Frederick Stephen Upton (born April 23, 1953) is the U.S. Representative for Michigan's 6th congressional district, serving since 1987. He is a member of the Republican Party and Chairman of the Committee on Energy and Commerce. The district, based in Kalamazoo, stretches along the Michigan-Indiana border in the southwestern part of the state.
Early life, education, and early political career
Born in St. Joseph, Michigan, Upton earned a B.A. in Journalism from the University of Michigan in 1975.
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 David Stockman was OMB Director.
U.S. House of Representatives
A protege of OMB director and former congressman Dave Stockman, he ran in the 1986 Republican primary against Stockman's successor in what was then the 4th district, Mark D. Siljander.
Upton won the primary and was easily elected in November. He has been reelected 11 times. His district became the 6th district after reapportionment following the 1990 census caused Michigan to lose two seats.
In 2002, Upton faced conservative state senator Dale Shugars in the Republican primary. Shugars ran well to Upton's right on several issues, especially abortion. However, Upton easily won the primary and defeated Democrat Gary Giguere in the general election.
Two years later Upton faced no primary opponent and won the general election against Democrat Scott Elliott, an art gallery owner. In 2006, Upton had no opponent in the Republican primary. In the general election, Upton took 61 percent of the vote, defeating his Democratic challenger Kim Clark. Upton once again had no opponent in the Republican primary in 2008, and defeated Democrat Don Cooney, Libertarian Greg Merle, and Green Reverend Edward Pinkney in the general election. In 2010 Upton was challenged in the Republican primary by former state representative Jack Hoogendyk. Upton won the race with 57% of the vote Hoogendyk's 43%.
Upton's website once stated: "I strongly believe that everything must be on the table as we seek to reduce carbon emissions." In April 2009, he maintained that "[c]limate change is a serious problem that necessitates serious solutions. Everything must be on the table." However, "Upton has gradually retreated from his moderate stance on climate change and carbon emissions." 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 EPA regulations of greenhouse gases. He is the co-sponsor, with Ed Whitfield, of the “Energy Tax Prevention Act of 2011”.
Upton promoted the banning of incandescent bulbs in the U.S., in favor of compact fluorescent lamps.
Fred Upton wishes to repeal the 2010 health insurance reform act stating it ignored the will of the people and thinks that a bill that important should not have been passed with such strong bipartisan opposition. Upton also believes that with the current level of debt, the United States cannot afford the health care plan even though the CBO reported that the reform would yield net reduction in federal deficits.
Upton does not support the restrictions on the purchase and possession of guns in most circumstances, receiving an A- from the Gun owners of America in 2010. Yet Upton also supports some gun safety laws.
From 1991-2003, Upton supported the interests of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence 55 percent and in 1993, Upton supported a waiting period for gun purchase to provide background checks for criminal records.
Upton's grandfather, Frederick Upton, was co-founder of appliance manufacturer and marketer Whirlpool Corporation, which is headquartered in Benton Harbor. His wife’s name is Amey, and he has two children, Meg and Stephen.
Upton is a known supporter of Michigan Wolverine athletics as well as an enthusiastic Chicago Cubs baseball fan and a member of the Emil Verban Society.
Upton's niece is Kate Upton, a model known for her appearance in the 2011 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue and also becoming the 'Rookie of the Year'.
November 30th, 2011