WASHINGTON – The entire Utah congressional delegation, including Sens. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Mike Lee (R-UT), Reps. Rob Bishop (R-UT), Chris Stewart (R-UT), Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), and Mia Love (R-UT), as well as Gov. Gary Herbert issued the following joint statement today in opposition of a monument designation in Utah:
“We, the Congressional Delegation of the Great State of Utah, stand in solidarity with local Native Americans, the people of San Juan County and elected officials at the local, county and state levels of Utah government in opposition to the unilateral designation of the proposed Bears Ears national monument. The protection of our nation’s historic, cultural and natural resources is among the noblest of pursuits and we agree that this unique part of our state needs to be preserved. However, turning our backs on the democratic process to do so undermines who we are as Americans. We support a solution where local voices are not only heard, but integrated into public land management.”
Washington, D.C. – Rep. Chris Stewart (R-Utah), a member of the House Intelligence Committee and former military officer, released the following statement regarding the attacks in New York, New Jersey and Minnesota, which took place over the weekend:
“As a member of the House Intelligence Committee, I am aggressively investigating the bombings in New York and New Jersey, and the knife attack in Minnesota. Whether the attacks were orchestrated by sophisticated terror cells or lone wolf terrorists, there is still much to learn, and we will not rest until we get answers. What we do know is that we need to get more serious about countering and destroying terror threats, both domestically and abroad.”
“My thanks to the law enforcement officials in New York and New Jersey for their quick work to track down the suspect in this weekend’s terrorist attacks, as well as to the off-duty police officer in St. Cloud, Minnesota who killed a knife-wielding terrorist on Sunday.”
Washington, D.C.– Today, the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), the nation’s leading advocate for small businesses, awarded Rep. Chris Stewart (R-Utah) with its Guardian of Small Business Award for his outstanding support of America’s small business owners.
“Many elected officials claim that they are champions of small business, but our Guardian Award shows members and other small business owners who are really fighting for them,” said NFIB President and CEO Juanita Duggan. “Based on his voting record, Rep. Stewart is one of the most reliable advocates for small business in Washington.”
The Guardian of Small Business is NFIB’s most prestigious award. It is reserved for lawmakers who vote consistently with NFIB on the key issues identified by small business owners. NFIB tracks the votes of every member of Congress. Stewart received a 100 percent voting record during the 114th Congress.
“As a former small business owner, I have always said that small business is the economic engine of the United States,” Stewart said. “Enabling them to flourish is the fastest way to economic prosperity. I will continue to fight for policies that reduce regulatory burdens, and help businesses succeed.”
Washington, D.C. – Rep. Chris Stewart (R-Utah) released the following statement today after the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) announced it had signed a new Record of Decision (ROD), paving the way for a new coal lease in Sevier County.
“Today’s announcement is welcome news for central Utah’s rural communities, as coal production will preserve thousands of high paying jobs. I’m pleased that the BLM has recognized the importance of diverse energy sources and I’m committed to fighting for sustainable energy sources that are good for both rural Utah and our energy independence.”
Many times over the course of President Obama’s second term, I have stood on the House floor and made an obvious but important observation. Our Founding Fathers got it right. They gave us a president and not a king. Knowing this, I have objected vigorously as this President pulls more and more unconstitutional powers to himself. If a future Republican president were to do the same thing, I will condemn him just as vigorously.
And while there are many reasons to oppose President Obama’s policies, the longest lasting damage of his presidency may not be the policies themselves but the way he pursues them – ignoring Congress and rewriting laws to fit his policy goals. I remember well listening to his State of the Union address when he promised to bypass Congress by using his phone and his pen, then watching my democratic colleagues stand up and cheer. Watching them, I thought, “The President has just said he doesn’t care about you. He doesn’t care about the 700,000 people that you represent. What he is proposing will shred the Constitution.” And yet they cheered…
Even as the courts continue striking down many of the President’s actions, including recently his regulation of hydraulic fracturing on public lands and his immigration amnesty, his repeated pattern of overreaching will have long-term consequences for our Constitutionally-enshrined separation of powers. There is little doubt this president has opened the door for future presidents to try the same thing. Americans of both parties should be alarmed to see the balance of power consistently tilted toward the presidency.
To put this in perspective, a brief review of some of the President’s most outrageous power grabs is in order. The President’s Waters of the U.S. rule magically transformed the 1972 Clean Water Act into permission for the EPA to regulate every wet patch of ground anywhere in the country. His Clean Power Plan made a similar expansion of the 1973 Clean Air Act, discovering a heretofore unknown authority for the EPA to regulate the nation’s entire electrical power grid. I mention the dates because in over 40 years these laws were never interpreted so broadly. With his Set-Top-Box mandate and Net Neutrality rules, the President has first politicized and then inserted the Federal Communications Commission into the telecom sector in unprecedented ways. The list goes on and on. From international nuclear agreements to immigration, healthcare, education, property rights, religious freedom, and drug policy the President treats laws as if they are merely suggestions.
And it’s not just Republicans who are concerned. The Supreme Court has slapped down the President’s regulatory overreach with alarming frequency. As legal scholar Ilya Shapiro has pointed out, the President had more unanimous losses at the Supreme Court in his first five years than President Bush did in two full terms. President Obama loses unanimously at the Supreme Court twice as often as President George W. Bush and 1.5 times as often as President Clinton. And those losses keep coming.
So what should be done? Congressional Republicans have in fact done quite a lot over the past several years. On the Appropriations Committee on which I sit, we have included hundreds of restrictions on the way the President and his agencies can use taxpayer dollars. So while the president may write aggressive and unconstitutional regulations, we have, in many cases, successfully denied him the funding to implement those regulations. We will continue using the power of the purse to rein him in.
But knowing that the Pandora’s Box has been opened, and now fearing future presidents will be even more aggressive in claiming power they do not have, it’s clear that structural reforms need to be implemented. Speaker Paul Ryan’s taskforce on Restoring Constitutional Authority has proposed a number of important reforms. Last week, the House passed the Separation of Powers Restoration Act, a bill I co-sponsored, which will reform the way courts review the regulations created by federal agencies. Instead of giving strong deference to the way federal bureaucrats interpret laws, courts will be able to review those regulations under a much more skeptical standard. This is a common sense and long overdue reform that will help keep regulatory agencies in check.
It’s too late for this president to change his legacy of Obamacare, regulatory overreach, and court losses. But if our next president wants a different legacy, he or she should consider working with Congress and the Americans we represent.Read More
Washington, D.C. – Today, Rep. Chris Stewart (R-Utah) and the House Intelligence Committee approved the release of 28 pages reviewed by the 9/11 Commission that had previously been classified.
The pages come from a section of a congressional report that explored potential ties between the Saudi Arabian government and 9/11 hijackers.
Following the release of the document, Rep. Stewart issued the following statement:
“As a member of the House Intelligence Committee, I approved the release and declassification of the 28, 9/11 pages. I’ve been calling for their release for some time, given the importance of government transparency and the fact that the contents do not jeopardize our national security. Releasing these pages was important to end speculation about what they do or do not say. What they do contain is a number of recommendations for further investigation by the intelligence community—recommendations which were followed but which never revealed conclusive evidence of the Saudi government’s involvement in the planning or financing of the 9/11 attacks. There is no ‘smoking gun’ in these pages, but I think it’s helpful information for the public to know.”
The 28 pages can be found here.Read More
Washington, D.C. -- Today, Rep. Chris Stewart (R-Utah) secured $300 million dollars for the Children’s Hospital Graduate Medical Education (CHGME) program, to ensure that the next generation of pediatric physicians receive vital specialized training. Stewart secured this funding in the Labor, Health and Human Services (HHS) Appropriations Bill, while also securing a $569 Million cut in overall spending from last year’s appropriations bill.
CHGME provides funding to independent children’s teaching hospitals, like Primary Children’s in Salt Lake City, to support the training of pediatricians and other residents.
Stewart worked for months to ensure that these critical funds were included in the Labor, Health and Human Services Appropriations bill, which passed out of committee today.
“This program provides specialized training for 50% of all pediatric residents in the U.S.,” Stewart said. “This is critical in ensuring that the specialized health care needs of children in Utah and throughout the nation are met for years to come. I am extremely pleased to see this vital funding put in place.”
“The Children’s Hospitals Graduate Medical Education (CHGME) program has provided, and continues to provide, critical funding to Primary Children’s Hospital and our medical resident training program, allowing Primary Children’s to train the new pediatricians so desperately needed in the intermountain area” said Katy Welkie, CEO of Primary Children’s Hospital. “These funds allow us to create highly focused pediatric medical training that ensures our sub-specialty residents and pediatricians stay up-to-date with the latest in healthcare, and continue to guarantee access to care for children. We have the largest geographical service area of any children’s hospital — 400,000 square miles — and the CHGME program allows us to serve the children and families in far-reaching areas who otherwise wouldn’t have the same level of care available."
About the Children’s Hospital Graduate Medical Education Program (CHGME):
Having passed the full House Appropriations Committee, this bill now moves to the House and Senate floors for final consideration.
Washington, D.C. –The Interior Department funding bill passed the House today, with several of Rep. Chris Stewart’s (R-Utah) provisions that are critical for Utah. Included in the Interior Appropriations Bill, is Stewart’s amendment to block national monuments in areas where there is local opposition, and Stewart’s amendment to address the wild horse overpopulation in the west.
“I am committed to continuing to use the power of the purse and my position on the Appropriations Committee to rein in regulatory overreach at the Interior Department,” Stewart said. “This bill includes several of my amendments that are critical to Utah’s interests.”
During the debate on the bill, Stewart and a bi-partisan coalition of Members defeated an attempt by Rep. Grijalva (D-A.Z.) to remove Stewart’s national monument provision.
Specifically Rep. Stewart’s amendments do the following:
“Using the Antiquities Act as a political weapon is bad policy and furthers the distrust that exists between Americans and the Federal government,” Stewart said. “I am a strong supporter of our country’s public lands and protecting our national treasures, but it must be done through Congress, with the input of the American people.”
“There are more than 68,000 wild horses on the ranges, twice as many as the BLM recommends,” Stewart said. “That number is growing by 20 percent a year, and due to the overpopulation, horses are inhumanely dying of thirst and starvation. The BLM continues to take horses off the ranges, but their own numbers estimate that it will cost more than $1 Billion to care for the wild horses they already have in captivity.”
“My provision alleviates some of the overpopulation by allowing the BLM to transfer wild horses to federal, state or local governments requesting a work animal. This is a step in the right direction that will give the BLM the tools they need to begin to control the number of horses and burros in their care.”
The Interior Appropriations Bill Also Includes:
In July 2015, Garfield County was forced to declare a state of emergency based on rapidly declining school enrollment. Simply put, their schools are dying because families cannot stay in the county. And why can’t they stay? Because there are so few jobs capable of sustaining a family. The situation is destroying a great Western tradition of ranching, farming and logging, while forcing families to leave their homes. The result is dying communities and empty schools, with some children being forced to ride on a school bus for almost two hours.
Since then, some in the media and the environmental community have resurrected the narrative that Garfield County’s fate — and that of similar rural counties — is simply a consequence of changing economic trends: the old economy of ranching, mining and logging giving way to a tourism-based economy. The narrative isn’t new, but it’s false and deserves to be challenged. While it is certainly true that towns like Escalante have for many years been trending toward tourism, it is NOT true that the move has happened on its own. The situation has largely been forced upon residents by misguided federal policies, reminding us once again that federal government has a bad habit of picking winners and losers in the public lands debate.
In 1996, President Bill Clinton used the Antiquities Act to lock up nearly 2 million acres of Garfield and Kane Counties. And it’s worth remembering that Clinton didn’t even have the courage to announce the monument in Utah — he did it across the border in Arizona. No wonder the creation of Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument was an outrage to rural Utah. Environmental suits had already killed hundreds of jobs in the logging industry and the monument compounded the problem by shutting down a planned coal project that represented hundreds of jobs and millions of dollars for both counties. Twenty years later the monument remains a tragic case study of the federal government running roughshod over the wishes of local communities.
Why rehash events of 20 years ago? Aside from the renewed possibility of another monument designation in southern Utah, there’s a bigger lesson here. There are long-term consequences when government decides that one use of land should exclude any other use. Let’s be clear — I recognize and support the important role that tourism plays in our rural economy. I am proud of the beauty of Garfield County and grateful for those who visit there. But I am offended by the idea that ranchers, miners and loggers can be so casually tossed from the land they have depended upon for generations. And as an elected official, it’s maddening when this happens without any input from local leaders.
So what is the solution? First, let’s remove the Antiquities Act as a political weapon. Last week, I inserted a provision in a spending bill that will prevent the president from using the Antiquities Act to create another national monument in Utah. Alaska and Wyoming have been allowed such an exception. The result is a more collaborative land management process that ensures rural residents have a seat at the table. There’s no reason Utah shouldn’t have this same protection.
There are also actions we can take to help Garfield and Kane Counties, including a bill that Sen. Orrin Hatch and I introduced that will help restore grazing levels in the monument to their pre-1996 level.
Perhaps most importantly, we have to end the faulty premise that public land management is a zero-sum game — that we can either have a natural resources economy or a tourism economy, but not both. That’s simply not true. We need look no further than the Grand Staircase Monument as proof, for even after many decades of a resource-based economy, the Grand Staircase was still viewed as unspoiled and pristine.
Again, there is nothing wrong with preservation or tourism. What’s wrong is when bureaucrats in Washington pursue those goals without considering the impact on our families and local communities. Empty schools and two-hour bus rides for children are not acceptable. We can do far better. We can find creative solutions that benefit both the tourism and natural resources industries and which preserve our Western culture. Land management is not a zero-sum game.
Chris Stewart is Utah's 2nd District congressman.
Washington, D.C. – Rep. Chris Stewart (R-Utah) and Rep. Lois Frankel (D-FL) have sent a bipartisan letter to the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), Congress’ investigative arm, requesting a review of federal and state oversight of sober homes.
“Far too many of us have been personally affected by addiction to drugs and alcohol, and helping people recover should be our top priority,” Stewart said. “Ensuring that we have safe, licensed and registered homes that are part of the community is essential to the recovery process.”
“Sober homes are supposed to be the last step in addiction recovery, where individuals prepare to transition back into the community,” Frankel said. “Sadly, in too many cases, sober homes are failing both the patients and the communities in which they live. Information from GAO will help us crack down on abusive sober homes and protect those in recovery.”
“Sober home” is a name given to group homes for individuals recovering from drug and alcohol addiction. Their purpose is to help addicts who have completed addiction treatment transition back to everyday life in a residential, community environment.
In recent years, there has been a significant proliferation of unregulated sober homes across the country. This has changed the residential character of communities and caused serious problems for neighbors and local governments. Unscrupulous sober home operations undermine the recovery of persons struggling with addiction. In the worst cases, residents who overdose are left on the curb side to die.
The letter asks GAO for information, including the number of sober homes in each state, how many individuals they serve, how they can be regulated at each level of government, how effective their services are, and their relationship with Medicaid and other federally-funded healthcare programs.
A copy of the Stewart-Frankel letter can be found here.
The letter was also signed by Reps. Alcee Hastings (D-FL), Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), Jim McGovern (D-MA), Ken Calvert (R-CA), Ted Deutch (D-FL), Ed Royce (R-CA), Bill Keating (D-MA), Darrell Issa (R-CA), Frederica Wilson (D-FL), Rob Bishop (R-UT), Katherine Clark (D-MA), Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), Seth Moulton (D-MA), Carlos Curbelo (R-FL), and Mia Love (R-UT).Read More
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.
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