LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Upton’s not a moderate

Published 10:26 am Friday, December 13, 2019

recent Associated Press article labeled Fred Upton (33 years in Congress) a moderate promoting “common sense values” and bipartisan accomplishments.

That article painted a very distorted picture of Fred’s support for moderate issues.

In 2011, Upton voted to sponsor a bill blocking the EPA from implementing the Clean Air Act. This was one of many votes that prompted the Los Angeles Times to label him as “the #1 enemy of the environment.”

In 2017, Upton voted to repeal most of the healthcare protections of the Affordable Care Act. He also voted for the Republican tax bill that gave nearly all the benefits to the wealthy and caused a huge increase in the federal deficit.

In 2019, Upton voted against states keeping stringent requirements protecting Americans with Preexisting Conditions. He also voted against Humanitarian Assistance and Custody Standards for Individuals held at the border.

In December, he voted against efforts to restore key safeguards for the 1965 Voting Rights Act, America’s signature legislation protecting voters of color.

The AP article also commented on Upton’s extra efforts to meet with his sixth district constituents.  After Trump’s election, constituents repeatedly asked Fred to attend “in person” town halls to better understand his positions through face-to-face interaction, answering questions and follow-up in real time.  Instead, Upton protected himself by avoiding “in-person” town halls as he has done since February, 2010.     

Upton didn’t look very bipartisan in 2017-2018, voting 94.7 percent with Trump. In 2019, he attempted to appear more bipartisan by voting only 60.4 percent with Trump, knowing that none of his moderate votes really mattered because the Republican Senate has refused to vote on the majority of bills coming from the Democratic Congress.

Like the Wizard of Oz, Upton says, “I’m really a moderate, pay no attention to the partisan politician behind the curtain!”

Ken Peterson