Rep. Fred Upton, one of 10 Republicans to vote for Trump’s impeachment, announces retirement


Michigan Republican Congressman Fred Upton announced Tuesday he won’t be seeking reelection in November, becoming the fourth House Republican who voted for former President Trump’s impeachment to retire this midterm election cycle. 

As a result of his state’s redistricting, the 68-year-old Upton would have been drawn into a race that would have pitted him against another incumbent, fellow Republican Congressman Bill Huizenga.

In remarks on the House floor, Upton, who has represented his southwest Michigan district since 1993, highlighted his moments of bipartisanship. 

«I’ve worked [with] seven administrations, seven House speakers. None of them would call me a rubber stamp,» he said. «If it’s good policy for Michigan, it’s good enough for all of us.»

A vice chair of the bipartisan House Problem Solvers caucus, Upton also fondly recalled trips he had taken around the state with Democratic Congresswoman Debbie Dingell.

«We have been hitting the road to push for civility. Hopefully civility and bipartisanship versus discord can rule — not rue — the day,» he said. 

After Upton spoke,  Dingell praised him as a «devoted public servant» for his district and the state.

«To him, bipartisan and compromise are not forbidden words,» she said. «While we may not have found harmony on every issue, Fred and I always managed to disagree without vitriolic rhetoric and mean-spirited language.»

Upton served as chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee and worked in the Office of Management and Budget during President Ronald Reagan’s administration. 

The Michigan congressman was never a Trump ally and declined to support his presidential bid in 2016. In announcing his decision to vote for Trump’s second impeachment, Upton said that Congress «must hold President Trump to account and send the clear message that our country cannot and will not tolerate any effort by any President to impede the peaceful transfer of power from one President to the next.»

In addition to his impeachment vote after the January 6 attacks on the capitol, Upton was one of a handful of Republicans to vote for President Biden’s infrastructure plan. In his speech, he called it a «real honest to goodness» bill and alluded to a majority of Republicans voting against it.

«[It] passed 69 to 30 in the Senate but then hit the rocks here in the House, barely surviving Trump’s opposition — despite his call for a proposal twice as expensive with no pay-fors,» he said.

Trump had endorsed Huizenga against Upton after the state completed its redistricting process. He alluded to Upton’s potential retirement during a fundraiser in March for John Gibbs, a Republican challenger to Congressman Peter Meijer of Michigan. Meijer had also voted to impeach Trump.

«I was just telling John, the good news is six out of the 10 [House Republicans] are gone or effectively gone,» Trump said during the fundraiser at Mar-A-Lago.

The other retiring House Republicans who voted for Trump’s impeachment include representatives John Katko of New York, Adam Kinzinger of Illinois and Anthony Gonzalez of Ohio.

Representatives Liz Cheney of Wyoming, Tom Rice of South Carolina, Peter Meijer of Michigan, David Valadao of California, and Jamie Herrera-Beutler and Dan Newhouse of Washington are the remaining pro-impeachment Republicans running for re-election.

House Republican Whip Steve Scalise believed redistricting was the main factor in Upton’s decision to retire, since it would have forced a matchup against a fellow Republican congressman.

«Clearly, if you look, redistricting had a lot to do with that. Because we’ve got a few races across the country where two Republicans were pitted against each other,» Scalise said. «This was a decision he had to make looking at the dynamics of a member-on-member race, and it’s unfortunate we’ve got a few of them.»

There are two other Republican vs. Republican matchups that have arisen because of redistricting: Alex Mooney versus David McKinley in West Virginia and Rodney Davis versus Mary Miller in Illinois. 

In his closing remarks, Upton looked forward to what comes next for him. 

«Someone asked my wife Amy, ‘What would be the next chapter?’ She said, ‘And they lived happily ever after.’ Indeed we will,» Upton said. 

Rebecca Kaplan contributed reporting. 





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