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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