Fred believes that everyone in Southwest Michigan should have equal access to a quality education as it is necessary for success in today’s world.
Fred has a long history of supporting innovative educational initiatives such as Head Start, Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) programs, and FIRST Robotics. Fred also supported the Every Student Succeeds Act, which was bipartisan, bicameral legislation signed into law by President Obama in 2015 that overhauled our education laws for the first time since No Child Left Behind was crafted in 2002.
Additionally, Fred supports efforts to make higher education more affordable for families and has voted for bipartisan legislation to improve federal financial aid programs that removes barriers to achieving a higher education degree.
The key to success in the 21st Century is a high quality education, Fred will continue to fight for commonsense policies that give students, parents, and teachers a voice and allow for students to achieve their goals.
As a result of his bipartisan leadership, Fred was awarded the Champion of Children Award.
Combatting Drug Abuse
Fred understands how out-of-control opioid abuse has gotten in our community and across the country. The Energy and Commerce Committee, which Fred chairs, has held a number of hearings with experts, stakeholders, law enforcement, individuals in recovery, and family members of opioid abuse victims in order to identify problems and potential solutions. Fred knows we can’t arrest our way out of the current opioid epidemic and believes we have a responsibility to work together, Republicans and Democrats, to deliver results for families who are struggling.
Fred is working with Southwest Michigan law enforcement, medical and education communities, and families to address the tragic epidemic of prescription drug and heroin abuse. Fred’s committee passed bipartisan legislation to promote cooperation among the private sector and government agencies to encourage prevention and treatment to help patients. The legislation advanced through the House and is being merged with the Senate’s bill through a “Conference Committee” of which Fred was appointed to serve on by Speaker Paul Ryan.
Drug abuse doesn’t discriminate, and Fred knows we need to work together to solve this crisis sweeping through our communities.
As a result of Fred’s bipartisan leadership, individuals facing addiction and their concerned families have more hope they can overcome the life-threatening challenge of drug addiction.
Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security
Fred knows that our seniors and most vulnerable here in Southwest Michigan deserve a strong and secure safety net that works for them. Folks deserve peace of mind that Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security will be there for them – and Fred believes we should be working to protect it for future generations as well.
In 2014, Fred was able to help negotiate and advance a major bipartisan deal that essentially saved Medicare. The Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act permanently fixes the Medicare payment formula, which protects seniors’ access to doctors. Without this permanent “doc fix” – many seniors would have lost access to their doctors. Instead, Fred reached across the aisle and helped get a bill signed into law by President Obama. As a result, Fred was awarded the 2015 Medicare Part D Patient Access Champion Award from the St. Joseph Area on Aging.
Fred strongly believes that those who have done so much for our country deserve the safety and security of our programs like Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security. Fred also knows that we need to work together to ensure the long-term solvency of these critical programs for future generations.
As a result of his bipartisan leadership, Fred was named as a 2016 Medicare Advantage Champion.
Protecting Our Great Lakes & Environment
Fred grew up on the shores of Lake Michigan and so he understands and appreciates our Great Lakes ecosystem and natural resources. Fred has an extensive record of working to protect our Great Lakes.
Working on a bipartisan basis, Fred led the charge to ban harmful microbeads from polluting our Great Lakes. Microbeads are tiny bits of plastic that can pollute waterways and in 2015, President Obama signed Fred’s legislation into law, marking a major win for our Great Lakes ecosystem.
The tragedy in Flint, Michigan, demanded immediate action, so Fred reached across the aisle and worked closely with Flint Congressman Dan Kildee on bipartisan legislation that passed the House of Representatives 416-2 that demanded accountability from all levels of government to ensure what happened in Flint can never happen again in any community.
Additionally, Fred has been a longtime, bipartisan leader in the efforts to fight invasive species like Asian Carp. Asian Carp represent a real threat to the future of our Great Lakes. Fred has supported bipartisan efforts to provide much needed resources to fight Asian Carp as well as the efforts to physically separate the Mississippi River water shed from the Great Lakes water shed. Fred also led the charge against British Petroleum trying to dump toxins into Lake Michigan.
Protecting and preserving the integrity of our Great Lakes will be continue to be an issue at the forefront of Fred’s mind as water infrastructure issues take center stage.
As a result of his bipartisan leadership, Fred was awarded the Theodore Roosevelt Award by ConservAmerica for his leadership in common sense conservation of our natural resources.
National Security & Veterans Affairs
In the current climate of international and homegrown terrorism, no mistakes can be made and Fred believes America’s top foreign policy goal must be to defend our citizens and our homeland from terrorist threats. Fred will continue to place a high priority on our national security and securing our homeland from these terrorist threats. Just this past December, thanks in part to Fred’s leadership, it was announced that the Michigan Air National Guard’s 110th Attack Wing, stationed right here in Southwest Michigan, will be the host of a new Cyber Operations Squadron, which will help in our battle against cyber-terrorists by providing more Michigan manpower and resources in the fight.
Fred knows that our military veterans are the best of the best and they deserve a health system that is worthy of their incredible sacrifice and service to our country. Fred voted for bipartisan legislation that gives veterans exactly what they deserve: Quality, timely care. Fred also supports solutions for veterans that expands access outside the VA, and also begins the long-needed process of reforming our veteran care system.
Additionally, Fred is a champion of common sense encryption and cyber-security measures that keep our private information, and our country, safe and secure.
Our military veterans keep us safe and put their lives in danger so that we can enjoy our freedoms. What they do every day on behalf of our country is hard. Fred knows making sure they have access to quality care when they come home should be easy.
As a result of Fred’s bipartisan leadership, more resources have been directed to our troops and veterans, and national security threats are being confronted.
Agriculture remains a driving force in Michigan’s economic recovery and Fred remains committed to our local farmers. Ensuring that our farmer friends can continue growing safe, abundant, and inexpensive food is one of Fred’s top priorities. From scaling back overzealous federal red tape so that farmers have lower operating costs, working to modernizing the review process to support livestock health, and supporting fair trade agreements that promote Michigan exports – Fred understands our state’s unique agriculture needs and fights hard in Washington for our farmers.
Fred is also one of the few Republicans that supports common sense immigration reforms such as a verified guest worker visa to provide a reliable and legal workforce for our farmers.
In our 21st Century, global economy, Fred will continue to stand up for Southwest Michigan farmers and our shared interests.
Fred is focused on common sense solutions for our nation’s energy future through a sensible “all of the above” approach that focuses on emerging energy technologies like wind, solar, nuclear, and hydropower mixed with traditional energy solutions. By focusing on the energy we can develop here at home, we can keep costs low for Michigan families and businesses, create jobs, and reduce our reliance on volatile, overseas energy-producers. Building the energy infrastructure that supports an “all of the above” energy strategy will also create jobs, boost our economy, and ensure that our energy moves safely and reliably to keep costs down for Michigan families.
To that end, Fred is responsible for helping get the landmark 2011 pipeline safety bill signed into law by President Obama and played a major role in getting the PIPES Act of 2016 signed into law by President Obama in June of 2016. Of particular note, the PIPES Act of 2016 will impact Enbridge’s Line 5, which runs cross the Straits of Mackinac, and calls for increased inspections to ensure the utmost safety. This reauthorization is a step forward for our pipeline safety and Fred will continue to be a bipartisan leader on this issue.
Additionally, Fred is focused on protecting our electricity grid from nefarious attacks or outages. Reliable electricity is often times views as an unseen luxury that folks tend to take for granted – until the worst happens. Fred has consistently fought for common sense policies that keep our electric grid safe and secure. Fred is also on the front lines fighting the EPA’s endless regulatory assault that drives consumer energy bills through the roof.
The future of energy is one of private sector innovation and common sense policies that protect our environment without harming our economy. Fred will continue to be a bipartisan leader in these efforts.
As a result of Fred’s bipartisan leadership, our energy infrastructure is more secure and our country is better prepared to utilize our energy resources going forward.
Fred is leading the charge to speed up the development and delivery of life-saving cures. His bold initiative 21st Century Cures is moving ahead because too many families are robbed of loved ones by devastating diseases like Alzheimer’s, Cancer, and more. Fred launched an unprecedented effort to bring researchers, doctors, and patients together for faster cures. 21st Century Cures also supports local employers to ensure they continue to create jobs here at home, and that the United States remains the world leader in medical innovations.
Fred is also a national leader in the fight against the President’s controversial healthcare law. Rather than massively expanding the size and reach of the federal government, Fred supports thoughtful reforms to bring down healthcare costs and protect the doctor-patient relationship, such as tort reform, allowing consumers to purchase health insurance across state lines, and preventing insurance companies the ability to deny service based on pre-existing conditions.
Additionally, Fred has been a bipartisan leader in working to reform our nation’s mental health system. In June of 2016, Fred’s committee advanced landmark mental health reform legislation, the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act, by a 53-0 vote. Thanks to Fred’s leadership, this important bill was then advanced on the House Floor by a 422 to 2 vote.
Healthcare for the modern era should be responsive, fast, and patient-focused, Fred will continue to champion legislation that meets the unique needs of each individual.
As a result of his bipartisan leadership, Fred’s 21st Century Cures Initiative overwhelmingly passed through the House of Representatives by a bipartisan 344-77 vote. Fred was also awarded the Edwin C. Whitehead Award for Medical Research Advocacy.
Click HERE to learn more about Fred’s lifesaving work.
Fiscal Responsibility & Protecting Michigan Taxpayers
Since President Obama took office, our nation’s debt has exploded beyond an historic $19 trillion dollars, sending us spiraling toward bankruptcy. This level of debt equates to nearly $60,000 for every citizen – for struggling Michigan families and small businesses, Fred believes this is unacceptable.
Having worked at the Office of Management and Budget under President Ronald Reagan, Fred understands the meaning of fiscal responsibility and knows what it takes to put our nation’s fiscal house back in order. He is working hard to cut federal spending and reduce the size of our bloated government.
Fred has voted to enact real spending cuts to reduce our deficit and supports common sense budgetary reforms to put us back on a sound fiscal footing. He is a supporter of the constitutional Balanced Budget Amendment, which would require the federal government to live within its means each year, just like the rest of us. He is also a longtime proponent of the presidential line-item veto, which would allow the President to propose cuts to wasteful spending in legislation passed by Congress – regardless of which political party is in control.
Additionally, Fred supports keeping the federal government limited, transparent, and accountable to the American people. After two years of one-party rule and zero accountability, Fred has been leader in restoring much-needed government oversight. He has been a leader in holding the Obama Administration accountable to taxpayers and voted for legislation to prevent unelected Washington bureaucrats from unilaterally imposing costly regulations on the American people.
Michigan taxpayers deserve the highest levels of accountability and transparency when it comes to their hard-earned tax dollars and Fred is fighting for just that.
As a result of Fred’s bipartisan leadership, the federal deficit is declining and Michigan taxpayers and small businesses were protected from a massive tax increase.
Jobs & Economy
Fred’s top priorities remain local job creation and improving our economy right here in Michigan. Local businesses are working hard to lead the way for our state’s recovery, but many of the policies coming out of Washington are making matters more difficult. Fred is fighting to put a permanent halt on the Obama Administration’s aggressive regulatory assault, which not only threatens to slow growth, but to destroy jobs and raise everyday costs for Michigan families. Instead, Fred is focused on advancing an organic, pro-growth approach that encourages businesses to create jobs and reinvest in our communities.
Fred’s legislation to strengthen the pharmaceutical supply chain was signed into law by President Obama in 2013, which will streamline regulations, protect patients, and preserve local jobs. Fred has also worked to improve local education and job training, advanced bipartisan legislation to improve Michigan’s crumbling infrastructure, and supported our local manufacturing jobs.
Improving the job and economic outlook for those right here in Southwest Michigan will continue to be a bipartisan effort of which Fred is a leader. Fred believes that by working together, we can make Southwest Michigan a hub for innovation and growth for the 21st Century.
As a result of his bipartisan leadership, Fred was proudly endorsed by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.