i3 - September/October 2016 - 31

By Tiffany Moore

Congressman Upton
and CTA President
and CEO Gary Shapiro

I remember when I went to Vegas for the
CES show and was walking around with
you and (Comcast CEO) Brian Roberts in
'94 and we saw the first HDTVs. Wow! I'm
going to get a 4K Ultra High-definition TV
in September. It's amazing. That is what
we tried to do by lifting the outdated regs.
To get there obviously you need spectrum
allocation, and that is why I am in the
middle of this spectrum auction process
again. I hope that it is productive. We don't
want to interrupt what is going on. But
we need spectrum if we want the devices
to continue innovating at this pace going
forward. It truly ought to be bipartisan
and, for the most part, it is.

What are your thoughts on
skilled immigration?
I am in favor of immigration reform.
We have some wonderful universities, and
it's important to bring the best and the
brightest from around the world
here to educate them and hopefully they
will stay and help to create jobs. Whether
it's working with the high-tech industry
or picking fruits and vegetables, we need
that labor force to have economic growth
to try to get to three or four percent growth
in GDP. It's not only the tech industry -
Whirlpool, which my family had a hand
in starting 100 some years ago, has their
headquarters in Michigan and we want
skilled immigrants to stay here.

As chairman, you talk about
disruptive technology. What do
you think about companies like
Airbnb, Lyft, Uber and Pandora?
I am for more competition. I understand that drones need to be licensed so
they don't get into airports, that type of
thing. But with Airbnb, consumers have
choices. And frankly, there is a lot more
travel because of it. Look at what you
can do now because of the internet as it
relates to travel. So why not allow that

technology? My folks are getting older -
my dad is 92 and my mom is 86. Dad has
a vision issue and he can't drive any more,
but think where we are going to be in 10
years. He'll be able to take advantage of
a vehicle that is safe that will take him
wherever he wants to go. Look at how fast
the world has changed. Who knows where
it is headed? I am working with(former
Transportation Secretary) Ray LaHood
and (Transportation) Secretary Anthony
Fox at DOT and the auto industry now to
develop smart cars.

Are you happy with
how the spectrum
auctions are going?
It seems to be going okay.
I ask questions and I don't
hear any bad news. We
don't want to interrupt
what is going on. We want
it to be successful and at
the end of the day and the
process, we will have a
hearing and figure out what
went well and identify areas
where we can do better. And
don't forget, the auctions
will bring in tens of billions
of dollars to the Treasury.
Debt reduction has been
one of my prime things.

You are passionate
about finding cures
for diseases. What is
the role of Congress?
What we have done with
21st Century Cures is to
expedite the approval
process for drugs and
devices. For my district, Pfizer is the largest
employer and Stryker is a
prominent device manufacturer. It is incredible
when you go into their
lab and see what they are
doing to save lives and to
streamline the process
to get those drugs and
devices to market faster.
This also reduces costs for

We worked very hard on a bipartisan
bill and we passed it 51-nothing a year
ago in committee and 344 to 77 in the
House. Hopefully in the next few weeks
we will have an agreement between the
White House, the Senate and the House
on both sides of the aisle to bring this bill
back after Labor Day and get it to the

What is your proudest
accomplishment as chairman?

My grandfather
started buying
season tickets for
the Wolverines in
the 30s. His name
was Fred Upton
also. He started in
the end zone and
they moved him
one yard every year.
When he died, Fred
Upton still lived in
the same house
still buying season
tickets for 80 years.
To get the season
tickets, you have to
show the address
on the check and
it all has to match.
We even have the
same middle initial
but different name.
I am sure they were
thinking when is
this guy going to
die? His name was
Frederick Stanley.
I'm Frederick
Stephen. So my
family is the longest
season ticket holder.
They had people
stand up at one
point - who has held
season tickets for
10 years? 20? 30?
But I was the only
one standing up at
30 years.

Our committee has passed
more bills on the house
floor than any other committee. We have passed
more than 100 bills on the
house floor in two years.
Nearly half of those provisions have been signed into
law, and we have a couple
more that are looking
good. If we can do (the
21st Century) Cures (Act),
it will be a huge feather in
our cap. Our committee
is known to be bipartisan.
We don't finger point. We
get the job done.

What is your advice
to the next chairman?
You have to work together.
For me, what has been
great under (former House
Speaker John) Boehner,
(current Speaker Paul)
Ryan and (House Majority
Leader Kevin) McCarthy
is they trusted me to do
what is right. I tried to be
inclusive and listen to all
the members. As a consequence, even though we
have not lost a single vote
in committee during my
chairmanship, we've rarely
had the partisan turmoil
you can sometimes see in
Washington. We have also
had a great relationship
with our counterparts in
the Senate.



i3 - September/October 2016

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