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Fred Upton

Debbie Dingell and Fred Upton
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Name-calling. Punching back. Finger-pointing. It's what we've come to expect out of Washington.

U.S. Representatives Fred Upton (R-6th District) and Debbie Dingell (D-12th District) are calling for a return to civility and collegiality at the nation's Capitol, and in America more broadly. 

They co-authored an op-ed in the Detroit News earlier this year, writing "A vibrant democratic republic depends on vigorous debate — but also recognizes the importance of compromise." 

Stateside spoke with Dingell and Upton Wednesday morning ahead of an appearance at the Detroit Economic Club.

headshots of Michigan members of congress
Wikimedia Commons / Jodi Westrick

You have to spend money to make money ... or so the old saying goes. Most members of Michigan’s Congressional delegation are spending tens, and sometimes, hundreds of thousands of dollars through their political action committees on things like five-star hotels and baseball tickets. The politicians say it’s to help with fundraising. 

Melissa Nann Burke is the Washington Bureau reporter for the Detroit News. She spoke to Michigan Radio’s Morning Edition host Doug Tribou about her story, "Baseball tickets, ski trips: How Michigan lawmakers use little-known PACs."

Debbie Dingell and Fred Upton
Wikicommons

Two U.S. Representatives from Michigan made an appeal for more cooperation between political parties at a forum hosted by the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy.

Fred Upton (left) and Matt Longjohn (right)
Flickr - Energy Commerce / Matt Longjohn, MD for Congress

Michigan's 6th Congressional District encompasses multiple counties in the southwest region of the state. 

This November, the district's incumbent Fred Upton (R) is running for a 17th term in Congress against Democratic challenger Matt Longjohn

The candidates spoke with Stateside about why they're running and what they would do as part of a new Congress come 2019. 

Old image of Detroit's Grande Ballroom
Courtesy of the Burton Historical Collection, Detroit Public Library

Today on Stateside, a Democratic party leader in Detroit reponds to recent news that Detroit City Council President Brenda Jones will be running as a write-in candidate against Democrat Rashida Tlaib in the race to represent the 13th District. Plus, we explore the history of MC5, one of the most well-known rock bands to come out of Detroit, on the 50th anniversary of their iconic live album recording.  

Listen to the full show above or find individual segments below. 

Running faucet
Melissa Benmark / Michigan Radio

Parchment and Cooper Township residents can now safely drink their water. That’s what state and local officials are saying after water tests found PFAS levels were well below the advisory level.

Last month the state declared a State of Emergency in Parchment, a city near Kalamazoo, after high levels of chemicals known as PFAS were found in its water system.

Rebecca Williams / Michigan Radio

A Kalamazoo-area physician hopes to do something in November that no other Democrat has: unseat long-time Congressman Fred Upton.

Matt Longjohn easily defeated three other Democrats in Tuesday's primary in Michigan's Sixth Congressional District.

Health care was one of the issues Longjohn emphasized in his campaign. He points to his experience as the YMCA's national health officer.

This map shows areas of concern in the Oscoda area.  PFAs has been slowly spreading for the former U.S. Air Force base for decades.
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Several Michigan members of Congress are sending a letter to the Trump administration requesting stronger safeguards for dangerous chemicals in drinking water.

A recent Harvard study found six million Americans are drinking water contaminated with a group of chemicals,  per- and polyfluoroalkyl chemicals, better known as PFAS.

The chemicals have been linked to an increased risk of liver damage and pregnancy problems, among other health issues.

The border crossing at Lukeville, Arizona.
Alan Levine / Flickr

Some members of Michigan's Republican Congressional delegation have issued strong or tepid statements against the Trump Administration's policy on separating families at the border. 

Congressman Fred Upton
Republican Conference / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Republican Rep. Fred Upton of Michigan has ruled out running for U.S. Senate next year.

Upton, of St. Joseph, has held southwestern Michigan's congressional seat for 30 years. He said Friday there was "a path" to running, but he has chosen "not to follow it."

He instead will seek re-election to the House, saying, "We need focus and fortitude in Washington now more than ever."

Third-term Democratic Sen. Debbie Stabenow is up for re-election in 2018.

REPUBLICAN CONFERENCE / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

House Republicans are positioning their sweeping tax bill for a planned floor vote next week. 

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Access to health care for hundreds of thousands of Michiganders may be at risk as a federal funding deadline looms.

More than 40 community health centers provide care for 680,000 Michiganders. But federal funding for them expires this week. 

By one estimate, 100,000 Michiganders could lose their health care access almost immediately.

Congressman Fred Upton
Republican Conference / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

The U.S. House of Representatives has rejected an amendment to cut the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency by nearly 25%. The cut would have reduced the EPA budget by nearly $2 billion.

Rep. Fred Upton, R-St. Joseph, joined Stateside to talk about why he voted against the proposal. Upton said the budget cut would have ended vital programs that protect the Great Lakes.

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It's Just Politics with Zoe Clark and Rick Pluta

Representative David Trott announced Monday morning that he will not seek reelection in 2018. The announcement comes after speculation by various pundits and the retirement of two other Republican congressmen last week.

Rep. Upton says Trump’s budget plan is bad for Michigan

May 24, 2017
The Trump Administration's budget would eliminate the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

Lawmakers across the United States, both Republicans and Democrats, have been reacting to President Trump’s White House budget proposal released Tuesday.

Among the many cuts, the budget excludes funding for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, and cuts research funding for the National Institutes of Health by $5 billion. Former president, Barack Obama signed a bipartisan bill that allowed for the funding.

Money with bottle of pills
Images Money / Creative Commons http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

The stalled Republican replacement for the Affordable Care Act cleared a big hurdle this week. Lawmakers in the U.S. House passed the bill -- thanks in part to a last minute addition from Michigan Congressman Fred Upton. This Week in Review, Weekend Edition host Rebecca Kruth and senior news analyst Jack Lessenberry talk about Upton's amendment and what the bill could mean for Michigan.

They also discuss a state Court of Appeals ruling that teachers can drop out of their union whenever they like, another attempt by lawmakers to scrap and replace pensions for new teachers, and budget proposals that passed the state House and Senate this week. 

Saugatuck Dunes.
Rapid Growth Media

Michigan's lawmakers are reacting to an unconfirmed report that the EPA is thinking of shutting down its Region 5 office in Chicago. Under the plan, the Chicago office would merge with the Region 7 office in Kansas.

Republican Congressman Fred Upton represents Michigan’s 6th District, located in the southwest corner of the state along the shore of Lake Michigan. He spoke with Stateside about the potential proposal, which he said was “not a wise move.”

We used to be a pretty big deal in Congress but, now, Michigan’s House delegation is in a re-building season.

A new session of Congress has been sworn in in D.C. and for the first time in generations none of our Michigan Representatives are committee chairs.

(Support trusted journalism like this in Michigan. Give what you can here.)

There are three weeks to go until Election Day and Republicans are in despair, while Democrats are paranoid because no one is quite sure what the Donald Trump Effect will be on the ballot come November 8th.

It appears the Trump campaign is in a free fall, the statistical analysis website 538 now rates Trump’s chances of winning Michigan at 7.7 percent.

Flint Mayor Karen Weaver
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Tomorrow, Flint Mayor Karen Weaver will be in Washington D.C. asking for federal help with the city’s lead tainted tap water.

Weaver says she’s scheduled to meet with Michigan’s congressional delegation.   

She says she’ll give the lawmakers an update on Flint’s lead service line replacement program and other needs.

Recently an EPA official predicted Flint residents might have to use water filters for at least another year because of the lingering lead problem. Weaver says that opinion should strengthen Flint’s case for federal funds.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

A top Republican lawmaker says money for Flint’s water crisis is on “the short list” as Congress returns to work next week.

During a tour of Flint today, Rep. Fred Upton (R-St. Joseph) was briefed on water distribution efforts in the city of nearly 100,000.

“The demand has not gone down,” one distribution center supervisor told Upton and Rep. Dan Kildee (D-Flint). 

frankleleon / flickr creative commons http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

Plastic microbeads  found in soaps, facial scrubs, cosmetics and toothpaste will be phased out starting in 2017 under bipartisan legislation signed by President Barack Obama yesterday. 

The legislation was co-sponsored by Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich, and Rep. Frank Pallone, D-New Jersey. It is intended to protect the nation's waterways.

"Microbeads may be tiny plastic – but they are big-time pollution, especially for our Great Lakes," said Upton.

Courtesy photo - Paul Clements / Creative Commons http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

Paul Clements will try again to unseat longtime Congressman Fred Upton.

The political science professor at Western Michigan University got 40% of the vote the last time he ran against Upton, in 2014.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Time is running out for Michiganders who still need to sign up for health insurance coverage through the Affordable Care Act. 

February 15th is the deadline to sign up or face a penalty.

The initial roll out of Obamacare was marked by numerous problems.  Computer glitches frustrated tens of thousands of Michiganders who tried to log on to the online marketplace. 

“If you want to make some kind of comparison, the glitches this year are almost non-existent,” says Dizzy Warren, with Enroll Michigan.

She says the second year of Obamacare has gone much smoother than the first.

Congressman Fred Upton
Republican Conference / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Since 1990, CQ Roll Call has collected financial disclosures from all 541 Senators, Representatives and delegates and compiled an annual list of the "richest" and "poorest" members of U.S. Congress.

Below are the top 3 "richest" members of Congress and their minimum net worth for 2014:

  • Rep. Fred Upton R-Michigan: Net worth $7.3M
  • Rep. Dave Camp R-Michigan: Net worth $6.59M
  • Rep. John D. Dingell D-Michigan: Net worth $3.52M

Below are the top 3 "poorest" members of Congress and their net worth for 2014:

Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

This Week in Review, Jack Lessenberry and Rina Miller discuss who’ll be more hurt by low voter turnout on Tuesday, more Congressional race surprises, and a Detroit developer who dropped $3.1 million on some of the city's worst properties.


Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Police chiefs in Michigan are concerned that changes coming to the way the U.S. manages its broadcast spectrum may negatively affect their radio systems.

The Federal Communications Commission hopes to auction off part of the broadcast spectrum next year to meet growing demand for personal electronic devices.

The auction is expected to generate more than $20 billion dollars. 

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan Congressman Fred Upton, R-St. Joseph, says President Obama should be more open about his plans for U.S. military involvement in Iraq.

The U.S. has been dropping bombs on Islamic militants in northern Iraq for a week.

The group, commonly known as ISIS, has been expanding its hold on the region and destabilizing the Iraqi government and forcing Christians to flee.

Congressman Fred Upton is concerned President Obama may expand the U.S. role in Iraq without congressional approval.

Lindsey Smith / Michigan Radio

The head of the nation’s nuclear regulatory agency toured two nuclear plants in southwest Michigan Friday.

NRC Chairwoman Allison Macfarlane wanted to see how the plants are doing in the wake of the disaster at a nuclear plant in Japan. Congressman Fred Upton joined Macfarlane for the visits to the Donald C. Cook Nuclear Plant and the Palisades Nuclear Power Plant, both of which are located in his district.

Nuclear regulators are requiring plants to upgrade equipment and emergency plans that take into account the meltdown of the Fukushima plant in 2011.

primerates.com

Last night’s vote to end the federal government shutdown and raise the debt ceiling divided Michigan’s Republican congress.

The legislation reopens the government through Jan. 15th and permits the U.S. Treasury to borrow normally through Feb. 7th or perhaps a month longer.
 

Congress faced a midnight deadline Thursday. That's when U.S. Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew had said the government would reach the current $16.7 trillion debt limit and could no longer borrow to meet its obligations.

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