Upton Too Liberal on Energy and Commerce

The new conservative majority in the House of Representatives in the 112th Congress offers an exciting new beginning for the Republican Party.  The people have handed the GOP an opportunity to remake itself, to become guardians of our God-given individual rights to life, liberty, and property.

As hope abounds, the new chairmen of the committees will lead the people’s House in the critical tasks ahead.  There is one instance, though, in which the heir apparent to one of the most critical committees has repeatedly shown his belief that the fundamental rights of the people can be set aside in favor of the elitist notion that government knows how to run our lives better than we do.

Rep. Fred Upton (R.–Mich.) is lobbying hard for the chairmanship of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.  A close examination of his voting record brings some disturbing findings.

In 2001, über-liberal Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D.–Calif.) sponsored an amendment to the Unborn Victims of Violence Act, an Act that recognizes an unborn child as a legal victim of violence when his or her life is taken in the commission of a federal crime.  The amendment would have given recognition only to the mother without recognizing the unborn child as a victim. 

Upton voted in favor of the amendment.

But there’s more—much more on the life issue alone.

In 1998, 1999, and 2000 Upton voted against the FDA ban on using federal funds for the development, testing, and use of chemicals to induce abortion.  Upton is consistent in his belief that federal funding should be used to develop abortion drugs.

Upton voted against requiring parental notification before an abortion could be performed on a minor and in 2007 voted in favor of cloning human embryos for embryonic stem cell research.

And in 2007, and 2009 Upton voted against amendments offered by Rep. Mike Pence (R.–Ind.) to bar Title X funding specifically for Planned Parenthood abortion mills.

As the inimitable Rush Limbaugh always reminds us, “Words mean things.”

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

These immortal words from our Declaration of Independence articulate our foundational principles.  The American creed. 

The right to life is unalienable.  We are not born equal; we are created equal.  We are not guaranteed equal outcomes in life, but we do have the right to equal treatment under the law.  We cannot be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law.  These rights are non-negotiable. 

When the government no longer guarantees these rights, the people must hold it accountable.

On the fiscal front, Upton’s record on taxes, spending, and energy would make any conservative cringe.

He joined Democrats voting in favor of the $409 billion Omnibus Appropriations Act of 2009, increasing spending by 8.4% over the previous year, giving Obama $19 billion more than he’d requested.  The massive spending bill had $7.7 billion in earmarks, sent $545 million overseas to help pay for abortions, and grew Congressional spending by 11%. Twenty Democrats could not stomach that additional spending last year, but Upton agreed to it.

Upton was one of three Republicans voting against the extension of some of the Bush tax cuts in 2005, costing American taxpayers $80.5 billion over 10 years.  He also voted to make future tax cuts harder to pass and opposed the Republican amendment to the Obama “stimulus” bill that offered tax cuts instead of $787 billion as the impetus to stimulate the economy.

And on the energy front, Upton’s proudest achievement is co-authoring the ban on incandescent light bulbs with another über-liberal, Rep. Jane Harman (D.–Calif.).

In 2007, Upton helped Democrats pass an omnibus energy bill imposing crushing regulations on energy companies and creating dozens of new government energy programs.

Among other provisions, this energy bill created new social welfare programs, banned drilling in certain locations, and authorized $1 billion in spending in other countries for clean energy programs.

Upton told a Subcommittee on Energy and Environment hearing in 2009 that the global warming debate is over: “I have said at nearly every climate change hearing that for me I don’t dispute the science.  Right or wrong, the debate over the modeling and science appears to be over.”  (Transcript page 7.)

Again in 2009, Upton even voted in favor of eliminating 1.2 million acres from mineral leasing and energy exploration in the state of Wyoming, withdrawing 331 million barrels of recoverable oil and 8.8 trillion cubic feet of natural gas from the domestic energy supply.

This is just a glimpse of Upton’s disturbing voting record.

Is this candidate really the best Republicans can put forward to serve at the helm of the powerful House Energy and Commerce Committee?