Michigan GOP Rep. Upton on Guard after Receiving Death Threats over Vote for Infrastructure Bill

  

Category:  News & Politics

Via:  john-russell  •  3 weeks ago  •  11 comments

Michigan GOP Rep. Upton on Guard after Receiving Death Threats over Vote for Infrastructure Bill
(Editor’s note: This web story contains strong language.)

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T



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Michigan GOP Rep. Upton on Guard after Receiving Death Threats over Vote for Infrastructure Bill


by Quinn Klinefelter 8-10 minutes



(Editor’s note: This web story contains strong language.)

Only   13 Republicans   joined a majority of Democrats in the   U.S.   House to pass President Biden’s $1.2 trillion infrastructure plan.

But some of those Republicans, like Michigan Rep. Fred Upton (R-St. Joseph), are paying a price for their vote.

A   GOP   congressional colleague   purposely released the phone numbers   of Upton and the other Republicans who voted for the plan.

We need to catch up to the rest of the world. This bill will do that.” —Michigan Rep. Fred Upton

Upton’s office then began receiving angry voicemails, several with a clearly threatening tone.

F**king traitor. That’s what you are. You’re a f**king piece of s**t traitor,” one caller said in a voicemail released by Upton’s office. “I hope you die. I hope everybody in your f**king family dies. You f**king piece of s**t trash motherf**ker.  You voted for d*****s f**king Biden? You’re stupider than he is. I hope your f**king family dies. I hope everybody in your f**king staff dies, you f**cking piece of f**cking s**t. Traitor!”

Upton says that particular message appears to have come from a caller in South Carolina, a bit ironic since both senators in that state are Republicans who supported Biden’s infrastructure package.

In fact, Upton estimates that 90% of the threatening messages come from out-of-state callers. And Upton contends that far from being “traitorous” to the   GOP , the original idea for the infrastructure plan was hatched in a completely bipartisan manner led by Republican governor, Larry Hogan, who gathered lawmakers from both sides of the aisle to define infrastructure and how to pay for it.


Listen: Michigan   U.S.   Rep. Fred Upton on the infrastructure package and governing amid death threats.


Audio Player


U.S.   Rep. Fred Upton (R-St. Joseph) (edited for clarity and brevity):  We had a long debate as to how we should pay for it, because we didn’t want to simply add it to the debt, unlike the   COVID   packages that passed under both Trump and Biden. We said, “No, we want to pay for it. We don’t want to add to the debt.” So we came up with “pay fors” without raising taxes. And that was the very blueprint that passed the Senate last August, 69-30. We need infrastructure. I’m driving from Grand Rapids to Lansing and I’ve probably seen about 5,000 orange barrels along the way. We need it here in Michigan, we need it around the country. Benton Harbor, the mayor’s replacing some of the lead service lines to residences that we need to get done. And there’s $15 billion in this bill to replace lead service lines around the country. You look at China, they’ve spent more money in the last three years on infrastructure than we spent in the last 100. If we’re gonna keep up, we have supply chain needs because the ports are in tough shape. You look at our roads and highways and bridges, you look at broadband, which is a relatively new need. But certainly with   COVID   we know the importance of broadband, whether it’s through telemedicine or simply ordering a pizza, you got to have it in both rural as well as urban areas. I can remember, when   COVID   first hit, me with a number of students from Michigan State and they said don’t come back to classes. One young man from my home county said, “Well, that’s just great. We don’t have broadband where I live. What am I going to do, go to McDonald’s?” We need to catch up to the rest of the world. This bill will do that.

Quinn Klinefelter,   WDET   News: Now you mentioned that it would not be adding to the debt. There are some of your Republican colleagues that had brought up concerns about the cost. But you’re confident that it will be all paid for?

There’s a lot of confusion between a couple of different bills. The president had an infrastructure bill that was much broader than this one. This was limited to $1.2 trillion. Biden said that it was going to be paid for. The first “pay for” was they undid many of the Trump tax cuts, which was certainly a nonstarter with any Republican House or Senate member. Then they thought about a wealth tax that really had quite a number of hurdles. That bill started at $3.5 trillion. Now, it’s probably a little bit under $2 trillion. But it’s weeks away from getting to any finish line to get done.

Not only did [a caller] threaten me physically, but my family, my staff. Our offices are actually closed because of the threats that are there. That’s not the way that we ought to be governing. This was a bipartisan bill.” — Michigan Rep. Fred Upton 

When you talk about the cost of your vote on the infrastructure bill, it actually cost you some grief among fellow members of the   GOP .

I’ve got a couple of colleagues who put our phone numbers out with the names. And we’ve got quite a few calls, a number of them nasty, very threatening. They’ll probably be hearing from a law enforcement officer at some point. It’s very unsettling. Not only did he threaten me physically, but my family, my staff. Our offices are actually closed because of the threats that are there. That’s not the way that we ought to be governing. This was a bipartisan bill, a need that I think most Americans would say [you] need to get something done, particularly if it’s bipartisan.

As you say, some of these calls were very threatening. You actually played some over the   TV . And you had your own Republicans calling you a traitor and that “This is gonna lead to a socialist takeover of the country.” It must be rough to try to push any legislation through on any kind of a bipartisan basis in the face of this, from either side of the aisle.

Well, that’s one of the reasons why I’m a member of the bipartisan caucus called the Problem Solvers caucus. We meet routinely. There’s five [ U.S.   House] members actually here in Michigan. Debbie Dingell, myself, Peter Meijer, Elissa Slotkin and Haley Stevens. We’re all active members. We want to govern, we want to get things done. We have divided government and if you want to get something done, you really have to work together to get it done. My background goes back to when I worked for President Reagan at the White House. Republican president, a Democratic Congress. He was reelected with 49 states because he really did get things done. He worked with both sides of the aisle.

They used to talk about how Reagan would go and have big arguments with the Speaker at the time, it was a Democrat, Tip O’Neill. And then afterwards, they’d go out and have a drink later. Now sometimes it seems like Democrats and Republicans can’t be   seen   with each other without somebody screeching “traitor.” Do you ever see it going back to the way it was?

I hope it changes back. I’ve never seen anything so divided and toxic as today.   COVID   got a little part of this because we’ve had to be separated, [you] don’t get to know people as well. Even voting is changed because of   COVID . We’ve had two colleagues die, 40 or 50 have come down with it, some pretty serious. So [there’s] a lot of precautions. Our buildings are closed to visitors and hearings are pretty closed, you got to use Zoom and it’s a lot different. But the toxicity is way high. Particularly when they go after your family or your staff. Really very disturbing.

You’re a public servant. How long do you want to serve the public in that kind of an atmosphere?

Well, I’ve been lucky so far. It’s something that you think about. We’ve made changes, our schedules [are] not public anymore. Do a number of different things just to try and stay ahead of someone who might want to do something. It’s something that’s in the back of your mind.


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JohnRussell
Professor Principal
1  seeder  JohnRussell    3 weeks ago
 F**king traitor. That’s what you are. You’re a f**king piece of s**t traitor,” one caller said in a voicemail released by Upton’s office. “I hope you die. I hope everybody in your f**king family dies. You f**king piece of s**t trash motherf**ker.  You voted for d*****s f**king Biden? You’re stupider than he is. I hope your f**king family dies. I hope everybody in your f**king staff dies, you f**cking piece of f**cking s**t. Traitor!”

-

  1. Trump bashes 13 Republicans who backed infrastructure bill

    ...

    Former President Donald   Trump   ripped 13 congressional   Republicans   who backed a $1.2 trillion   infrastructure   bill during a lengthy speech Monday – while one of them, New York Rep. Nicole ...

 
 
 
Perrie Halpern R.A.
Professor Principal
2  Perrie Halpern R.A.    3 weeks ago

How sad that our representatives now have to fear for their lives for a vote. I thought this kind of thing only happens in juntas of S. America.

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
3  Kavika     3 weeks ago

JHC, he votes for a bill that will help restore our infrastructure and he gets death threats...WTF is wrong with these lunatics.

 
 
 
Perrie Halpern R.A.
Professor Principal
3.1  Perrie Halpern R.A.  replied to  Kavika @3    3 weeks ago

Obviously, they don't study history. FDR did the same thing and it was the start of a very prosperous period here in America.

But now, people want to kill you for it.

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
3.1.1  Kavika   replied to  Perrie Halpern R.A. @3.1    3 weeks ago
But now, people want to kill you for it.

Consider the source, the moosh noosh wouldn't know FDR from R E Lee.

 
 
 
Nowhere Man
Junior Participates
3.1.2  Nowhere Man  replied to  Perrie Halpern R.A. @3.1    3 weeks ago
Obviously, they don't study history. FDR did the same thing and it was the start of a very prosperous period here in America.

right, WE were in the middle of a depression when FDR was elected, not at all the same condition as we are in today, and besides after the first two years most of his new deal was repealed.... He wound up doing the exact same things his predecessor hoover did....  we were in the depths of the recession of '37 -38 due to his policies... It wasn't until late 1938 we really started coming out of the depression with the wind up for WWII... The "New Deal" and his economic policies didn't help anything.... Yeah he got a lot of people work on infrastructure, just like Hoover did, but none of it improved the economic situation.... Roosevelt was a great leader yes but his liberal policies were a disaster as far as economic recovery went... WWII saved this nations economic bacon and because of that we were forced to save the world...

then, AFTER FDR's death, when the world needed rebuilding Eisenhower's policies caused one of the greatest expansions of our economy seen to that date...

Your political bias is showing girl...

 
 
 
JohnRussell
Professor Principal
3.1.3  seeder  JohnRussell  replied to  Nowhere Man @3.1.2    3 weeks ago

NowhereMan, this article is about death threats made to members of congress over their vote on an infrastructure bill, not your rundown of American history

 
 
 
Raven Wing
Professor Principal
3.1.4  Raven Wing  replied to  JohnRussell @3.1.3    3 weeks ago

Thank you. 

 
 
 
Nowhere Man
Junior Participates
3.1.5  Nowhere Man  replied to  JohnRussell @3.1.3    3 weeks ago
NowhereMan, this article is about death threats made to members of congress over their vote on an infrastructure bill, not your rundown of American history

Why don't you say the same to Perrie? she brought up the historical reference..

 
 
 
JohnRussell
Professor Principal
3.1.6  seeder  JohnRussell  replied to  Nowhere Man @3.1.5    3 weeks ago

Her comment mentioned the death threats. 

 
 
 
Hal A. Lujah
Professor Expert
4  Hal A. Lujah    3 weeks ago

Upton says that particular message appears to have come from a caller in South Carolina, a bit ironic since both senators in that state are Republicans who supported Biden’s infrastructure package.

In fact, Upton estimates that 90% of the threatening messages come from out-of-state callers.

I wouldn’t be surprised if the calls were actually originating from foreign actors here in the states.  I mean I know Americans are stupid, but can they really be this stupid?  Sewing discord is their business, and our media is eager to amplify it.

 
 
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