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Republican Rep. Fred Upton to Retire

April 5, 2022 by Dan McCue
Republican Rep. Fred Upton to Retire
Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich., who voted to impeach former President Donald Trump over the Capitol insurrection, announced Tuesday, April 5, 2022, that he's retiring after 35 years in office. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)

WASHINGTON — Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich., a member of Congress since 1987, announced his retirement Tuesday with a speech on the House floor.

“It seems like just yesterday when a number of community leaders encouraged me to run for Congress. Against all odds, we ended up winning a hotly contested GOP primary and the journey began,” Upton said, his voice growing in emotion as he continued.

“Throughout my career I have leaned on lessons from my Reagan White House days where my boss and mentor was Ken Duberstein, who later was his chief of staff,” he said.

“Reagan worked both sides of the aisle to get things done, caring less about who got the credit. And I made a promise that such a principle would be my guiding light. Especially in these days of divided government, that is the only way one can actually get legislation enacted,” Upton continued.

“There’s been something special in my household with ‘highlights’ and ‘lowlights’ that we often discuss at the dinner table,” Upton said. “Even the best stories have a last chapter: This is it for me.”

Among the highlights Upton recalled during his remarks was the passage of the 21st Century Cures Act, which he said laid the foundation for Operation Warp Speed and faster drug approvals, including the first vaccine Pfizer produced in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

“Now, once again with my partner [Rep.] Diana DeGette, [D-Colo.], we’re pursuing [the] Cures 2.0 [Act] with all the disease and patient advocates who joined us on [the first] Cures,” he said.

Upton also spoke of his work on energy and tax legislation as well as his efforts to promote greater pipeline safety and protecting the Great Lakes.

Left unmentioned was his role as one of 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach former President Donald Trump in the wake of the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. The decision to indict the then-president made him a target of Trump and his supporters.

Of those House Republicans, Upton is the fourth to announce that they will not run for reelection. 

The others were Reps. Anthony Gonzalez, R-Ohio, John Katko, R-N.Y., and Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill.

Dan can be reached at dan@thewellnews.com and at https://twitter.com/DanMcCue

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