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Fred Upton
Fred Upton 113th Congress photo.jpg
Member of the
U.S. House of Representatives
from Michigan
Assumed office
January 3, 1987
Preceded byMark D. Siljander
Constituency4th district (1987–1993)
6th district (1993–present)
Chair of the House Energy Committee
In office
January 3, 2011 – January 3, 2017
Preceded byHenry Waxman
Succeeded byGreg Walden
Personal details
Frederick Stephen Upton

(1953-04-23) April 23, 1953 (age 67)
St. Joseph, Michigan, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
Amey Rulon-Miller
(m. 1983)
RelativesLouis Upton (grand-uncle)
Kate Upton (niece)
EducationUniversity of Michigan (BA)
Net worth$11 million (2018)[1]
WebsiteHouse website

Frederick Stephen Upton (born April 23, 1953) is an American politician serving the U.S. Representative for Michigan's 6th congressional district, serving since 1987. The district, numbered as the 4th District from 1987 to 1993, is based in Kalamazoo and stretches along the Michigan-Indiana border in the southwestern part of the state. A member of the Republican Party and former Chairman of the Committee on Energy and Commerce, he has played a major role in shaping post-Obamacare health-care legislation.

Following the retirement of Sander Levin at the end of the 115th Congress, Upton became the dean of Michigan's congressional delegation. In the 116th Congress, he is a co-chair of the House moderate Republican faction, the Tuesday Group, alongside Susan Brooks and John Katko.[2]

Early life, education, and early political career

Upton was born in St. Joseph, Michigan, the son of Elizabeth B. (née Vial) and Stephen Edward Upton.[3] Upton attended Shattuck-Saint Mary's, graduating in 1971.[4] He earned a B.A. in journalism from the University of Michigan in 1975. He was a member of the Alpha Delta Phi fraternity, Peninsular Chapter and became a sports editor at The Michigan Daily and thought he might someday cover the Chicago Cubs.[5] He served on the congressional staff of U.S. Congressman David Stockman (R-MI) from 1976 to 1980. He was in the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) under Ronald Reagan from 1981 to 1985, while Stockman served as OMB Director.[6]

U.S. House of Representatives

Upton during the 100th Congress
Upton during the 100th Congress
Upton with President Ronald Reagan in 1988
Upton with President Ronald Reagan in 1988


1986 election

Upton ran in Michigan's 4th congressional district against incumbent Republican U.S. Congressman Mark Siljander, Stockman's successor. Upton won the Republican primary 55%–45%.[7] He won the general election with 62% of the vote.[8]

1988 election

Upton won re-election to a second term with 71% of the vote.[9]

1990 election

He faced a challenge in the Republican primary by Ed Fredericks, ultimately defeating Fredericks by a margin of 63%–37%.[10] In the general election, he won re-election to a third term with 58% of the vote.[11]

1992–2000 elections

After redistricting, Upton decided to run in the newly redrawn Michigan's 6th congressional district, winning re-election in 1992 to a fourth term with 62% of the vote.[12] During this time period, he didn't have a Republican challenger and never won re-election with less than 62%.

2002 election

After redistricting, Upton faced a primary challenge from state senator Dale Shugars. Upton defeated Shugars 66%–32%.[13] He won the general election with 69% of the vote.[14]

2004 election

Upton defeated Democrat Scott Elliott, an art gallery owner, 65%–32%.[15]

2006 election

Upton defeated Democratic challenger Kim Clark 61%–38%.[16]

2008 election

Upton defeated Democratic challenger Don Cooney, a Kalamazoo City Commissioner, 59%–39%.[17]

2010 election

Upton was challenged in the Republican primary by former State Representative Jack Hoogendyk. Upton defeated him 57%–43%.[18] In the general election, he defeated Cooney in a rematch 62%–34%.[19]

2012 election

In 2011, Hoogendyk met with the Club for Growth, a conservative 501(c)4 organization, about running against Upton in a rematch in 2012.[20] Upton has been criticized for not being conservative enough by Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, FreedomWorks, Right to Life of Michigan, and the Southwest Michigan Tea Party Patriots.[21] On January 17, 2012, Hoogendyk announced that he would challenge Upton in the primary, the winner of which would face Democrat Mike O'Brien in the general election.[22][23] Upton defeated Hoogendyk in the August 2012 Republican primary, advancing to the general election in November.[citation needed]

While initial polls showed Upton with a sizable lead over the challenger, former marine and businessman Mike O'Brien, a poll in October showed Upton and O'Brien locked in a dead heat heading into the final stretch of the campaign.[24][25]

2014 election

Upton won with 55.9% of the vote, defeating Democrat Paul Clements, Libertarian Erwin Haas, and Green Party candidate John Lawrence.

2016 election

Upton won re election in 2016, defeating Democratic challenger, Paul Clements, a Political Science Professor at Western Michigan University, 58.48%-36.41%, gaining a total of 193,259 votes, compared to Clements 119,980 votes.[citation needed]

2018 election

Upton won reelection with 50.2% of the vote against Democratic candidate Matt Longjohn (45.75%) and U.S. Taxpayers Party candidate Stephen Young (4.1%).[26]


Upton has been a member of moderate Republican factions The Tuesday Group and the Republican Main Street Partnership.[27]


Upton voted against passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) and has since voted in favor of its complete repeal, stating that the law ignored the will of the people and that a bill that important should not have been passed without strong bipartisan support.[clarification needed] He believes that with the current level of debt, the USA cannot afford the PPACA.[citation needed] In November 2013, in response to Americans losing their health insurance coverage because of the Affordable Care Act, Upton proposed a bill what would allow them to retain their health insurance coverage.[28] The essence of the Upton bill is to allow insurance companies to maintain their current individual insurance market policies according to state insurance rules that are in effect as of 2013.[29]

In November 2013, Upton introduced the Keep Your Health Plan Act, which would let health-care insurers continue to sell plans that did not meet the Affordable Care Act's “essential health benefits” standard. It passed the House with support from 39 Democrats plus all but four Republicans, but did not become law. In an article for USA Today, Upton explained that he had heard from “countless constituents in Michigan” who, despite President Obama's promise that “If you like your health care plan, you'll be able to keep your health care plan,” were “losing their coverage,” as were “millions of Americans who took the president at his word and are now receiving insurance termination notices and alternatives that are often much more expensive.”[30]

On September 27, 2013, Upton introduced the Drug Quality and Security Act (H.R. 3204; 113th Congress), a bill that would grant the Food and Drug Administration more power to regulate drug compounding in the wake of the New England Compounding Center meningitis outbreak.[31] Upton indicated that three of the deceased were from his district.[32] The bill passed in the House and was being debated in the Senate.

On December 13, 2016, President Obama signed Upton's 21st Century Cures Act [33] into law. The bill, co-sponsored by Upton and Diana DeGette (D-CO) passed the House 392 to 26 and the Senate 94 to 5. The act establishes funds for biomedical research and to develop and implement a strategic plan for biomedical research.[34]

In March 2017, Upton said: “Obamacare has not delivered on countless promises.” It was reported in April 2017 that Upton had “serious concerns” with President Donald Trump's proposed health-care law because it would mean “potential higher costs to those with pre-existing illnesses.” In May 2017, after the addition of a new amendment written by Upton that provided additional funds for those with pre-existing conditions, he said he would vote for the bill and said he believed it could now pass the House. In July, Upton was among a group of members from both parties who “unveiled a set of solutions” intended to improve health-care coverage.[35][36]

Environment and energy

In 2007 Upton was a co-sponsor of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 which among other things mandated phased-in energy efficiency standards for most light bulbs.[37] At the time, Upton noted that the legislation, ultimately signed into law by President George W. Bush, would "help preserve energy resources and reduce harmful emissions, all while saving American families billions of dollars on their electric bills."[38] Glenn Beck called Upton "all socialist" for supporting the 2007 bill.[39]

In April 2009, he maintained that "climate change is a serious problem that necessitates serious solutions. Everything must be on the table."[40] However, "Upton has gradually retreated from his moderate stance on climate change and carbon emissions."[41] Upton led a failed effort to stop the Obama Administration from enforcing the new energy standards.[38]

Upton's website once stated: "I strongly believe that everything must be on the table as we seek to reduce carbon emissions."[41] In late 2010, he co-authored a Wall Street Journal editorial saying he was "not convinced" that "carbon is a problem in need of regulation," and urging Congress to overturn Massachusetts v. Environmental Protection Agency. (See regulation of greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act and climate change denial)[42]

He is the co-sponsor, with Ed Whitfield, of the "Energy Tax Prevention Act of 2011" H.R. 910.[43] Due to his environmental policies, The Los Angeles Times wrote in 2011 that Upton "represents one of the biggest threats to planet Earth on planet Earth."[44]

In 2012, Upton, as chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, said that Congress's refusal to set greenhouse gas limits “constituted a decision and that lawmakers should act now to reverse the EPA emissions rules.” Carbon regulation, he said, “threatens to drive energy prices higher, destroy jobs and hamstring our economic recovery.”[45]

On October 22, 2013, Upton introduced the North American Energy Infrastructure Act (H.R. 3301; 113th Congress), a bill that would make changes to permitting requirements for pipelines and other energy infrastructure at international borders.[46][47] Upton said that the bill "is a sincere effort to focus a targeted solution to lessons learned from the Keystone Pipeline... No one can rightly argue that the current presidential permit process as the State Department is not broken, no matter what side of the climate debate you're on."[48](see global warming controversy) Upton also argued that "we're creating a fair and transparent approval process for cross-border energy projects, putting them all on a level playing field for the benefit of North American energy security, lower energy prices, and jobs."[49]

As of 2017, Upton has received more than $2 million in campaign donations from oil and gas companies and electric utilities over the course of his political career.[50]

In 2018, he joined the Climate Solutions Caucus.[51]


On September 29, 2006, Upton introduced the Video Game Decency Act (H.R. 6120) to the House during the 109th United States Congress.[52] The bill was introduced and referred to the House Energy and Commerce Committee, but never received consideration. Upton reintroduced a bill by the same title (H.R. 1531) in the 110th United States Congress, which was also referred to that committee and never received a vote.[53]

Upton introduced legislation to reverse the FCC's ruling on Net Neutrality in 2015.[54][55]

Gun policy

In 2019, Upton supported a bill that closed a loophole that allowed people buying firearms through private sales to skip background checks.[56] He has called for a bipartisan red flag law to be passed by Congress.[57]

Opioid crisis

In May 2018, Upton and Debbie Dingell (D-Dearborn) worked together on legislation designed to combat opioid addiction. Among other things, it would allocate funding for research into new, non-addictive pain relievers.[58]

LGBT rights

In 2013, Upton condemned controversial anti-gay remarks made by Republican National Committeeman David Agema of Michigan. Upton said in a statement: "There is never an acceptable time or place to tolerate discrimination."[59]

Fiscal issues

In the 111th session of Congress, Upton tabled $7,225,000 in federal funds through eleven earmarks,[60] but political pressure from inside of the Republican Party led Upton to announce his support for a Republican initiative to install a moratorium in Congress on legislative earmarks to reduce unnecessary budget expenditures and the fiscal deficit.[61] According to the Council of Citizens Against Government Waste, a taxpayer watchdog group, Upton refrained from all earmarking activities during the 112th Congress.[62]

Upton has been criticized by the conservative website Human Events for being liberal with regards to fiscal issues.[63] He has been recognized by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce with the "Spirit of Enterprise" award for "standing firmly against overreaching regulations and job-destroying mandates".[64] In 2019, during the 116th Congress, Upton broke with his party, one of seven Republicans siding with Democrats, by voting for legislation that would fund government services and end a shutdown.[65]

Donald Trump

As of August 2019, Upton has voted "in line with Trump positions" 84.8 percent of the time, according to the website[66]

In July 2019, Upton was one of four Republican House members to vote in support of a motion to condemn comments by President Trump made on Twitter calling on four Democratic Congresswomen, three of whom were born in the US, to "go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came."[67][68]

On December 18, 2019, Upton voted against both articles of impeachment against Trump.[69]

Committee assignments

Caucus memberships

Personal life

Upton's grandfather and namesake, Frederick Upton, was co-founder with his brother Louis Upton of appliance manufacturer and marketer Whirlpool Corporation, headquartered in Benton Harbor. He and his wife have two children.[75] Upton's niece is supermodel Kate Upton.[76][77] In 2014, Michigan Radio reported that Upton had a net worth of $7.3 million.[78]

Upton is a supporter of Michigan Wolverines athletics as well as an enthusiastic Chicago Cubs baseball fan.[5] He is a member of the Emil Verban Society.[75]

Electoral history

Michigan's 4th congressional district: Results 1986–1990[79][80]
Year Republican Votes % Democratic Votes % Third Party Party Votes %
1986 Fred Upton 70,331 62% Dan Roche 41,624 37% Richard Gillmor Independent 1,649 1%
1988 Fred Upton 132,270 71% Norman Rivers 54,428 29%
1990 Fred Upton 75,850 58% JoAnne McFarland 55,449 42%
Michigan's 6th congressional district: Results 1992–2018[79][80][81][82]
Year Republican Votes % Democratic Votes % Third Party Party Votes % Third Party Party Votes % Third Party Party Votes %
1992 Fred Upton 144,083 62% Andy Davis 89,020 38%
1994 Fred Upton 121,932 73% David Taylor 42,348 26% E. A. Berker Natural Law 1,667 1%
1996 Fred Upton 146,170 68% Clarence Annen 66,243 31% Scott Beavers Libertarian 3,370 2%
1998 Fred Upton 113,292 70% Clarence Annen 45,358 28% Glenn Whitt Libertarian 1,833 1% Ken Asmus Natural Law 1,091 1%
2000 Fred Upton 159,373 68% James Bupp 68,532 29% William Bradley Libertarian 3,573 2% Richard Overton Reform 1,872 1% C. Dennis James USTPM 1,290 1%
2002 Fred Upton 126,936 69% Gary Giguere 53,793 29% Richard Overton Reform 2,788 2%
2004 Fred Upton 197,425 65% Scott Elliott 97,978 32% Randall MacPhee Green 2,311 1% Erwin Haas Libertarian 2,275 1% W. Dennis FitzSimons USTPM 2,169 1%
2006 Fred Upton 142,125 61% Kim Clark 88,978 38% Kenneth Howe Libertarian 3,480 1%
2008 Fred Upton 188,157 59% Don Cooney 123,257 39% Greg Merle Libertarian 4,720 1% Edward Pinkney Green 3,512 1%
2010 Fred Upton 123,142 62% Don Cooney 66,729 34% Melvin Valkner USTPM 3,672 2% Fred Strand Libertarian 3,369 2% Pat Foster Green 1,784 1%
2012 Fred Upton 174,955 55% Mike O'Brien 136,563 43% Christie Gelineau Libertarian 6,366 2% Jason Gatties USTPM 2,591 1%
2014 Fred Upton 116,801 56% Paul Clements 84,391 40% Erwin Haas Libertarian 5,530 3% John Lawrence Green 2,254 1%
2016 Fred Upton 193,246 58% Paul Clements 119,975 36% Lorence Wenke Libertarian 16,249 5%
2018 Fred Upton 147,436 50% Matt Longjohn 134,082 46% Stephen J. Young USTPM 11,920 4%

See also


  1. ^ "Ranking the Net Worth of the 115th". Retrieved August 5, 2019.
  2. ^ House Administration Committee – Congressional Member and Staff Organizations
  3. ^ "Frederick Stephen Upton". Archived from the original on October 19, 2015. Retrieved February 21, 2012.
  4. ^ "Fred Upton". Retrieved February 7, 2017.
  5. ^ a b Will, George F. (January 9, 2011). "Fred Upton, Rust Belt revolutionary". The Washington Post.
  6. ^ Mack, Julie; David Stockman, former southwest Michigan congressman and Reagan aide, offers dire view of U.S. economy; Michigan Live; April 1, 2013;
  7. ^ "MI District 4 – R Primary Race". Our Campaigns. August 5, 1986. Retrieved February 21, 2012.
  8. ^ "MI District 4 Race". Our Campaigns. November 4, 1986. Retrieved February 21, 2012.
  9. ^ "MI District 4 Race". Our Campaigns. November 8, 1988. Retrieved February 21, 2012.
  10. ^ "MI District 4 – R Primary Race". Our Campaigns. August 7, 1990. Retrieved February 21, 2012.
  11. ^ "MI District 4 Race". Our Campaigns. November 6, 1990. Retrieved February 21, 2012.
  12. ^ "MI District 6 Race". Our Campaigns. November 3, 1992. Retrieved February 21, 2012.
  13. ^ "MI District 6 – R Primary Race". Our Campaigns. August 6, 2002. Retrieved February 21, 2012.
  14. ^ "MI District 6 Race". Our Campaigns. November 5, 2002. Retrieved February 21, 2012.
  15. ^ "MI – District 06 Race". Our Campaigns. November 2, 2004. Retrieved February 21, 2012.
  16. ^ "MI – District 06 Race". Our Campaigns. November 7, 2006. Retrieved February 21, 2012.
  17. ^ "MI – District 06 Race". Our Campaigns. November 4, 2008. Retrieved February 21, 2012.
  18. ^ "MI District 06 – R Primary Race". Our Campaigns. August 3, 2010. Retrieved February 21, 2012.
  19. ^ "MI – District 06 Race". Our Campaigns. November 2, 2010. Retrieved February 21, 2012.
  20. ^ Toeplitz, Shira (November 2, 2011). "Club for Growth Encouraging Upton Primary Challenger". Roll Call.
  21. ^ Samuelsohn, Darren; Dobias, Matt (January 11, 2012). "Fred Upton still faces arrows from the right". Politico. Retrieved February 21, 2012.
  22. ^ Klug, Fritz (January 17, 2012). "Jack Hoogendyk to challenge U.S. Rep. Fred Upton again for seat in Congress". Kalamazoo Gazette. Retrieved February 21, 2012.
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  25. ^ Klug, Fritz. "Southwest Michigan Politics: Mike O'Brien poll shows challenger in 'dead heat' with Congressman Fred Upton". MLive. Retrieved October 13, 2012.
  26. ^ "Michigan Election Results: Sixth House District". Retrieved 2018-11-13.
  27. ^ "Members". Republican Mains Street Partnership. Archived from the original on 26 August 2018. Retrieved 4 October 2017.
  28. ^ Parker, Ashley; Shear, Michael D. (November 13, 2013). "With Enrollment Slow, Some Democrats Back Change in Health Law". New York Times. Retrieved November 14, 2013. In addition, a vote is scheduled Friday in the Republican-controlled House on a bill that would allow Americans to keep their existing health coverage through 2014 without penalties. The measure, drafted by Representative Fred Upton, the Michigan Republican who is the chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee, is opposed by the White House, which argues that it would severely undermine the Affordable Care Act by allowing insurance companies to continue to sell health coverage that does not meet the higher standard of Mr. Obama's health care law.
  29. ^ Capretta, James C. (November 13, 2013). "The Upton Bill Is No Small Matter". The Weekly Standard. Washington, D.C. Retrieved November 14, 2013.
  30. ^ Rep. Fred Upton: Let people keep their coverage; USA Today; November 3, 2013;
  31. ^ Cox, Ramsey (November 14, 2013). "Senate inches toward passing drug bill". The Hill. Retrieved November 15, 2013.
  32. ^ "House Passes Upton Bill to Prevent Repeat of Deadly Meningitis Outbreak, Strengthen Prescription Drug Supply Chain". Office of Representative Upton. September 28, 2013. Retrieved November 15, 2013.
  33. ^ "21st Century Cures Signed into Law". 2016-12-13.
  34. ^ Thompson Dennis; Congress passes 21st Century Cures Act with billions for new research, treatments; CBS News; December 8, 2016;
  35. ^ Gerstein, Michael; Upton concerned with GOP Obamacare replacement; Detroit News; April 29, 2017;
  36. ^ Bryan, Bob; Republicans just moved closer than ever to passing their Obamacare overhaul; Business Insider; May 23, 2017;
  37. ^ Fred Upton on Energy & Oil On the Issues, Accessed Sept 4, 2018
  38. ^ a b Grunwald, Michael "Long Live the Lightbulb. Big Government has made it better" Time magazine, May 20, 2013, p. Business-6, Accessed Sept 4, 2018
  39. ^ "Fred Upton to revisit light bulb ban", Politico, November 18, 2010, Accessed Sept 4, 2018
  40. ^ Upton hails KVCC wind energy program as Congress debates climate change bill, River Country Journal[who?] (April 24, 2009)
  41. ^ a b Sheppard, Kate (2011-01-04) Fred Upton's Climate Changeup, Mother Jones access-date Sept 4, 2018
  42. ^ Upton, Fred; Phillips, Tim (December 28, 2010). "How Congress Can Stop the EPA's Power Grab". The Wall Street Journal.
  43. ^ Hawkins, Dave (February 9, 2011). "Dirty Air Extremism". Switchboard. Natural Resources Defense Council. Retrieved February 21, 2012.
  44. ^ "Year in Review: Congress' 10 biggest enemies of the Earth". Los Angeles Times. December 14, 2011. Retrieved 4 September 2018.
  45. ^ Matthew L. Wald (June 26, 2012). "Court Backs E.P.A. Over Emissions Limits Intended to Reduce Global Warming". The New York Times. Retrieved September 4, 2018.
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  48. ^ Carna, Timothy (24 June 2014). "WH threatens veto of House oil pipeline bill". The Hill. Retrieved 4 September 2018.
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External links

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Mark Siljander
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Michigan's 4th congressional district

Succeeded by
Dave Camp
Preceded by
Bob Carr
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Michigan's 6th congressional district

Preceded by
Henry Waxman
Chair of the House Energy Committee
Succeeded by
Greg Walden
U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Peter DeFazio
United States Representatives by seniority
Succeeded by
Nancy Pelosi
as Speaker
Succeeded by
Otherwise Frank Pallone
This page was last edited on 27 October 2020, at 22:57
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