Ethics Committee Questions Energy & Commerce Chairman Upton
Posted at 2:26 p.m. on July 18, 2013
The chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee has answered questions from the House Ethics Committee and amended his personal financial report to add $100,001 to $250,000 in stock of a medical technology company.
Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich., amended his personal financial disclosure report to include a joint asset of Stryker Corporation (NYSE: SYK) stock, a medical technology company headquartered in Michigan. The stock is valued at $100,001 to $250,000. Upton’s letter to the House Ethics Committee stated, “I neglected to list a joint asset.” It is not clear if the Ethics Committee made a specific inquiry about the Stryker stock, or if Upton volunteered it. The letter also made several other additions of financial information.
Upton’s amendment states it was in response to an Ethics Committee letter of 6/24. Upton’s response was sent to Ethics Committee Chairman Michael K. Conaway. It appears the committee asked about specific plane travel in July 2012. Upton explained that the round-trip flight from Washington to Boston and back was for the funeral of Priscilla Houghton, the late wife of former Rep. Amo Houghton, R-N.Y. Upton stated he “did not travel on the plane,” and did not list his wife’s trip since it was totally independent of the his relationship as a member. He said Priscilla Houghton was a friend of him and his wife for 25 years.
7/19 update: Upton was the original sponsor of the Protect Medical Innovation Act (H.R.523) to repeal the medical device excise tax on all U.S. sales of medical devices, which he reintroduced on 2/6/13. The Stryker Corporation estimated in 2011 that the tax would cost the company about $150 million.