Fred Upton

View from the gallery: Lots of cross-party talk — and cross-contamination — at Senate trial
Mitt Romney finds a loophole in the beverage rule

Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, talks with reporters in the Senate subway before the continuation of the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump on Tuesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer of New York sat still at his desk as President Donald Trump’s defense team played a montage of decades-old statements from Democrats regarding Bill Clinton’s impeachment.

It ended with a clip of Schumer, then a House member, warning against the dangers of partisan impeachment. 

House retirements already outpace average for past election cycles
Decisions by 27 lawmakers compares with average of 23 per election cycle, and more could be coming

Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., is the latest member of the House to announce his retirement. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The number of House members deciding to retire has already exceeded the average for recent election cycles, and more could be coming as lawmakers return to the nation’s capital after the holidays.

Since 1976, an average of 23 House members have retired each two-year election cycle, according to CQ Roll Call elections analyst Nathan L. Gonzales, the publisher of Inside Elections. In 2019 alone, however, 27 House members announced they will retire, opting not to run for reelection nor for another office (these figures do not include lawmakers who have resigned or died while in office). 

Trump lied at rally about phone call with Rep. Debbie Dingell after her husband’s death
‘I didn't call him. He called me,’ Michigan congresswoman says, after Trump implied her husband might have gone to hell

Rep. Debbie Dingell, D-Mich., refuted a story President Donald Trump told at a rally in Battle Creek, Mich., on Wednesday about a phone call they had after the death of former Rep. John D. Dingell. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

President Donald Trump lied on Wednesday about the nature of a phone call with Rep. Debbie Dingell in February after the death of her husband, former Rep. John Dingell, she said in an interview Thursday.

Speaking at a campaign rally in Battle Creek, Michigan, Trump told his version of the story to a crowd of more than 9,000 people as he lambasted Debbie Dingell, a Michigan Democrat, for voting to impeach him that night.

How House members who are most vulnerable in 2020 voted on impeachment
Supporters say Ukraine actions crossed a line; opponents see dangerous partisan precedent

Top row from left: Democratic Reps. Jared Golden, Collin C. Peterson, Anthony Brindisi and Max Rose. Bottom row from left, Republican Reps. Chip Roy, Brian Fitzpatrick, John Katko and Fred Upton. (Photos by Tom Williams and Bill Clark)

It’s not clear how impeachment will impact the battle for the House in 2020, when every seat is on the ballot. But lawmakers in both parties will have to explain to voters about why they did, or did not, vote to impeach President Donald Trump.

That’s a particularly delicate task for members of Congress in competitive races. Lawmakers in swing districts break with their parties on occasion, but Wednesday’s impeachment vote fell almost entirely along party lines.

States in the Midwest with outsize roles in the 2020 elections
Rust Belt states helped decide the presidency, and have numerous competitive races for House, Senate

Republican Sen. Joni Ernst’s reelection is one of several that make Iowa at battleground state in 2020. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

If there’s an abiding lesson from 2016, it’s that national public opinion in the presidential race is not as important as the votes of individual states. Republican Donald Trump won by taking 304 electoral votes to Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s 227, even as Clinton beat him by 2.9 million votes and 2.1 percentage points nationally.

In 2020, Democrats will be looking to recapture states Trump won that went for Democrat Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012. And many of those states will also be prime battlegrounds in the fight for control of the Senate, where Democrats need a net gain of four seats to take a majority (three if they win the White House and the vice president can break 50-50 ties), while Republicans need a net gain of 19 seats to retake the House.

Shimkus ‘reconsidering’ retirement after top GOP committee post opens up
12-termer from Illinois also seems to soften Trump criticism

Rep. John Shimkus may reconsider a decision to retire to pursue the top GOP post on the Energy and Commerce Committee. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Illinois Rep. John Shimkus, a 12-term Republican who had announced in August he would retire rather than run again in 2020, said Tuesday he is “reconsidering” his decision.

The change of heart comes a day after Oregon Rep. Greg Walden, the top Republican on the Commerce Committee, announced his retirement. Shimkus is third in Republican seniority on the committee, after a former chairman, Michigan Rep. Fred Upton, who would need a waiver from GOP rules to become the panel’s chairman or ranking member in the next Congress.

That time Justin Verlander and Kate Upton visited the Capitol and Uncle Fred
Before he was a World Series foe, he was a tourist

From left, Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich., his niece, model Kate Upton, and her then-fiance Justin Verlander, a pitcher for the Detroit Tigers at the time, pose for a picture on the House steps on May 10, 2016. Verlander was in town for a series between the Tigers and the Washington Nationals. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Washington Nationals fans will root for their team tonight as it takes on the Houston Astros and one of their ace pitchers, Justin Verlander, in Game 2 of the World Series. Was it really three-plus years ago that Verlander, then hurling for the Detroit Tigers, visited the Capitol with his then-fiancee, supermodel Kate Upton, for a tour with Uncle Fred, R-Mich.? (That being Rep. Fred Upton.)

Indeed. And how quickly things change. Not only did Verlander and Kate Upton marry and Verlander add a World Series ring in 2017 after being traded to the Houston Astros that year, but Verlander was teammates back then with, who else? Nationals ace Max Scherzer. 

Democrats need to stop playing politics with our nation’s pipeline safety
Reauthorization bill should not be a partisan issue

Sections of steel pipe lie in a staging area in June before being inserted underground as part of the ETP-Sunoco Mariner East 2 pipeline in Exton, Pa. Reauthorizing the pipeline safety bill is something both parties can get behind, as they have done in the past, Upton writes. (Robert Nickelsberg/Getty Images file photo)

OPINION — In 2012, as chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, I worked with my good friend and fellow Michigander, the late Rep. John Dingell, to reauthorize our nation’s pipeline safety laws. This was in response to a pipeline burst that spilled 20,000 barrels of oil into the Talmadge Creek, a tributary of the Kalamazoo River near my district.

It didn’t matter that I had an ‘R’ next to my name and John had a ‘D’ next to his. What mattered was getting a final bill that could advance through a Republican House and a Democratic Senate and be signed by a Democratic president — a dynamic similar to the one we face today, with a Democratic House, a Republican Senate and a Republican president. Back then, we needed legislation that would make critical safety improvements to our nation’s vast pipeline infrastructure — and that’s exactly what we did, cutting down on incident reporting times and increasing financial penalties for violations.

First House Republican backs renewed assault weapons ban
Rep. Peter King has broken with party leadership on gun violence prevention measures before

New York GOP Rep. Peter King said he thinks his support of a ban on assault weapons could provide political cover to Republicans and Democrats in GOP-leaning districts that haven’t supported it. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

New York Rep. Peter King is the first Republican in Congress to back a renewed federal ban on assault rifles.

The development reflects calls for action on Capitol Hill after gunmen armed with assault weapons killed scores of people in California, Texas and Ohio in the span of a few days. 

Democrats appear stymied on a top priority: climate legislation
Outside of passing Paris accord bill, new House majority has little to show

Democrats, led by Sen. Edward J. Markey and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, center, introduce the Green New Deal in February. The resolution still hasn’t received a committee vote and hasn’t resulted in legislation. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

It’s been more than six months since Democrats assumed control of the House promising to take bold action on climate change. And what do they have to show for it?

Just one major bill directly addressing the issue has passed on the floor, a measure that would force the U.S. to honor its commitments in the Paris climate accord. A comprehensive climate change package has yet to emerge, and a bill reintroduced by the chairman of the main committee of jurisdiction over Clean Air Act issues hasn’t had a committee vote.