Fri March 21, 2014
Congressman Fred Upton Discusses General Motors Recall, Ukraine and Immigration
West Michigan Congressman Fred Upton says he hopes to get the bottom of why it took so long for General Motors to recall vehicles due to problems with an ignition switch.
The Saint Joseph Republican discussed a number of issues with WMUK on Thursday. Some highlights.
General Motors' recall
Upton says the TREAD Act passed in 2000 has a number of provisions that are supposed to improve safety. That includes requiring car companies to submit information within five days to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) if they know there is a problem. Upton, who sponsored that legislation says it increases the fines and possible criminal charges against top executives. Upton, who is Chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee, says hearings will be held in April on why these problems may have gone on for over a decade. He says both General Motors and and NHTSA have cooperated so far.
Upton says he does not favor any U.S. military action in response to crisis in the Ukraine. But he says exporting natural gas would send a message to the Russian government and allies in the region that the the U.S. is trying to help countries that rely on Russia for most of their natural gas. Upton acknowledges that is a long-term solution because infrastructure is not in place for exporting natural gas. He says the current sanctions imposed by Obama administration don't go far enough.
The election calendar is complicating immigration reform, according to Upton. He says primary challenges in some states have delayed action on comprehensive immigration reform. Upton says the system is broken and he believes there is bi-partisan support for reform. He says the way to get it passed is to find the right time to get it through Congress.