Search Form
First, enter a politician or zip code
Now, choose a category

Fred Upton's Issue Positions (Political Courage Test)

Office: U.S. House (MI) - District 6, Republican
Vote Smart does not permit the use of its name or programs in any campaign activity, including advertising, debates, and speeches.
Fred Upton has refused to provide voters with positions on key issues covered by the 2016 Political Courage Test, despite repeated requests. Historically, candidates have failed to complete our test due to the advice they receive from their parties and advisors and out of fear of negative attack ads.

What is the Political Courage Test?

Issue Positions

In response to the increasing unwillingness of candidates to answer issue questions, Vote Smart has researched Presidential and Congressional candidates' public records to determine candidates' likely responses on certain key issues. These issue positions, from the year 2016, are provided below as a courtesy to voters.

Pro-life Inferred Answer Abortion: Do you generally support pro-choice or pro-life legislation? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Rated 4% by Planned Parenthood (
  • "As a pro-life Member of CongressI oppose the misuse of federal taxpayer dollars for abortion services and support the conscience rights of our nation's health care providers." (
  • Voted in favor of H.R.36 "Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act" (
No Inferred Answer Budget: In order to balance the budget, do you support an income tax increase on any tax bracket? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "I support an amendment to the U.S. Constitution of the United States that would prohibit federal spending for any fiscal year from exceeding total receipts for that fiscal year (except those derived from borrowing)unless explicitly authorized by both bodies of Congress by a three-fifths vote. The amendment would also require a three-fifths vote of each chamber to increase the public debt limit." (
  • Signed a pledge stating "I, Fred Upton, pledge to the taxpayers of the 6th district of the state of Michigan and to the American people that I will: ONE oppose any and all efforts to increase the marginal tax rate for individuals and businesses; and TWO oppose any net reduction or elimination of deductions and credits, unless matched dollar for dollar by further reducing taxes." (
No Inferred Answer Crime: Do you support mandatory minimum sentences for non-violent drug offenders? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "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." (
Unknown Position Unknown Answer Economy: Do you support federal spending as a means of promoting economic growth? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "Congressman Fred Upton, R-St. Joseph, sent a letter of support to U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx on behalf of the Michigan Department of Transportation's application for federal grant funding for the I-94 Kalamazoo Interstate Modernization and Capacity Improvement Project. The federal funding grant is available through the U.S. Department of Transportation's FASTLANE Program. FASTLANE grants were created under last year's FAST Act, of which Upton was a conferee, which reauthorized federal surface transportation programs and fully funded efforts to support the National Significant Freight and Highway Projects (NSFHP)." (
  • "I support an amendment to the U.S. Constitution that would simply limit the federal spending to one-fifth of the U.S. economy – the historical average since World War II. The limit could only be waived if a declaration of war was in effect or by a two-thirds vote of Congress." (
  • Voted against H.R.1 "Appropriations, Tax Law Amendments, and Unemployment Benefit Amendments ('Stimulus Bill')" (
  • Voted in favor of H.R.22 "Fixing America's Surface Transportation (FAST) Act" (
Yes Inferred Answer Economy: Do you support lowering taxes as a means of promoting economic growth? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "Weighing in at nearly 4 million words, the U.S. tax code places a tremendous burden Michigan families and small businesses. I support comprehensive tax reform to create a system that is simple, efficient, and fair to all taxpayers. By enacting a pro-growth tax system, we can promote innovation and job creation in the private sector, help U.S. businesses compete on an even playing field with overseas competitors, and allow taxpayers to keep more of their hard-earned dollars." (
  • Voted in favor of H.R.636 "America's Small Business Tax Relief Act of 2015" (
No Inferred Answer Education: Do you generally support requiring states to adopt federal education standards? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "This long overdue bipartisan bill puts parents, teachers, and students first […] It provides our education system a certainty that has sorely been missing in recent years. I've heard from countless Southwest Michigan stakeholders that they wanted the federal government out of the classroom and more flexibility for our local educators -- that's exactly what this bill does." (
Yes Inferred Answer Energy: Do you support building the Keystone XL pipeline? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Voted in favor of S.1 "A Bill To Approve the Keystone XL Pipeline" (
  • Voted in favor of H.R.3 "Keystone XL Pipeline Act" (
  • "President Obama should take a cue from the House and the Senate and reconsider his opposition, listen to American workers and consumers who want this infrastructure project, and embrace the Keystone XL pipeline." (
Yes Inferred Answer Energy: Do you support government funding for the development of renewable energy (e.g. solar, wind, thermal)? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "On the energy front, I continue to advocate concrete measures towards achieving North American energy independence. That includes approving the Keystone XL pipeline, it includes increasing conventional and renewable energy production from Federal lands, and eliminating unnecessary EPA red tape on coal and other fossil fuels." (
  • "I support a comprehensive 'all of the above' energy strategy that utilizes our abundant energy resources. Through a commitment to North American energy production, we can ensure a steady supply of affordable and reliable energy, spur domestic job creation and manufacturing, and fortify our long-term energy security." (
  • "I strongly believe that everything must be on the table as we seek to reduce carbon emissions and promote the development of clean energy – whether it be nuclear power, clean coal technologies or greater use of renewables like wind, solar, and hydro." (
No Inferred Answer Environment: Do you support the federal regulation of greenhouse gas emissions? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "Energy and Power Subcommittee Chairman Ed Whitfield (R-KY) today unveiled a discussion draft of the Ratepayer Protection Act, which would empower states to protect households and businesses from the harmful effects of EPA's proposed rule regulating carbon dioxide emissions from existing power plants." (
  • Voted against H.R.2454 "Energy and Environmental Law Amendments ('Cap and Trade')" (
  • Voted in favor of H.R.910 "Energy Tax Prevention Act" (
  • "By using a common sense no regrets' legislative approach that focuses on deployment of ALL clean energy, we can avoid a costly cap and trade regime that will have no impact on emissions from the developing world." (
Unknown Position Unknown Answer Guns: Do you generally support gun-control legislation? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Voted in favor of H.Amdt.1098 "Prohibits District of Columbia from Implementing Certain Firearm Laws" (
  • Rated 93% by National Rifle Association (
  • Michigan Live "[…] I do support the Second Amendment but believe that background checks like we have in MI are indeed responsible and with the tie-in to the national database are almost immediate." (
  • WNDU "Upton says he supports the 2nd amendment, but intends to listen to law enforcement and school officials." (
Yes Inferred Answer Health Care: Do you support repealing the 2010 Affordable Care Act ("Obamacare")? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Voted in favor of H.R.2 "Repealing the Health Care Bill" (
  • Voted in favor of H.R.596 "Repeal of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and Health Care-Related Provisions in the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010" (
  • "I voted against the Affordable Care Act and support its full repeal." (
Yes Inferred Answer Immigration: Do you support requiring immigrants who are unlawfully present to return to their country of origin before they are eligible for citizenship? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "I also support legislative efforts to strengthen security along our porous borders and restrict the entry of illegal immigrants." (
  • Michigan Live "I have never supported blanket amnesty for those already living in this country illegally." (
  • Voted in favor of H.R.5759 "Preventing Executive Overreach on Immigration Act of 2014" (
No Inferred Answer Marriage: Do you support same-sex marriage? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Voted in favor of H.Amdt.1416 "Prohibits Use of Funds in Contravention of the Defense of Marriage Act" (
  • Rated 0% by the Human Rights Campaign (
Yes Inferred Answer National Security: Do you support increased American intervention in Iraq and Syria beyond air support? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • CW7 Michigan "While the congressman stopped short of recommending ground troops in Iraq and Syria, he did say that coordinated attacks on the terror group's multi-million dollar natural gas interests should have happened long ago." (
  • "I believe combating terrorism and preventing another terrorist attack remain national priorities. The United States must continue its campaign against terrorists and their ideology." (
No Inferred Answer Social Security: Do you support allowing individuals to divert a portion of their Social Security taxes into personal retirement accounts? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Michigan Live "I have long opposed the diversion of Social Security receipts into any type of private account. Private accounts will make the fiscal problems of the Social Security program worse and could undermine future benefit security." (


Candidate Answer

Official Position: Candidate had the Political Courage to address this issue directly.

Inferred Answer

Inferred Position: Candidate refused to address this issue directly, but Vote Smart inferred this issue position based on the candidate's public statements, voting record, and evaluations from special interest groups.

Unknown Answer

Unknown Position: Candidate refused to address this issue.

Vote Smart's Research: Click on this icon to reveal more information about this candidate's position.

Other or Expanded Principles & Legislative Priorities are entered exactly as the candidate has submitted it. Vote Smart does not edit for misspelled words, punctuation or grammar.

Congressional Election 1998 National Political Awareness Test

This candidate has responded to a Political Courage Test in a previous election. As a continued effort to provide the American public with factual information on candidates running for public office, these archived responses are made available here.

The Political Courage Test asks candidates which items they will support if elected. It does not ask them to indicate which items they will oppose. Through extensive research of public polling data, we discovered that voters are more concerned with what candidates would support when elected to office, not what they oppose. If a candidate does not select a response to any part or all of any question, it does not necessarily indicate that the candidate is opposed to that particular item.
Indicate which principles you support (if any) concerning abortion.
a) Abortions should always be legally available.
b) Abortions should be legal only within the first trimester of pregnancy.
c) Abortions should be legal only when the pregnancy resulted from incest, rape, or when the life of the woman is endangered.
d) Abortions should be legal only when the life of the woman is endangered.
e) Abortions should always be illegal.
Xf) Abortions should be limited by waiting periods and notification requirements as decided by each state government.
Xg) Prohibit the late-term abortion procedure known as "partial-birth" abortion.
h) Prohibit public funding of abortions and public funding of organizations that advocate or perform abortions.
i) Other
1) Indicate what levels of federal funding you support for the following categories. Select one number (level) only.
Maintain Statusa) AIDS programs
Maintain Statusb) Arts funding
Slightly Increasec) Education (K-12)
Slightly Increased) Environmental programs
Slightly Decreasee) Foreign aid
Maintain Statusf) Housing projects
Maintain Statusg) Job training programs
Slightly Increaseh) Law enforcement
Maintain Statusi) Medicaid
Slightly Increasej) Medicare
Maintain Statusk) NASA
Slightly Increasel) Student loan programs
Slightly Decreasem) Welfare
n) Other

Health Research -- Greatly Increase

o) Other
p) Other
2) Indicate what levels of federal funding you support for the following defense-related categories. Select one number (level) only.
Slightly Increasea) Armed Forces personnel training
Maintain Statusb) CIA appropriations
Maintain Statusc) Defense plant conversion
Maintain Statusd) Development of new weapons
Maintain Statuse) Military hardware
Maintain Statusf) Military space shuttle missions
Slightly Decreaseg) National Missile Defense Program
Slightly Increaseh) Pay for active duty personnel
i) Other
Yes3) Do you support amending the U.S. Constitution to require an annual balanced federal budget?
4) Indicate how you would apply the expected federal budget surplus.
Xa) Social Security
Xb) Medicare
Xc) Tax cuts
Xd) Federal debt reduction
e) Other
Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding campaign finance reform.
a) Remove all legislative limits on campaign financing.
b) Establish spending limits on congressional campaigns.
c) Provide public funding for federal candidates who comply with campaign spending limits.
d) Support legislation that would increase the federal limits on individual contributions.
Xe) Strengthen and enforce legislation that encourages full and timely disclosure of campaign finance information.
f) Prohibit Political Action Committee (PAC) contributions to candidates for federal office.
g) Provide free or low-cost television advertising to candidates who agree to voluntary campaign spending limits.
Xh) Ban the unregulated campaign contributions known as soft money.
Xi) Pass legislation banning issue advocacy commercials by outside groups within 60 days of an election.
Xj) Prohibit non-U.S. citizens from making contributions to federal campaigns.
Xk) Other

Require majority of funds raised to be from candidate's home state

Indicate which principles you support (if any) to address crime.
a) Broaden use of the death penalty for federal crimes.
b) Increase spending to build more federal prisons.
Xc) Impose "truth in sentencing" for violent criminals so they serve full sentences with no chance of parole.
Xd) Fund programs to provide prison inmates with vocational and job-related skills and job-placement assistance when released.
Xe) Expand funding for community policing programs.
Xf) Increase penalties for the possession of any illegal firearms.
g) Prosecute youths accused of a felony as adults.
Xh) Increase funding for local Boys & Girls Clubs and other independent organizations in communities with at-risk youth.
i) Reduce prison sentences for those who commit non-violent crimes.
Xj) Deport all permanent resident aliens convicted of a felony.
k) Other
Indicate which principles you support (if any) concerning illegal drugs.
Xa) Increase penalties for selling illegal drugs.
Xb) Impose mandatory jail sentences for selling illegal drugs.
Xc) Impose capital punishment for convicted international drug traffickers.
Xd) Strengthen current laws dealing with non-controlled substances, including inhalants and commercially available pills.
Xe) Increase funding of federally-sponsored drug education and drug treatment programs.
f) Decriminalize the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes.
Xg) Increase funding for border security to stop the flow of illegal drugs into the U.S.
h) Other
1) Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding the economy and employment.
Xa) Provide tax credits for companies that move job-creating industries into areas with high unemployment.
Xb) Increase funding for national job-training programs that re-train displaced workers or teach skills needed in today's job market.
Xc) Reduce government regulations on the private sector in order to encourage investment and economic expansion.
Xd) Establish empowerment zones in areas with large numbers of unemployed people.
e) Eliminate any federal programs designed to reduce unemployment.
f) Increase the minimum wage.
Xg) Pass legislation that encourages employers to offer their employees the options of flex-time scheduling, comp-time and unpaid leave to attend to their family responsibilities.
Xh) Provide tax credits for businesses that provide on-site child care.
2) Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding affirmative action and discrimination.
a) The federal government should consider race and sex in making government contracting decisions.
b) The federal government should continue affirmative action programs only if such programs do not include quotas.
c) The federal government should discontinue affirmative action programs.
Xd) The federal government should prosecute cases of discrimination in the public sector.
Xe) The federal government should prosecute cases of discrimination in the private sector.
f) The federal government should include sexual orientation in its anti-discrimination laws.
g) Other
1) Indicate which principles you support (if any) concerning education.
a) Support national standards and testing in reading and math.
Xb) Allow parents to use vouchers to send their children to any publicly funded school.
Xc) Allow parents to use vouchers to send their children to any participating school: public, private or religious.
Xd) Allow parents to use tax-free savings accounts to send their children to any publicly funded school.
Xe) Allow parents to use tax-free savings accounts to send their children to any participating school: public, private or religious.
Xf) Support creation of more charter schools where teachers and professionals receive authorization and funding to establish new schools.
Xg) Give all federal education funding to states in the form of block grants and allow them to spend it as they see fit.
Xh) Support voluntary teacher testing and reward teachers with merit pay.
Xi) Increase funding for block grants to states to help them hire additional teachers.
j) Other
Yes2) Do you support amending the U.S. Constitution to guarantee the right to religious expression and voluntary prayer in public places, including schools?
Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding America's environment and natural resources.
Xa) Require the state to fully compensate citizens when environmental regulations limit uses on privately owned land.
Xb) Strengthen the Clean Water Act.
c) Change the Endangered Species Act of 1973 to limit the number of habitats eligible to be designated as endangered.
Xd) Increase fees charged to ranchers who graze cattle on federal lands.
Xe) Revise the 1872 mining law to increase the fees charged to mining companies using federal lands.
Xf) Encourage development of alternative fuels to reduce pollution.
g) Strengthen emission controls on all gasoline or diesel powered engines, including cars and trucks.
h) Increase federal taxes on gasoline and diesel fuels to promote conservation and alternative fuel development.
i) Promote the selling of pollution credits between nations to encourage industries to decrease pollution levels.
j) Impose stricter national air quality standards.
k) Adhere to the United Nations treaty regarding global climate change.
Xl) Strengthen the restrictions on clear-cutting on federal lands.
m) Other
Indicate which level of government that should have primary responsibility for the following services. Select one level only.
Federala) Border security
Federalb) Civil rights enforcement
Localc) Education
Stated) Environmental cleanup
Statee) Job training
Localf) Law enforcement
Stateg) Low-income housing
Stateh) Medicaid
Federali) Medicare
Statej) Transportation infrastructure (highways, roads, bridges)
Statek) Welfare
l) Other
1) Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding Bosnia/former Yugoslavia.
Xa) The U.S. should lift the arms embargo against Bosnia-Herzegovina.
Xb) The U.S. should maintain a military presence in Bosnia-Herzegovina with a certain deadline for withdrawal.
c) The U.S. should maintain a military presence in Bosnia-Herzegovina without a certain deadline for withdrawal.
d) Other
2) Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding the Middle East.
a) The U.S. should resolve future disputes with Iraq through diplomatic means.
b) The U.S. should take unilateral military action if Iraq does not comply with all accepted UN resolutions.
Xc) The U.S. should take military action against Iraq only as part of an international effort.
d) The U.S. should not continue to play a prominent leadership role in the peace process between Israel and Palestine.
e) Other
3) Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding the United States-United Nations relationship.
a) The U.S. should contribute more funding and troops to United Nations peacekeeping missions.
b) The U.S. should contribute less funding and troops to United Nations peacekeeping missions.
Xc) The U.S. should participate in UN peacekeeping missions only when vital U.S. interests are involved.
d) The U.S. should not commit military troops to UN peacekeeping missions.
e) The U.S. should withdraw from the UN completely.
f) The U.S. should pay its debt to the United Nations.
g) Other
4) Should the U.S. have diplomatic and trade relations with Cuba?
5) Should the U.S. recognize and extend full diplomatic relations to Taiwan?
Indicate which principles you support (if any) concerning gun issues.
a) Ban the sale or transfer of all forms of semi-automatic weapons.
b) Increase federal restrictions on the purchase and possession of firearms.
c) Maintain federal restrictions on the purchase and possession of firearms.
d) Ease federal restrictions on the purchase and possession of firearms.
e) Repeal federal restrictions on the purchase and possession of firearms by law-abiding citizens.
f) Favor allowing citizens to carry concealed firearms.
g) Require manufacturers to provide child-safety locks with firearms.
h) Other
1) Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding health issues in America.
a) The federal government has no responsibility in providing health care.
b) Implement a universal health care program to guarantee coverage to all Americans regardless of income.
c) Implement a government-financed, single-payer national health care system similar to that of Canada.
Xd) Support health care strategies focused on prevention, including health education and natural medicines and remedies.
Xe) Support legislation to define and enforce the rights of insured patients, including greater access to specialists and emergency rooms, wider choice of health care providers, and appeal mechanisms when claims are denied.
Xf) Allow small business owners, the self-employed and workers whose employers do not provide health insurance to have the same deductibility for health costs as corporations and large employers.
Xg) Expand eligibility for tax-free medical savings accounts, which would be taxed if used for any purpose other than medical costs.
Xh) Establish limits on the amount of damages awarded in medical malpractice lawsuits.
i) Allow states and local communities to use federal funds for needle-exchange programs to combat the spread of HIV.
Xj) Classify nicotine as a drug and cigarettes as drug delivery devices, which should be regulated by the Federal Food and Drug Administration.
Xk) Provide citizens age 55-65 the option of purchasing Medicare health coverage.
Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding immigration.
a) Decrease the number of immigrants allowed into the country.
b) Increase the eligibility of legal immigrants for certain social programs (i.e. HUD housing, food stamps).
c) Require the Immigration and Naturalization Service to reduce to six months the time between applying for citizenship and taking the oath of allegiance.
d) Provide extra federal aid to states with higher numbers of immigrants for necessary medical and social services.
e) Prohibit states from passing laws that deny human services (medical care, education) to illegal immigrants or their children.
Xf) Children of illegal immigrants, born in the United States, should not automatically receive U.S. citizenship.
Xg) Increase the immigration quota for computer scientists and other information technology workers.
Xh) Establish English as the official and recognized language of the United States government.
i) Other
The American people have consistently mentioned the decline of morals and ethics in America as a major problem facing the country. On an attached page, in fifty words or less, explain what you will do as a member of Congress to address this concern.
Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding Social Security.
Xa) Allow workers to invest a portion of their payroll tax in private accounts which they manage.
Xb) Allow workers to invest a portion of their payroll tax in private accounts which are managed by the government.
Xc) Invest Social Security's assets collectively in stocks and bonds instead of U.S. Treasury securities.
d) Increase the payroll tax to finance the program in its current form.
Xe) Invest a portion of the budget surplus into the Social Security trust fund.
f) Increase the minimum age that determines when retirees are able to receive full Social Security benefits.
g) Lower Social Security's annual cost-of-living increases.
h) Limit Social Security benefits based on recipients' other income and assets.
i) Require individuals to pay the Social Security tax on income above $68,400, which is currently exempt.
j) Other
1) Indicate the levels you support concerning taxes in the following categories. Select one number (level) only.
Income Taxes:
a) Retiree income over $40,000
b) Family income less than $25,000
c) Family income $25-75,000
d) Family income $75-150,000
e) Family income over $150,000
Other Tax Issues:
f) Alcohol taxes
g) Capital gains taxes
h) Charitable deductions
i) Child tax credit
j) Cigarette taxes
k) Corporate income taxes
l) Earned Income Tax Credit
m) Estate taxes
n) Medical expense deductions
o) Mortgage deductions
p) Other
q) Other
2) Do you support replacing the U.S. income tax structure with a flat income tax?
3) Do you support eliminating the Internal Revenue Service?
4) Do you support instituting a national sales tax?
Yes5) Should a married couple filing jointly pay the same taxes as if they were an unmarried couple filing separately?
Yes6) Do you support requiring a super-majority vote in both houses of Congress to raise taxes?
7) Other
1) Do you support amending the Constitution to limit the number of terms which members of Congress can serve?
If you support term limits, how many terms should each serve?
Senator (# of 6 yr. terms)
Representatives (# of 2 yr. terms)
Yes1) Do you support the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)?
Yes2) Do you support broadening NAFTA to include other countries in the western hemisphere?
Yes3) Do you support the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT)?
4) Do you support the World Trade Organization (WTO)?
Yes5) Do you support imposing tariffs on products imported from nations that maintain restrictive trade barriers on American products?
Yes6) Should a nation's human rights record affect its "most favored nation" trading status with the United States?
Yes7) Do you support granting the President "fast-track" authority?
Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding poverty and the welfare system.
Xa) Provide tax incentives for companies to hire and train homeless people who want to work.
b) Increase funding of homeless shelters and low income housing projects.
Xc) Increase funds for housing assistance for welfare recipients who need housing to get or keep a job.
Xd) Provide homeless families with apartment vouchers they can use to supplement the cost of an apartment.
Xe) Continue to give states and local governments responsibility for welfare programs through block grants.
f) Eliminate federal funds for welfare programs at the federal, state or local levels.
Xg) Maintain current welfare-to-work requirements in order for states to qualify for block grants.
h) Convert government-funded low-income housing projects into private housing, managed and owned by the residents.
Xi) Require that unwed teenage mothers live with a parent or guardian (if possible) and attend school to receive benefits.
j) Other
Please explain what your two main legislative priorities will be if elected. Please explain how you would obtain any additional government funding needed to implement these priorities.
Skip to top

Help us stay free for all your Fellow Americans

Just $5 from everyone reading this would do it.

Back to top