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@MyKitchenTable - May 20, 2021

@MyKitchenTable: Thursday, May 20, 2021

Dear Friend:

"Whether it’s the best of times or the worst of times, it’s the only time we have.” -Art Buchwald

ImageThere was a lot on the docket this week – starting early Monday morning with a visit to the St. Joe-Benton Harbor River to review its depth with the U.S. Coastguard and the Army Corps of Engineers (COE). Remember, originally the Corps was not doing to dredge, but after our request, they approved $500K of emergency funding to dredge the harbor so freighters carrying gravel and cement for road construction could get through. The dredging should start by the end of the week and be concluded two weeks later, allowing the lake freighters to line up and deposit their sand/gravel. You can read more about Monday’s event HERE.

This week in Washington, we held a vote in the House to create a bipartisan commission to investigate the January 6 attack at the U.S. Capitol. I spoke on the House floor in support of the bill, which you can watch HERE. The bill passed 252-175 and now advances to the U.S. Senate. Look, January 6th is going to haunt this institution for a long, long time. Hundreds of people were arrested, people died, millions of dollars of damage to the Capitol, feces spread on the walls. The very core of democracy - this institution - was threatened. If it had not been for the brave Capitol and Metropolitan Police men and women on January 6, who knows how many of our heads would have been swinging on those gallows that were constructed on the east front of the Capitol?  Nearly five months later, we still don't have the answers to the basic questions. Who knew what when? What did they do about it? We need the answers, not political rhetoric. That's what this bipartisan commission can provide for all of us, for our country. Let the truth shine in. The Senate should pass this bill and create the commission. I also discussed the commission on TV earlier today with my Problem Solvers Caucus colleague Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ), which you can watch HERE.

On Tuesday, the House passed legislation that I helped introduce call the NO HATE Act. The NO HATE Act will improve hate crimes reporting and expand assistance and resources for victims of hate crimes. We have sadly seen a huge uptick in hate crimes across the country as victims are targeted simply because of who they are. It is sickening. I believe the NO Hate Act is an extremely important step forward as we work to put a stop to these horrific crimes. I am grateful for my colleagues in the House and Senate for taking this issue seriously. As I’ve made clear: hate has no place in southwest Michigan or around the country. You can learn more HERE.

On Wednesday, the House Energy Subcommittee – which I serve on as the top Republican – held a hearing with former Michigan Governor and now the Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm over the budget for the Department of Energy. The Subcommittee on Energy is responsible for overseeing virtually every aspect of the energy sector and our members take this job very seriously. We are also responsible for overseeing the management of the Department of Energy. I appreciated having the Secretary at our hearing to discuss the Colonial cyberattack. You can read my remarks at the hearing HERE.

On the COVID-19 front, the Governor announced today that all Michigan COVID-19 restrictions will be lifted on July 1. Here's a plug to support all of our outstanding restaurants and their workers as they get back on their feet! Please go visit your favorite restaurant and support them. And on June 1, all outdoor capacity limits will be lifted. Michigan reported 1,560 new cases on Wednesday, and the seven-day case average is at its lowest point since April 11. You can read more HERE.

ImageLastly, below are photos from a recent event with the U.S. Army and Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety. When Congress is in session and I’m voting in D.C., my staff in the district – in addition to all of the case work and community outreach they do – represents our office at local events.  This event was a signing ceremony for an agreement between the Army and KDPS to provide priority hiring status to qualified Soldiers participating in the Partnership for Youth Success (PaYS) Program. 

All the best,

Fred Upton

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