Fred Upton

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Fred Upton currently serves the 6th Congressional district of Michigan

Frederick Stephen Upton, has been a Republican member of the United States House of Representatives since 1987, representing Michigan's 6th District which stretches along the Michigan-Indiana border and is based in Kalamazoo and St. Joseph (map). He is generally considered a moderate Republican.

Record and controversies

General information about important bills and votes for can be found in Congresspedia's articles on legislation. You can add information you find on how Fred Upton voted by clicking the "[edit]" link to the right and typing it in. Remember to cite your sources!

Iraq War

Upton voted for the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002 that started the Iraq War.[1]

For more information see the chart of U.S. House of Representatives votes on the Iraq War.

Environmental record

For more information on environmental legislation, see the Energy and Environment Policy Portal

Barton-Rush Act of 2006

In 2006 Upton cosponsored the Communications Opportunity Promotion and Enhancement Act of 2006 with Reps. Joe Barton (R-TX), Bobby Rush (D-IL), and Chip Pickering (R-MS). The COPE Act or "Barton-Rush" bill would allow major telephone companies to compete with cable television companies. It has also been widely critized for making net neutrality impossible, which could possibly lead to a multi-tiered Internet where some websites would move and load faster if they pay an additional fee to providers like Verizon and Comcast.[1]

The leading proponents of the COPE Act have been Verizon, Comcast, SBC Communications, Time Warner, and AT&T. Upton has a potential conflict of interest as he owns dividends in a number of these companies. Upton owns between $1,000-$15,000 in dividends in SBC, AT&T, Comcast, and Verizon. In a trust that Upton does not control he owns between $15,000-$50,000 of dividends in SBC and between $1,000-$15,000 in dividends of Verizon.[2]

The telephone utilities companies have been Upton's 11th largest donor over his career contributing $135,070 since 1989.[3] During the current 2006 election cycle Upton has received $26,250 from the telephone companies making him the 17th highest recipient of telephone company largesse.[4]

Controversy with FreedomWorks and Joe Barton

In November 2010, Upton found himself in a scuffle with the astroturf group, FreedomWorks, which accused him of being "far out of step with the Tea Party movement, the GOP and the American people as a whole."[2] The scuffle was related to the chairmanship of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce. Upton was competing with Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas), a global warming denier who is fully aligned with the oil and gas industry - receiving $1,482,630 in lifetime contributions, and apologizing to British Petroleum after the Deepwater Horizon disaster.[3] Upton, who has acknowledged the existence of human-caused global warming, proved a threat to FreedomWorks, who proceeded to launch a "Down With Upton" campaign, in an attempt to unseat him. They launched a website, whose mission was to "attack 'Big Government Republican Fred Upton' for a record 'full of votes for more regulation, more spending, and more taxes.'”[4]

Climate Change

In early January 2011, after becoming House Energy and Commerce Committee chair, Fred Upton coauthored a Wall Street Journal op-ed with Tim Phillips, the president of Americans for Prosperity, an astroturf front group started by oil billioniare David Koch and Richard Fink (a member of the board of directors of Koch Industries). AFP was involved in the attacks on Obama’s "green jobs" czar, Van Jones, and has crusaded against international climate talks.[5] The op-ed was about new EPA regulations to curb greenhouse gas emissions. Upton and Phillips wrote that the EPA "presumes that carbon is a problem in need of regulation. We are not convinced." They also said the carbon regulation rules are "an unconstitutional power grab that will kill millions of jobs." Koch Industries was among Upton's top contributors in the 2010 election cycle, along with several other energy companies.[6]

In the past, Upton has advocated taking action on global warming: "I strongly believe that everything must be on the table as we seek to reduce carbon emissions," he once stated on his website, which has since been removed. Following the 2010 Tea Party-aided Republican takeover of the House and a heated fight for the chairmanship of the energy and commerce committee, Upton's position on climate change has veered closer to those of global warming skeptics. Upton is considering the idea of using the Congressional Review Act to block the EPA's new regulations on greenhouse gas emissions, in which Congress can overturn regulations from the executive branch within 60 days of their publication in the Federal Register, although the President retains the right to veto.[6]



Born in St. Joseph on April 23, 1953, Upton earned a B.A. in Journalism in 1975 from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. He served in the Office of Management and Budget under Ronald Reagan from 1981-85.

Congressional Career

A protege of OMB director and former congressman David Stockman, he ran in the Republican primary against Stockman's successor in what was then the 4th District. He won, and was handily elected in November. He has been reelected nine times. His district was renumbered as the 6th District after the 1990 census caused Michigan to lose two seats.

2006 elections

In 2006, the Democrats nominated Kim L. Clark to face Upton in his November 2006 bid for reelection. (See U.S. congressional elections in 2006) [5] Upton retained his seat.

Positions and Views

Upton is often described as the "Ironman of the House." He has never missed a vote in 18 years in Congress. He has earned a reputation as a leader and a dealmaker, helping to guide a powerful bloc of moderate congressmen in unison, playing influential roles in a number of tax relief and budget matters. He is a strong proponent of stem cell research.

Despite his willingness to buck the right leaning House leadership (he harshly criticized Newt Gingrich for his failure to compromise with Bill Clinton in the 1995 budget crisis), his down to earth demeanor and frequent greeting of "call me Fred" when referred to as "Congressman" has earned him the respect and admiration of his fellow Representatives, staff, and members of the public affairs community.

In the 109th Congress, Upton serves on the House Energy and Commerce Committee. He is chairman of the Telecommunications and the Internet Subcommittee, and also serves on the Health Subcommittee.

In 2002 he defeated former State Senator Dale Shugars in a contested primary. Upton was criticized for his views on abortion as well as his support for some forms of gun control.

Money in politics

This section contains links to – and feeds from – money in politics databases. <crpcontribdata>cid=N00004133&cycle=2006</crpcontribdata>

Links to more campaign contribution information for Fred Upton
from the Center for Responsive Politics' site.
Fundraising profile: 2006 election cycle Career totals
Top contributors by organization/corporation: 2006 election cycle Career totals
Top contributors by industry: 2006 election cycle Career totals

Committees and Affiliations


Committee assignments in the 109th Congress (2005-2006)

Coalitions and Caucuses

  • Co-Vice Chair, Congressional Automotive Caucus
  • Congressional Caucus on India and India Americans
  • Congressional Competitiveness Caucus
  • Congressional Fire Services Caucus
  • Congressional Grace Caucus
  • Congressional Immigration Reform Caucus
  • Congressional Travel and Tourism Caucus
  • Diabetes Caucus
  • House Centrist Coalition
  • Medical Technology Caucus

Boards and other Affiliations

  • Emil Verban Society
  • Founder, Co-Chair, Tuesday Group

More Background Data

Wikipedia also has an article on Fred Upton. This article may use content from the Wikipedia article under the terms of the GFDL.


DC Office:
2183 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515-2206
Phone: 202-225-3761
Fax: 202-225-4986
Web Email

District Office- Kalamazoo:
157 South Kalamazoo Mall, Suite 180
Kalamazoo, MI 49006-4828
Phone: 269-385-0039
Fax: 269-385-2888

District Office- St. Joseph:
800 Ship Street, Suite 106
St. Joseph, MI 49085-1124
Phone: 269-982-1986
Fax: 269-982-0237

Articles and Resources


Local blogs and discussion sites

Articles & Commentary

Corresponding article on Wikipedia and Cause Caller. (If Cause Caller link does not work, pick from its list of senators and representatives.)

Current Office: U.S. House of Representatives
111th Congress
Leadership Position:
Committees Chaired:
Ranking Member On:

110th Congress
Leadership Position:
Committees Chaired:
Ranking Member On:

House Committee on Energy and Commerce/Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet
Co-Vice Chair of Congressional Automotive Caucus, Congressional Caucus on India and India Americans, Congressional Competitiveness Caucus, Congressional Fire Services Caucus, Congressional Grace Caucus, Congressional Immigration Reform Caucus, Congressional Travel and Tourism Caucus, Diabetes Caucus, House Centrist Coalition, Medical Technology Caucus
Committees: House Committee on Energy and Commerce, House Committee on Energy and Commerce/Subcommittee on Energy and Air Quality, House Committee on Energy and Commerce/Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet
Congressional Career
First Elected to Current Office:
November 4, 1986
First Took Current Office:
January 6, 1987
Next Election:
November 2, 2010
Term Ends:
Freshman Member?
Previous Political Work?
None or Not Available
Other Party Membership:
District Offices:
1. 157 South Kalamazoo Mall, Suite 180 Kalamazoo, MI 49006-4828
Phone: 269-385-0039 / Fax: 269-385-2888
2. 800 Ship Street, Suite 106 St. Joseph, MI 49085-1124
Phone: 269-982-1986 / Fax: 269-982-0237

Campaign Contact:

Webform Email: / Email:

Campaign Offices:

Phone: / Fax:

Zip Code Affiliations:

Date of Birth: April 23, 1953

  1. Roll call vote, Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002.
  2. [6], "Beck And FreedomWorks Campaign Against Fred Upton: ‘Light Bulbs Are Just The Beginning.’" Think Progress. Nov. 24, 2010
  3. [7], "Joe Barton to BP: ‘I apologize’ for the White House ‘shakedown.’" Think Progress. June 17, 2010.
  4. [8], "Beck And FreedomWorks Campaign Against Fred Upton: ‘Light Bulbs Are Just The Beginning.’" ThinkProgress. Nov. 24, 2010
  5. Jane Mayer Covert Operations: The billionaire brothers who are waging a war against Obama, The New Yorker, August 30, 2010
  6. 6.0 6.1 Kate Sheppard, "Fred Upton's Climate Changeup" Morther Jones, Jan. 4, 2011.