House

Longtime GOP Rep. Fred Upton to retire

Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.) is seen before a House Energy and Commerce Committee oversight hearing of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Tuesday, July 27, 2021.
Greg Nash

Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.), a longtime member of Congress who has served in the lower chamber since 1987, announced his retirement Tuesday in an emotional speech on the House floor.

“Even the best stories have a last chapter. This is it for me,” Upton said on the floor.

“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,” the congressman added referring to former President Reagan.

Upton was one of 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach former President Trump following 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.

Over his 35 years in the House, Upton previously served on the House GOP’s leadership steering committee and chaired the Energy and Commerce Committee. He was a member of the House Problem Solvers caucus.

Upton would have faced Rep. Bill Huizenga, who President Trump endorsed in March, in the Republican primary for Michigan’s new 4th district. Upton was redrawn into the 4th district with Huizenga, who currently represents the 2nd district. Michigan redrew its map after the 2020 census.

The Michigan Republican is the fourth House GOP member who voted for Trump’s impeachment to announce that they will not run for reelection. Reps. Anthony Gonzalez (R-Ohio), John Katko (R-N.Y.) and Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) have done the same.

Shortly after Upton’s announcement, Trump released a brief statement cheering the decision.

“UPTON QUITS! 4 down and 6 to go. Others losing badly, who’s next?” Trump wrote.

Huizenga thanked Upton for his service in a statement.

“Fred’s statesman-like legacy will be remembered both in Michigan and our nation’s capital,” Huizenga wrote. “I wish both he and Amey the best as they start their next chapter.”

Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-Mich.) spoke on the floor following Upton’s announcement, asking for more of her colleagues to work across the aisle like Upton did.

“To him, ‘bipartisan’ and ‘compromise’ are not forbidden words,” Dingell said. “Fred knew well that if we’re going to deliver real solutions for the American people, we need to come together and listen to all perspectives, no matter how complicated the issue might be.”

Updated at 12:5 p.m.

Tags 2022 midterms Bill Huizenga Fred Upton GOP retirements House elections House retirements Michigan Steve Carra Trump impeachment
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