Washington, D.C. – Today, at an Interior Appropriations subcommittee mark up, Rep. Chris Stewart (R-Utah), urged his colleagues to help him find a bipartisan solution to the overpopulation of wild horses in the West.
“If you care about these animals like I do, we can’t just continue with what’s happening,” Stewart said. “By the BLM’s own estimate it’s going to cost a billion dollars to care for these [Wild Horses] in the next few years. There are more than 67,000 of them now, and they expect that number to double in the next 4 years. We could throw our hands up in the air and say ‘this is too hard, we can’t fix it’, but that seems unacceptable. We are hoping we can find some bipartisan agreement and do something meaningful."
In 2015, Rep. Stewart also introduced the Wild Horse Oversight Act, which would allow states to take over the management of wild horses and burros.
Washington, D.C. – Today, the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) passed the House of Representatives with key provisions that are critical for Utah. The bill provides for state management of Sage-Grouse, includes Rep. Chris Stewart’s bill that strengthens Utah’s Test and Training Range, and includes land exchanges that will be a boon to Utah’s public education funding.
“This legislation is critical, both for our country and for Utah’s significant role in national security,” Stewart said. “Through this bill, we support our men and women in uniform and provide the weapons and training they need to protect us and our allies. It also includes several big victories for Utah by including my bill improving the Utah Test and Training Range. Those changes will allow the Air Force to better test the F-35, resolve ownership of roads surrounding the training range, execute land exchanges that will decrease the amount of federally-owned land in Utah and provide increased funding for Utah’s public education. Overall, it’s a big win for our national security and for Utah.”
Specifically, the NDAA does the following:
Washington, D.C. – In honor of National Police Week, Rep. Chris Stewart (R-Utah), gave a speech on the House Floor commemorating local law enforcement officers. He specifically honored a Salt Lake City Police Officer, Ben Hone, who saved two female college students from a violent home evasion last year. You can watch the speech here:
Congressman Stewart’s remarks:
Mr. Speaker, along with many of my colleagues I rise today to honor National Police Week.
One of the favorite things that I get to do as a member of Congress is to ride with police officers as they go about their duties. From St. George to Salt Lake City, I’ve had the opportunity to do this.
Sadly, many in our society and particularly among the press have been highly critical of law enforcement officers. Now I recognize that not all law enforcement officers are perfect. People make mistakes. We all do. But we can’t let the mistakes of a few, tarnish the name of such a noble and a brave profession.
Such criticism of police efforts doesn’t come without a cost. It forces the officers to pull back. To become overly cautious. To view every encounter that they may have through the prism of a lens of a media event.
And what is the result of this? We now know that crime rates have been rising across the country and interestingly and sadly, they are rising in some of the poorest communities. The communities that most need the help of an effective police force.
Now more than ever we need brave men and woman who are willing to serve and to protect.
And as I’ve said, I’ve had the chance to go on several ride-a-longs with local police departments. Again and again, I’ve been impressed with their hard work, their professionalism, their willingness to put themselves at risk to protect other people.
There’s a great example of this. I’m reminded of the heroic actions of Officer Hone, a police officer who last year saved two young girls in Salt Lake City.
A disturbed man, who had recently been released from prison and was on drugs, broke into the home of two sisters, both of them college students. He began to viciously attack them, and he took a knife and he attempted to take their lives.
Fortunately, Officer Hone was in the area, and he heard the screams of these young girls, and just seconds before the intruder expected to take the life of one of them, this heroic police officer quickly diffused the situation, literally saving her life.
Brea, the sister who was saved, said of the officer, “He was so professional and calm. Right when we made eye contact, I knew I was safe. It's a miracle that he had so much composure. He was our angel.”
This is just one example of the thousands of courageous police officers we have in America. I’m proud to live in a country where professionals are ready to put their lives at risk in order to serve and to protect members of their community.
Let us honor these police officers, their courage, their selflessness, their dedication. Let us honor them not just this week, but frankly all year round for the sacrifice that they give for us.
And with that, Mr. Speaker, I yield back.
Washington, DC – Rep. Chris Stewart (R-Utah), issued the following statement after the Obama Administration issued a directive requiring public schools to open access to bathrooms for transgender students:
“Just a day after a court struck down the President’s latest overreach, he’s at it again, threatening to withhold funding to public schools that don’t comply with his views on gender identity. We can all agree that every student should be treated with kindness and respect. Bullying of any kind is unacceptable. But this is the heavy hand of the federal government and yet another example of the President trying to circumvent Congress. A better way to solve this would be to use the blueprint from Utah’s anti-discrimination laws. That should be the model for the nation.”Read More
Washington, D.C. – Rep. Chris Stewart (R-UT) released the following statement on the passing of Senator Bob Bennett:
“Senator Bennett has been a close family friend for many years and there are few people for which I have more respect. I spent some time with him recently and was reminded once again that he is one of the smartest men I know. After winning my election in 2012, he was one of the first to bring me under his wing to offer advice and support. We will all miss his wisdom, wit and work ethic. My thoughts and prayers are with the Bennett family during this extremely difficult time.”
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Utah lawmakers hand-delivered a letter to the White House requesting a meeting with President Obama on potential use of the Antiquities Act to create a national monument in Utah. Before delivering the letter, members of the Utah delegation met with White House officials to discuss public land issues.
Letter signatures include Utah Governor Gary Herbert (R-UT), Senators Orin Hatch (R-UT) and Mike Lee (R-UT), Representatives Rob Bishop (UT-01), Jason Chaffetz (UT-03), Chris Stewart (UT-02), and Mia Love (UT-04), and San Juan County Commissioner Rebecca Benally.
Excerpts from the letter:
“To further communicate our strong opposition against the unilateral creation of a national monument in the State of Utah, we respectfully request the opportunity to personally meet with you to discuss our basis for opposition.”
“In a February meeting with the National Governors Association, you stated that open lines of communication are needed when discussing national monument designations. To that end, we believe a meeting involving you, Governor Gary Herbert, the Congressional delegation, and Utah’s only elected Navajo official is critical to successful communication and planning.”
Full letter text is here, or below.
President Obama is being pressed by environmental groups to use the Antiquities Act to designate 1.9 million acres of Bears Ears in southern Utah as a national monument. Earlier this year a draft of the Public Lands Initiative (PLI) was announced as a balanced approach to land conservation. Many stakeholders, including conservation groups, continue to support PLI as the preferred alternative to a national monument.
April 29, 2016
Dear Mr. President,
It is widely known that you are considering use of the Antiquities Act to declare a national monument in the State of Utah. We have previously written to you expressing our opposition to this action. While we appreciate the Secretary of the Interior’s response to our letter, we believe it was an inadequate response, as the Department of the Interior does not possess the authority to declare a national monument.
To further communicate our strong opposition against the unilateral creation of a national monument in the State of Utah, we respectfully request the opportunity to personally meet with you to discuss our basis for opposition.
A meeting of this nature is supported by your recent public statements. In a February meeting with the National Governors Association, you stated that open lines of communication are needed when discussing national monument designations. To that end, we believe a meeting involving you, Governor Gary Herbert, the Congressional delegation, and Utah’s only elected Navajo official is critical to successful communication and planning.
Finally, we hope a recent meeting we had with your staff will result in a productive dialogue regarding the Public Lands Initiative (PLI). The PLI is a balanced legislative approach to land management in eastern Utah. If passed, the PLI will establish greater land-use certainty and conserve more than four million acres of federal land. Many groups, including conservation groups, are still at the table providing feedback and comments on the draft PLI. The same draft was given to your staff on January 14, 2016 but thus far feedback has not been provided.
Thank you for your consideration. Collaborative planning is essential in the land management arena, and we look forward to meeting with you.
Washington, D.C. – Today, Rep. Chris Stewart (R-Utah) introduced the Suppressor Export Act, H.R. 5135, giving U.S. suppressor manufacturers access to a global market, and giving consumers around the world access to high-quality American products.
Suppressors, also known as silencers, are used by hunters and gun owners for hearing protection. American manufactures make the highest quality product, but an internal policy at the U.S. State Department prohibits them from competing commercially with foreign manufactures in countries where it is legal to own and operate suppressors.
“The United States should be cautious when exporting weapons and accessories, but there is no reason for a blanket ban on the export of suppressors, which are used for hearing protection,” Stewart said. “There is a global demand for quality American-made suppressors, and American businesses should be able compete in certain markets around the world.”
The Suppressor Export Act would require the U.S. State Department to allow for the commercial export of suppressors made in the United States to foreign markets where suppressors are legal to own and operate.
“This is a common-sense bill that will level the playing field for U.S. manufacturers, allowing them to compete in the global market,” Stewart said.
Specifically this bill would allow the American export of suppressors if:
The National Rifle Association and the American Suppressor Association have both endorsed the Suppressor Export Act.
A PDF copy of the bill can be found here.
Original Co-sponsors of the bill include:
Reps. Ralph Abraham (R- La.), Brian Babin (R-Texas), Rob Bishop (R-Utah), Ken Buck (R-Colo.), John Carter (R-Texas), Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), Chris Collins (R- N.Y.), Paul Cook (R- Calif.), Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), Scott DesJarlais (R-Tenn.), Renee Ellmers (R-N.C.), Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.), Tim Huelskamp (R- Kan.), Steve King (R- Iowa), Matt Salmon (R-Ariz.), Bruce Westerman (R-Ark.), Ryan Zinke (R-Mont.)Read More
About the Congressional Awardees:
Marinda and Katrina completed the following:
Marinda will be attending Utah State University on an academic presidential scholarship in the fall with plans to study accounting. Her hobbies include water skiing, dirt biking, and playing the piano and organ. She just started her own business selling screen printed t-shirts.
Katrina will be attending Utah State University on an academic presidential scholarship in the fall. Her hobbies include hiking, historical exploration, painting, and playing the piano and organ. She just started her own business selling watercolor greeting cards online.
About the Congressional Award
The Congressional Award was created by Congress in 1979 to recognize initiative, achievement and service in young people. The award is open to all young people ages 14-23 in America. To be eligible to receive this award, young people must set and achieve goals in the four program areas of public service, personal development, physical fitness and exploration. The only other medal awarded by Congress is the Medal of Honor. More than 40,000 Congressional Awards have been earned, representing over 3.5 million volunteer hours performed in communities across America.
323 Cannon HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Chris Stewart is the Congressman from Utah’s Second Congressional District. He is a No. 1 New York Times best-selling and national award-winning author, world-record-setting Air Force pilot, and the former owner/CEO of a small business.
Chris is one of ten children and grew up on a dairy farm in Cache Valley. He graduated from Utah State University, where he earned his degree in economics. Upon graduation, Chris joined the United States Air Force where he was the Distinguished Graduate (top of his class) in both Officer Training School and Undergraduate Pilot Training. He served for fourteen years as a pilot in the Air Force, flying both rescue helicopters and the B-1B bomber. He holds three world speed records, including the world’s record for the fastest non-stop flight around the world.
Chris is a prolific author having written 17 books, several of which have become national best-sellers, and have been published in six different countries.
Before being elected to Congress, Chris served as president and CEO of the Shipley Group, a nationally recognized firm for consulting expertise in energy and the environment. He and his wife, Evie, are the parents of six children.
Chris now serves as a member of House Appropriations Committee.