GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A vote for a bipartisan infrastructure bill on Capitol Hill has led to angry pushback for one Michigan congressman.
U.S. Rep. Fred Upton, R-St. Joseph, said he has received dozens of profanity-laced messages in the wake of his yes vote.
“I hope you (expletive) die, I hope your (expletive) family dies, I hope everybody on you (expletive) staff dies,” one caller said.
Upton was first elected to Congress in 1986 and worked in the White House under President Ronald Reagan and as a congressional staffer before that. He said in all his time in Washington, he has never seen the vitriol so blatant and the conversation so vile.
He said he received a deluge of hate calls after being one of 13 Republican who voted for a plan that he says is designed to fix roads and water systems and provide broadband internet in underserved areas.
“You know, it’s really tragic and it sends a terrible signal,” he said of the calls. “We see violence and of course we’ve seen that across the country. This idea that you can go after public figures in a very vile way, threatening their staffs — our offices may be closed a little bit the next couple days because of threats. We don’t know how serious they are; there was more than one — but it just adds to that fever of violence…”
Upton said law enforcement has been notified about several of the calls.
“I just hope that it doesn’t lead to some true act of violence that takes somebody out or causes some serious injury,” he continued. “It’s really just awful.”
He said the current environment is “tragic.”
“It’s not why I came to Congress,” he said. “It was to get things done.”