Apr 5, 2022 - Politics & Policy

GOP Rep. Fred Upton announces retirement

Fred Upton
Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich., speaks during the Problem Solvers Caucus press conference in the Capitol on Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2020

Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.) on Tuesday announced his retirement after more than three-and-a-half decades in Congress.

Why it matters: Upton is the fourth House Republican to opt out of reelection after voting to impeach former President Donald Trump for inciting the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.

  • Reps. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.), Anthony Gonzalez (R-Ohio) and John Katko (R-N.Y.) have all previously announced plans to retire.
  • Trump has actively supported primary challengers to many of the 10 Republicans who voted to impeach in an effort to purge disloyalty in the GOP.
  • Compounding matters for Upton is that, due to redistricting, his primary opponent is a more conservative, Trump-backed incumbent: Rep. Bill Huizenga (R-Mich.)

Driving the news: "Even the best stories have a last chapter. This is it for me," Upton said in a tearful speech on the House floor.

  • Upton, a member of the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus who shares a rare cross-party friendship with President Joe Biden, touted his record of bipartisan cooperation, including an infrastructure bill opposed by Trump.
  • "I've worked with seven administrations, seven House speakers. None of them would call me a rubber stamp," Upton said. "If it's good policy for Michigan, it's good enough for all of us."

What they're saying: Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-Mich.) lauded Upton as a "devoted public servant" in a floor speech following Upton's announcement.

  • "To him, 'bipartisan' and 'compromise' are not forbidden words. Fred knew well that if we are going to deliver real solutions for the American people, we need to come together," she said.
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