused on the advancement of automated vehicle technology.

After evaluating more than 60 applicants under a rigorous and detailed set of selection criteria, USDOT chose ten proving grounds with complementary features and capabilities.  Together, those facilities collectively form a federal Community of Practice around the safe testing and deployment of CAV technologies.

Identifying and selecting these initial proving grounds was a crucial first step, but USDOT must now work quickly to ensure that testing and evaluation at these facilities can begin as soon as possible.  Technology in this area is changing rapidly, and only through thorough testing can we both encourage innovation and assure public confidence in these revolutionary technologies.

We therefore urge that the 2018 budget include funding of $200 million for these USDOT-designated proving grounds.  This is the same amount requested in the 2017 budget for autonomous vehicle research.  USDOT should be directed to use such funds to support the development of these ten proving grounds and to promote the creation and sharing of best practices for safely conducting testing and operations, which will accelerate the pace of safe deployment.

Thank you for your consideration of our request, and we look forward to working with you in your new position on this and other national priorities.

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Upton Statement on President Trump’s Joint Address to Congress

2017/02/28

U.S. Rep. Fred Upton, R-St. Joseph, tonight released the following statement after President Trump’s Joint Address to Congress:     

“President Trump’s address was a focused, optimistic vision for the future of our country. He offered common ground on goals we can all agree on such as creating American jobs, making needed investments in our infrastructure, delivering for our veterans, and rebuilding our healthcare system. I also fully support the president’s call to safely speed approvals for life-saving drugs and devices which is exactly what our groundbreaking 21st Century Cures Act does. As we move forward, I continue to believe we are better served by working together. My hope is that we will see more bipartisan cooperation so that we can get the job done for the American people.” 

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Upton Announces Third Tele-Town Hall of the Month

2017/02/23

U.S. Rep. Fred Upton, R-St. Joseph, today announced he will continue his series of tele-town halls with the next one happening Tuesday Feb. 28. The tele-town hall will tentatively begin at 5 p.m., depending on the voting schedule in the U.S. House of Representatives. It will last approximately one hour.

“Engaging with folks who are taking an active role in our democratic process is of the utmost importance to me,” said Upton. “These innovative tele-town halls allow for thousands of Southwest Michigan residents to ask me direct questions on any issue, participate in interactive polls so I can see where they stand, and hear my stance on specific legislation. During the last two tele-town halls this month, I’ve fielded dozens of questions and heard from a wide variety of my constituents. Some agree, and some don’t – but it’s crucial that I’m able to hear their concerns directly and then take action.”

Upton previously held a tele-town hall on February 6th where more than 1,300 participants and another on February 15th where more than 1,700 participated.

Those interested in signing up for the tele-town hall or looking for additional information should contact any of Upton’s three offices, or by visiting Upton’s website: Upton.house.gov.

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Upton Co-Sponsors Legislation to Protect Patients with Pre-Existing Conditions

2017/02/23

U.S. Rep. Fred Upton, R-St. Joseph, today released the following statement after co-sponsoring H.R. 1121, the Pre-Existing Conditions Protection Act of 2017.

“As I’ve traveled across Southwest Michigan this week, listened to folks during tele-town halls, and participated in public forums, I’ve heard a clear message: We need to guarantee our healthcare system works better for all Michiganders. This is why I am committed to protecting patients living with pre-existing conditions. It’s only fair. We want to make sure we’re helping folks across the country get – and keep – healthcare coverage, regardless of how healthy or sick they may be. As we continue listening and engaging in constructive dialogue with all stakeholders, it’s important that as we repeal and replace Obamacare, we’re always doing right by patients and protecting our most vulnerable. I remain committed to patient-centered healthcare reforms that increase access to quality, affordable care for folks here in Michigan and across the country.”

The Pre-Existing Conditions Protection Act, introduced by U.S. Rep. Greg Walden, R-Oregon, aims to guarantee access to coverage, prohibit pre-existing condition exclusions, and ban premium rating based off of health status. Specifically, it would amend the Public Health Service Act to prohibit application of pre-existing condition exclusions and to guarantee availability of health insurance coverage in the individual and group markets.

On Monday, Upton met with several constituents in his St. Joseph/Benton Harbor District Office to discuss healthcare reform. On Tuesday, he participated in a panel discussion at the Western Michigan University Homer Stryker, M.D. School of Medicine on healthcare issues. Upton has also held two tele-town halls this month where healthcare issues were heavily discussed.  

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Upton Statement on One-Year Anniversary of Kalamazoo Shooting

2017/02/20

U.S. Rep. Fred Upton, R-St. Joseph, today released the following statement marking the one-year anniversary of the Feb. 20, 2016, Kalamazoo shootings: 

"One year ago, a madman attempted to rip our community apart. These inexplicable actions reverberated across the country and brought to our corner of the state a level of pain we have never experienced before. But now, we stand together stronger than ever against hatred and violence.

“We remember the six victims snatched from our world far too soon: Mary Jo Nye, a well-respected English teacher; Barbara Hawthorne, a former Kellogg’s employee; Dorothy Brown, known in her neighborhood for her herb garden; Mary Lou Nye, a preschool and early childcare advocate; Tyler Smith, a well-liked student at Mattawan High School; and Richard Smith, a construction manager and loving father and husband.

“We also keep in our hearts and minds the two fearless survivors. Abigail Kopf, whose courage in the face of unimaginable pain serves as a daily reminder of bravery and hope, and Tiana Carruthers who selflessly put herself in harm’s way without thinking twice. We again thank our law enforcement and first responders who prevented this tragedy from being even worse.

“The pain of the past never fully recedes, but when we look to the horizon – to a bright new day – we are able to find hope and renewed spirit amongst our friends, neighbors, and fellow community members. On this day of solemn remembrance, we do not turn to the right nor to the left, but instead we turn from evil.”  Read More

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Contact Information

2183 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Phone 202-225-3761
Fax 202-225-4986
upton.house.gov

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.


Serving With

Jack Bergman

MICHIGAN's 1st DISTRICT

Bill Huizenga

MICHIGAN's 2nd DISTRICT

Justin Amash

MICHIGAN's 3rd DISTRICT

John Moolenaar

MICHIGAN's 4th DISTRICT

Tim Walberg

MICHIGAN's 7th DISTRICT

Mike Bishop

MICHIGAN's 8th DISTRICT

Paul Mitchell

MICHIGAN's 10th DISTRICT

Dave Trott

MICHIGAN's 11th DISTRICT

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