Washington, D.C.— U.S. Representatives Chris Stewart (UT-02) and Scott Tipton (CO-03) introduced the Sage-Grouse and Mule Deer Habitat Conservation and Restoration Act (H.R. 3543), a bill that would streamline the approval process for vegetation management projects to protect or restore the habitat of the sage-grouse and mule deer.
In recent years, the rapid encroachment of invasive Piña and Juniper trees on sagebrush habitat has threatened sage-grouse and mule deer populations and created dangerous wildfire conditions. H.R. 3543 would allow the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to quickly engage in habitat restoration and proactive vegetation management projects to protect the species and improve ecological conditions.
“In order to protect mule deer and sage-grouse populations in Utah and across the West, we must protect their habitat. The review process for vegetation management has become too cumbersome and time consuming. This legislation removes bureaucratic red tape and gives land managers the tools needed to protect and preserve this precious habitat.” – Rep. Stewart
“The current vegetation management process isn’t allowing Western states to keep up with the rapid growth of invasive species in sagebrush habitat. To combat invasive species effectively, we must streamline the process through which BLM must go to protect and restore threatened habitats and address potential areas of concern. Our bill cuts through the unnecessary red tape that has prevented BLM from acting quickly in the past.” – Rep. Tipton
“The Sage-Grouse and Mule Deer Habitat Conservation and Restoration Act will allow conservation partners to move quickly on landscape habitat restoration projects that are proving to have a tremendous impact for mule deer, sage-grouse and other species dependent on sagebrush rangelands. This is good for wildlife conservation as well as western big game hunters,” noted MDF President/CEO Miles Moretti. “The Mule Deer Foundation greatly appreciates Congressmen Tipton and Stewart for working together to introduce this important legislation in the House. With bills now in both chambers of Congress, we are optimistic about moving this issue forward in this Congress.” – The Mule Deer Foundation
Washington, D.C. -- Today, Rep. Stewart (R-Utah) introduced H.R. 3448 to prevent the leaking of classified information. The Classified Information Protection Act simplifies existing law and imposes penalties for unauthorized disclosure for classified information.
“Leaking of classified information harms our nation’s credibility and undermines the brave men and women who protect our national security every day. Leakers are not heroes. Leakers are criminals. I want to be very clear that leakers are not whistleblowers. Current law already outlines how whistleblowers should proceed. My legislation is the first step in providing tools for prosecuting unauthorized disclosure of classified information.” – Rep. Chris Stewart
Leaks of classified information have been historically rare. According to researchers with the Senate Committee on Homeland Security Committee, the Trump administration faced 125 leaked stories in 126 days. Former CIA Director John Brennan described these leaks as “appalling” and “very, very damaging.” The New York Times has described this increase as “staggering.”
There is no single law which governs unauthorized disclosures of national security information. Instead, a patchwork of statutes and presidential directives determines how unauthorized disclosures are addressed. As a result, prosecutors rely on statutes prohibiting leaks only when leaks have a clear connection to a foreign agent or if the classified information leaked is related to National Defense Information. Congressman Stewart’s bill, Classified Information Protection Act, addresses this shortcoming by creating a single statute by which all leaks can be addressed.
To hold leakers accountable, the Classified Information Protection Act allows for leakers to be fined or imprisoned for up to three years.
For a PDF copy of the bill, click here.
Washington, D.C. – After the passage of the Make America Secure Appropriations Act, Rep. Chris Stewart (R-Utah), a member of the House Appropriations Committee, released the following statement:
“We have worked long and hard on passing the 12 appropriations bills out of the House Appropriations Committee. Today, we passed the first four appropriations bills on the House Floor. These bills keep Americans safe and free by boosting our national defense, securing our borders, and supporting our veterans. I urge the Senate to pass these important bills.”
The bill includes the full legislation and funding for four of the 12 annual Appropriations bills, including: The Department of Defense, Military Construction and Veterans Affairs, Energy and Water, and the Legislative Branch Appropriations bills. This funding extends through the entire 2018 fiscal year.
Washington, D.C. –Today, Rep. Chris Stewart’s (R-Utah) bill, the Washington County, Utah, Public Lands Management Implementation Act (H.R. 2423) passed out of the Natural Resources Committee.
“This is a big win for my constituents in Washington County,” Stewart said. “This bill will finally allow for further transportation development to accommodate growth in one of the fastest growing areas in the nation. Thank you to Chairman Bishop and the Natural Resources Committee for passing this bill. I am looking forward to it being brought to the House Floor.”
"We are very pleased that Congressman Chris Stewart's bill was passed today by the House Committee on Natural Resources,” Mayor Jon Pike of St. George said. “It is critical for the transportation needs of St. George and Washington County to have a northern corridor designated. Our beautiful hillsides, bluffs and wildlife can be sensitively protected while also allowing for another east/west route for people to utilize in the near future as growth continues to increase the pressure of existing roads."
The Washington County Commission said that H.R. 2423, “is a great first step to reaching a resolution on this issue, which is of vital importance.”
Specifically, H.R. 2423 designates what is known locally as the northern corridor. This corridor will bypass the bottlenecks to accommodate existing and future transportation needs. It also authorizes the development of utilities in accordance with the Washington County Habitat Conservation Plan. The bill reflects the compromises the County negotiated with the federal government to minimize impacts on the desert tortoise and to allow the City of St. George to grow sustainably.
The full text of the bill can be found here.Read More
Washington, D.C.—Rep. Chris Stewart (R-Utah) released the following statement today, after the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) passed the House of Representatives.
“After years of cuts, we are finally beginning to rebuild and provide more for our national defense. We have too many planes grounded, troops untrained, and ships out of service. We live in a perilous time in an ever-changing world where we need to be prepared for the next crisis. It’s time to provide our armed forces with the resources they need, and the pay wages they deserve. With this legislation, our nation’s security is headed in a better direction.”
Specifically, the NDAA does the following:
·Authorizes increasing the size of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Army Guard and Reserve, Naval and Air Reserve and Air Guard
·Increases funding for maintenance for all Services
·Modernizes our nuclear weapons stockpile, missile defense, military vehicles, and supports cyberspace strategy
·Funds the 2.4 percent pay raise for our troops, and extends special pay bonuses for service members
·Blocks the misguided attempt to close military medical facilities
Washington, D.C. – Rep. Chris Stewart (R-Utah) released the following statement in response to the shooting this morning in Alexandria, VA:
“I find myself both saddened and angry. Steve Scalise is a good friend of mine. The Capitol Hill police officers are heroes, whose bravery this morning clearly saved many lives. My prayers are with all of them and their families.”
“But we also have to realize that the tone of our politics has become appalling. Examples are all around us: violent plays in New York City depicting the assassination of our sitting President, comedians taking pictures while holding his severed head, town halls that are filled with vitriol and intimidation. We must get back to respectful conversations and disagreements. And we need to make it clear that any hint of violence or intimidation is completely unacceptable.”
Washington, D.C. - Rep. Chris Stewart (R-Utah) released the following statement in response to Secretary Zinke’s report on the Bear’s Ears National Monument:
“I commend the President and the Secretary for this long overdue examination of Antiquities Act abuses and I look forward to working with the Secretary as he works on the final report for this and other National Monuments. The process leading to the creation of the Bears Ears National Monument didn’t have the support of the Governor, a single member of Utah’s Congressional delegation, nor any local elected official. With the stroke of a pen, President Obama crippled a multi-year effort to solve public lands issues in Utah by locking up a million acres and jeopardized negotiations over another 10 million. In doing so, President Obama further undermined the local population’s trust in the federal government."
"When determining the future of public lands – particularly in regions dominated by federal ownership – there is a need to balance conservation, recreation and economic development. Secretary Zinke’s recommendation takes major steps to reach this conclusion and to correct the actions of the previous administration. This is a win-win scenario for the region.”
Washington, D.C. - Rep. Chris Stewart (R-Utah) introduced The Outdoor Recreation Enhancement Act, which will ensure continued access to national parks and help preserve jobs for outfitters, guides and other seasonal employees.
The Department of Labor finalized rules in 2014 that established a new minimum wage and overtime hours for businesses operating under federal contracts – including recreational businesses whose only connection to the federal government is a permit to be on federal lands. The changes will force many such businesses to either close, move off of public lands, or operate with fewer workers.
Rep. Stewart said, “Not only do we have some of the best outdoor recreational activities in world, but these businesses also play an important role in our economy, often providing summer jobs for our high school and college students a few months a year. Increased costs on these businesses ultimately hurt younger workers and the tourist economy.”
The 2014 rules should have been limited to procurement and service contracts, but outfitters and guides, who provide services to the public, were tied up in the rule as well. One tour operator within Utah’s Second Congressional District wrote a letter explaining their concerns. “We very much want to maintain our commitment to the recreational experience in National Parks and on other public lands. However, the cost of compliance and the draconian overtime restrictions created by this rule, have significant impacts on our business. This is so serious to us that we may have to cease running trips in National Parks.”
To address the problem, the Outdoor Recreation Enhancement Act clarifies and expands an existing exemption to wage and hour laws for seasonal recreational establishments under the Fair Labor Standards Act. The bill will broaden the exemption, which currently exempts ski businesses, to include businesses involved in rafting, horseback riding, hiking, cycling, and other seasonal recreational businesses.
“Congress recognized the need for an exclusion when it exempted skiing businesses many years ago,” Stewart said. “The Outdoor Recreation Enhancement Act is a similar fix to ensure that outfitters and guides continue to help families enjoy remarkable experiences in National Parks and other public lands."
For a PDF copy of the bill, click here.
Washington, D.C. – Today, Rep. Chris Stewart (R-Utah) and Rep. Earl L. “Buddy” Carter (R-Georgia) led a bi-partisan group of 65 Members of Congress urging the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) to rescind their decision that restricts state-licensed pharmacies from compounding prescription drugs for healthcare providers to use in their offices.
Drug compounding is used to prepare personalized prescriptions for patients or for physicians to use for procedures in their offices. Compounding pharmacists can combine certain ingredients or medications in the exact strength and dosage to customize a prescription to meet specific needs.
Ignoring a specific Congressional directive, the FDA issued final Guidance on December 29, 2016, that prohibits office-use compounding by smaller traditional compounding pharmacies, known as 503A compounding pharmacies.
“The policies finalized in this GFI are contrary to the plain language of Section 503A as amended by the Drug Quality and Security Act (DQSA) and ignore clear, bipartisan, bicameral congressional intent expressed during passage of the bill,” the letter states. “The FDA has unfortunately chosen to ignore broad and diverse stakeholder input, multiple congressional letters from both chambers, and clear directives in the House Report accompanying the FY2016 FDA appropriations legislation (House Report 114-205). More importantly, the FDA’s misinterpretation of the law and related enforcement actions against pharmacies are jeopardizing patients’ access to critical compounded medications. “
The letter is signed by 65 Member of the House of Representatives Including:
Representatives Chris Stewart, Buddy Carter, Mac Thornberry, Rob Bishop, Paul Gosar, Phil Roe, Pete Olson, Pete Sessions, Mia Love, Marsha Blackburn, Morgan Griffith, Doug Collins, Frank LoBiondo, Cathy McMorris Rodgers, Mark Pocan, Lou Barletta, John Carter, Kevin Cramer, Collin Peterson, Walter Jones, Ted Poe, Dutch Ruppersberger, Barbara Comstock, Rick Crawford, Jason Chaffetz, Don Young, Gus Bilirakis, Drew Ferguson, Rod Blum, Jaime Herrera Beutler, Billy Long, David Young, French Hill, Bill Flores, Henry Cuellar, Bob Goodlatte, Leonard Lance, Mike Gallagher, Darren Soto, Mimi Walters, Mario Diaz-Balart, Rodney Frelinghuysen, Andy Biggs, Louie Gohmert, Ted Yoho, Mark Walker, Dan Donovan, Rick Allen, Carlos Curbelo, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, David Joyce, Robert Pittenger, John Culberson, Peter DeFazio, Andy Barr, Vicente Gonzalez, David Rouzer, Mo Brooks, Roger Marshall, John Rutherford, Martha McSally, Austin Scott, Randy Weber, Martha Roby and Barry Loudermilk
The Full text of the letter is below. For a PDF copy, click here.
Dear Dr. Gottlieb:
We write today to express our strong disappointment with the final Guidance For Industry (GFI) issued by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on December 29, 2016, entitled “Prescription Requirement under 503A of the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act”. The final GFI takes the position that state-licensed pharmacies cannot compound medications pursuant to state pharmacy laws for administration to patients in office or clinical settings (commonly referred to as “office-use compounding”).
Office-use compounding of medications is a common and often necessary medical practice that is authorized in some form by the vast majority of state pharmacy laws. Compounding for office-use done pursuant to state pharmacy laws does not make a pharmacy a drug manufacturer, and Congress never intended for the FDA to assert regulatory authority over the traditional practice of pharmacy, which has always been regulated at the state level.
The policies finalized in this GFI are contrary to the plain language of Section 503A as amended by the Drug Quality and Security Act (DQSA) and ignore clear, bipartisan, bicameral congressional intent expressed during passage of the bill. The FDA has unfortunately chosen to ignore broad and diverse stakeholder input, multiple congressional letters from both chambers, and clear directives in the House Report accompanying the FY2016 FDA appropriations legislation (House Report 114-205). More importantly, the FDA’s misinterpretation of the law and related enforcement actions against pharmacies are jeopardizing patients’ access to critical compounded medications. For these reasons, we respectfully request that the FDA immediately rescind this GFI and issue a proposed rule, with notice and stakeholder input as required by the Administrative Procedure Act, that is consistent with the DQSA and that allows for office-use compounding by state-licensed pharmacies where authorized by state pharmacy laws.
Particularly troubling is the fact that when finalizing this GFI from draft form, the FDA not only ignored congressional intent, stakeholder input, and clear directives in their FY16 funding legislation about office-use compounding, but also added new language not contained in the draft guidance that attempts to redefine the key and distinct terms “distribute” and “dispense”. It is astonishing that the agency would try to redefine these terms, which have commonly-accepted definitions both in existing law and in pharmacy practice, in a guidance document. This is a clear attempt by the FDA to assert unprecedented regulatory authority over the dispensing of medications and the traditional practice of pharmacy in a way that Congress never intended when passing the FDCA or its amendments in the DQSA. This regulatory overreach by the FDA and enforcement of the DQSA using guidance documents that don’t conform to the law is unacceptable and must stop.
In June of last year, sixty-one members of the House of Representatives, on a bipartisan basis, wrote to your predecessor Dr. Califf asking that the FDA finalize the draft GFI in a way that was consistent with the law and that protected both patient safety and access to critical medications compounded for office-use under state pharmacy laws. Unfortunately, the final GFI doubles-down on the FDA’s misinterpretation of the statute and will further exacerbate the patient access problem as more state-licensed and compliant pharmacies are forced to cease compounding office-use medications to the providers in their communities who rely on them for their patients’ needs.
We are hopeful that after rescinding this GFI, the incoming administration will re-evaluate the FDA’s policy on this subject and issue a proposed rule that provides a meaningful opportunity for stakeholder input and that adheres to the plain language and congressional intent behind the underlying statute. We look forward to working with you during this process.
Washington, D.C. – Today, Rep. Chris Stewart (R-Utah) and Mayor Ben McAdams (Salt Lake County), along with the Salt Lake County Health Department and the Utah Drug Enforcement Agency hosted a roundtable to discuss ways to facilitate the proper disposal of controlled substances.
“2 million Americans are addicted to, or abuse opiate-based painkillers. Utah is currently ranked fourth in the nation for most opioid related deaths,” Stewart said. “These drug addictions are destroying opportunities and devastating families and communities across the country. This problem is greater than one single solution, but the proper disposal of unused medications is one way to begin making a difference and saving lives. That’s why today’s discussion about improving access and convenience of the proper disposal of opioids is so important.”
“Prescription drug abuse is a serious problem that hurts too many families,” said Mayor Ben McAdams. “Congressman Stewart recognizes that this widespread issue requires a collaborative community response. Today we came together – pharmacists, law enforcement, health experts, government agencies – to compare notes and work more closely toward the shared goal of reducing opioid abuse, making our communities safer and healthier.”
20 years ago, the Salt Lake County Health Department established a program to install medication drop boxes in police stations throughout the community. For the past year, the Health Department has worked to develop a pilot program to facilitate the implementation of these boxes in retail pharmacies.
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.
Thank you to all of those who donated!
Takes courage to do right thing. Congress must support our troops in Afghanistan. I will lead fight in Congress to give pres tools he needs
Pres is listening to his generals. Thank you! We owe it to our brave troops and the price they have already paid to end this fight w vistory
I'm grateful pres made a military and nat'l security decision not a political decision. Courage. Determination. With leadership we can win.