MI Congressional Rep Upton responds to shutdown

January 31, 2019

Dear Mr. Salisbury,

Thank you for contacting me regarding the recent government shutdown. I share your frustration over the dysfunction in Washington at this time and continue to be committed to find bipartisan solutions to keep our government funded.

There are no winners in a government shutdown and it has a very real impact in Southwest Michigan. The shutdown jeopardized critical federal services such as food stamps, Department of Housing and Urban Development’s rental assistance programs, including Section 8 vouchers, and various public safety functions carried out by workers that were furloughed or working without pay, like the Coast Guard. This is unacceptable. That is why I joined 234 Democrats and 6 Republicans to pass H.R. 21, a six bill spending package that would fund nearly all of the government agencies that were unnecessarily shuttered in the recent 35-day shutdown. The government has currently been funded through February 15, 2019.

You may also be interested to know, I joined a group of my colleagues in introducing H.R. 2221, the Government Shutdown Prevention Act. If passed, would prevent a shutdown by providing automatically continued funding for any federal appropriation that is not completed before the end of the fiscal year.

Rest assured, I will continue to work with all my Republican and Democrat colleagues in the House and Senate to ensure that the government is fully funded.

Thank you again for contacting me. As always, I appreciate hearing from you and it’s of the utmost importance to me that your voice is heard. Due to the highly charged political atmosphere, my office is experiencing an unprecedented amount of mail and it may take several weeks for a response to get back to you. Sometimes you may receive a “form letter,” but please know these letters accurately reflect my position.

Many of you reach out regarding the dysfunction back in Washington. As Vice Chair of the House Problem Solvers Caucus, a bipartisan group of representatives, I was pleased to join my colleagues in introducing the “Break the Gridlock” proposal.


This effort would force consideration of bipartisan amendments and make Washington actually fix problems. If we had these rules in place, just in recent weeks, I believe important bipartisan legislation would have been adopted on immigration, the environment as it relates to PFAS and water quality, health care, agriculture, and other spending issues. We will insist on these proposed changes in the 116th Congress.

As we continue our work in Congress, please do not hesitate to contact my team in Washington, D.C. (202-225-3761), Kalamazoo (269-385-0039), or St. Joseph (269-982-1986) or visit upton.house.gov to share your thoughts on legislation or issues of importance to you. In addition, I encourage you to sign up for my weekly e-newsletter to stay up-to-date on what I’m working on each week in Congress and back home in Southwest Michigan. To see my official position on more than 70 issues and policy concerns and to view my official voting record, please click here.


Fred Upton
Member of Congress


Koch Brothers Plan New Scheme Fully to Privatize American Education—at Public Expense

“The growing wave of teachers’ strikes has instead been a cry for help from a profession of hard-working, dedicated public servants disgusted with despicable working conditions, lack of desperately needed services for their students, and insultingly low pay.” – Jan Resseger


Last Friday, Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank described this year’s wave of strikes and walkouts by school teachers: “Something funny happened on the way to the labor movement’s funeral.  When Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. and his antilabor colleagues on the Supreme Court handed down the Janus v. AFSCME decision last June, unions braced for the worst.”  But, Milbank concludes: “Labor leaders ought to thank Alito—and send chocolates to the Koch brothers for bankrolling the anti-union court case.  Their brazen assault, combined with President Trump’s hostility toward labor, has generated a backlash, invigorating public-sector unions and making a case for the broader labor movement to return to its roots and embrace a more militant style.”

I don’t know about the implications for all of labor, and I’d argue with Milbank’s point that this year’s strikes by teachers have been primarily a response to the Janus decision. The growing wave of…

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By Striking, Teachers Are Demonstrating Society’s Failure to Value our Children and Their Schools


The 30,000 striking teachers in Los Angeles won better conditions for their students —smaller class size maximums, more counselors, librarians and nurses and an addition of 30 Community Schools with wraparound medical and social services for families. This week teachers in Virginia, a state where strikes are technically illegal, walked out for the day to rally at the state capitol in Richmond.  And school teachers in Denver had voted to go on strike this week, although their action was delayed when Denver Public Schools filed a request for intervention from the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment. It is evident that last spring’s teachers’ walkouts were not a mere blip.

Nineteen-year labor and workplace reporter for the NY Times, Steven Greenhouse comments in the Washington Post about the meaning of this year’s actions by masses of school teachers fed up with the collapse of state budgets and the working…

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Linda Darling-Hammond Disappoints in Cleveland City Club Address


Linda Darling-Hammond is a national figure in the field of education policy.  She is the President and CEO of the Learning Policy Institute at Stanford University, where she is an emeritus professor of education, and she headed up President Obama’s transition team for education. She is the author of several books including The Flat World and Education, in which she declares: “One wonders what we might accomplish as a nation if we could finally set aside what appears to be our de facto commitment to inequality so profoundly at odds with our rhetoric of equity, and put the millions of dollars spent continually arguing and litigating into building a high quality education system for all children.” (p. 164)

Last Friday, Darling-Hammond delivered the weekly address at the Cleveland City Club.  I was disappointed.

Darling-Hammond declared that “we have left No Child Left Behind (NCLB) behind” and implied that its…

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Preschool children may exhibit racial and gender biases

Two groups of youngsters responded much less positively to photos of black boys than photos of white girls, black girls and white boys. The paper, published in Developmental Science, claims to present “the earliest evidence of bias at the intersection of race and gender.”

Learn more about this here…


Targeted internet ads may improve millennial voter turnout

An academic study done in partnership with The Dallas Morning News finds that Dallas voters between the ages of 23 and 35 were more likely to participate in certain local races if they had been targeted by internet ads promoting election news coverage and election reminders.

Learn more about this here…


Super Bowl research, tips to tackle before kickoff


American football is the most popular spectator sport in the United States, and each winter it culminates in the game of all games – the Super Bowl. This year, on Feb. 3 the New England Patriots will face off against the Los Angeles Rams. Historically, viewership of the Super Bowl has topped 100 million.

Looking to cover the big game even though you don’t work on the sports desk? We’ve gathered and summarized Super Bowl-related research that looks at issues related to public health, economics, business, technology and crime. Whether you’re covering the game from a local or national perspective, the highlighted findings might offer you some new angles.

You’ll find answers to questions including: Are “Super Bowl Babies” a thing? Sure, people watch for the ads, but do the much-hyped commercials actually boost sales? Does sex trafficking spike around the Super Bowl? What’s the relationship between Super Bowl season and the flu? Can the internet withstand the demands of live streaming the game? And how can investors profit from a Super Bowl-oriented strategy?

Cruise on down to the end zone for our summaries.

Learn more about this here…


Michigan’s Paw Paw Public Schools accused of racial discrimination by ACLU

The culture at Paw Paw Public Schools hurts students of color, the American Civil Liberties Union claims.

A “racially hostile educational environment” is how the ACLU described the southwestern Michigan school district best known for its continued use of a Native American name and image as its mascot.

After a Freedom of Information Act request exposed cases of what it believes to be hostile and discriminatory behavior, the ACLU filed a federal discrimination complaint on Monday, Jan. 21 with the U.S. Department of Education against Paw Paw Public Schools, MLive reports. The ACLU is calling for a federal investigation by the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights.

Learn more about this here…


ADHD Drugs Associated with a Dramatic Increased Risk for Parkinson’s

Estimates indicate that approximately 11% of school-aged children in United States have attention-deficit/ hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Further, approximately 2/3 of these children are currently being medicated for this diagnosis. The most common medications are essentially stimulants like amphetamines or methylphenidates, including drugs like Adderall and Ritalin.

Learn more about this from neurologist and researcher Dr David Perlmutter here…


Whitmer to address education in first State of the State | mlive.com

One thing Michiganders can expect to hear about in Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s first State of the State speech is education, she revealed at a Clare event last week.

She was at the Cops and Doughnuts shop in downtown Clare with former Lt. Gov. Brian Calley, now president of the Small Business Association of Michigan, talking to small business owners in the area on Thursday. But she got some questions, too, from a group of six retired educators from Harrison who attended the event.

She assured the retired educators they would hear more about education in the near future.

Learn more about this here…