Column: Bipartisanship a 2018 priority
Last year was a transformational year for American politics — that’s for sure. But one thing was missing: Major bipartisan policy wins for the American people. While Congress did flirt around the edges on some bipartisan goals, I’m hopeful that as we set out on 2018 we can come together and deliver real, bipartisan results for folks here in Michigan and across the country.
On the issue of infrastructure, Michigan knows better than most the importance of much-needed upgrades and improvements to our roads, bridges and tunnels. Our energy infrastructure and pipelines must also be safe and secure. As the chairman of the Energy Subcommittee, it’s been one of our top priorities to work with a wide variety of stakeholders on bolstering our energy security and infrastructure in order to keep prices low for Michigan families and businesses. A bipartisan infrastructure package would go a long way in fulfilling our promise to voters — for both Republicans and Democrats.
On the issue of immigration and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients, we must work together to fix a broken system that doesn’t serve anyone well — the American people, first and foremost, or those who wish to embrace the American Dream and contribute to our great nation. DACA recipients in particular — young people brought to American through no fault of their own — must be protected from unjust deportation and given the opportunity to apply for a more secured status in our country as soon as possible.
DACA recipients are either in school, have a job, or serve in our military, and it’s only right we stand by them. Any action on these issues ought to be coupled with increased border security.I’m confident we can come to a compromise to help fix at least this portion of our immigration system, and I’m equally confident it can be done in a bipartisan way.
On the issue of health care, as a member of the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus, I believe we can take common-sense, bipartisan steps to stabilize the Affordable Care Act’s individual marketplace. We should also be working together to ensure Michigan’s low-income children and community health centers are properly funded by passing a bipartisan CHIP reauthorization measure.
One model that should be followed when it comes to health care is what we did when we began creating the landmark, bipartisan 21st Century Cures Act: by pursuing an open and transparent process with constant consultation with stakeholders, hearings featuring expert witnesses, drafting and redrafting, and a spirit of collegiality, compromise and bipartisanship. I’m hopeful we can forge a bipartisan path to ensure all Americans have access to quality, affordable health care.
Folks here in Michigan and across the country are rightfully fed up with the constant partisan bickering that fills the airwaves and comes out of Congress. Michigan deserves better.
Rep. Fred Upton represents Michigan’s 6th district in Congress.