Chris Stewart

Chris Stewart

UTAH's 2nd DISTRICT

Hatch, Lee, Bishop, Chaffetz, Stewart Commemorate 50th Anniversary of Canyonlands National Park, Urge Obama Administration to Work With Them on Future Public Lands Efforts

2014/09/12

WASHINGTON – Five members of Utah’s Congressional Delegation – U.S. Senators Orrin Hatch and Mike Lee, and Representatives Rob Bishop, Jason Chaffetz, and Chris Stewart – today wrote to President Barack Obama and Secretary of the Department of Interior (DOI) Sally Jewel to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Canyonlands National Park.  In the letter, the delegation also urged President Obama and Secretary Jewel to work with them as the delegation continues working on a public lands bill that will benefit all stakeholders in Utah. “We owe a debt of gratitude to people, both elected officials and citizens, who recognized the value of Canyonlands and worked to create the park fifty years ago.  The park did not come without controversy, and much controversy remains today,” the members of the delegation wrote.  “What better way to celebrate the anniversary of the Canyonlands National Park than by bringing certainty to an area that hasn't had any for a half century.  I would be most grateful for your support of our ongoing process to protect the land surrounding Canyonlands National Park.” A signed copy of the letter can be found here, and the text is below: The Honorable Barack H. Obama  Dear Mr. President:  This week citizens of Utah and friends from around the Country are celebrating an important anniversary in our beautiful state, the 50th anniversary of the creation of Canyonlands National Park. Canyonlands is one of the "Mighty Five" national parks in Utah and something we are proud of.  Located in the southeastern part of our state this otherworldly gem attracts people from all over the globe. In Moab I have heard languages from German to Japanese and English in accents from all over America. People plan and save for years to travel to Utah to see Canyonlands and it never disappoints. Standing on the edge of a 1000 foot cliff and seeing for hundreds of miles somehow puts life into perspective. We owe a debt of gratitude to people, both elected officials and citizens, who recognized the value of Canyonlands and worked to create the park fifty years ago. The park did not come without controversy, and much controversy remains today. The area around the park means a lot of things to a lot of people. Many people spend their free time exploring the over 2500 miles of roads in and around the park in 4-wheel drive vehicles while others find a special peace in the solitude of the desert in Canyonlands. These interests may seem in conflict, but the land in Utah is big and there is room to accommodate them all.  For several years now the Utah congressional delegation has been developing a public lands bill that will bring certainty and balance to the areas around Canyonlands and other landscapes in Utah.  The land surrounding the Park would be protected with designations that ensure our grandchildren can stand on the same red rock cliffs and look at the glorious sunsets that our pioneer ancestors saw and view vistas people from around the world come to see today. The bill will benefit our children by exchanging state lands in areas that don't produce revenues, with federal lands that can be developed responsibly. The revenues derived, as a result of the thoughtful development enabled by these exchanges, will benefit school children in Utah. Only Congress can make these changes to the way our public lands are managed.  At a time when Congress doesn’t get much done, this is one area where something positive is happening.  What better way to celebrate the anniversary of the Canyonlands National Park than by bringing certainty to an area that hasn't had any for a half century.  We would be most grateful for your support of our ongoing process to protect the land surrounding Canyonlands National Park.   Sincerely,   Read More

The lesson from 9/11 is not isolationism

2014/09/11

Having spent 14 years as an Air Force pilot, flying both combat rescue helicopters and B-1 bombers, I understand the tremendous strain that the years since 9/11 have placed on our military equipment, our soldiers and their families. The result of our long fight against terror is that our nation has become war weary and understandably reluctant to get into another fight. Throughout his administration, the president has sought to diminish the role of the U.S. overseas. Now we have seen what happens when the U.S. refuses to honor its obligation as the world’s only superpower, a nation that has stood for something rare and exceptional for generations. If the last six years have taught us anything, it is that a diminished U.S. presence leaves the world a much darker and more dangerous place. This power vacuum was on vivid display as I spent much of August in the Middle East, meeting with presidents, prime ministers, military leaders and kings. And the message that I heard from all of them was consistent: We need your country to lead! Will you stand by your allies? When you draw a red line, does it mean anything? Whether we like it or not, the Global War on Terror is the defining battle of our day. Indeed, the fight against ISIL may be the most important battle that this generation may undertake. The president spoke to the nation last night, outlining his strategy to defeat ISIL. Because he is late in addressing this threat, it is critical now that he follow through with his plan. This simple fact is, it isn’t enough to neutralize ISIL, we have to destroy it. Because political speeches are often light on details, I want to suggest what I believe is a military plan that most Americans would support and that would address the threat that we face. First, we have to cut off ISIL’s sources of funding by hitting its ability to sell oil. Right now, hundreds of oil trucks make their way across the border in southern Turkey where ISIL sells its oil on the black market. These transactions will generate at least $500 million and maybe more than a billion dollars of revenue for it. Cutting off this flow of oil should be our primary military target. We must also pressure the leadership in Turkey to shut down access to ISIL's markets. Do this and we take away ISIL’s ability to operate as a terrorist state. Second, we must be willing to use coordinated military capabilitiesF. Air power is the key to stopping ISIL’s advancements, but it will take U.S. special forces, working in concert with U.S. intelligence, to begin to push it back. Third, we must build and equip a military coalition that is willing to do what we can not do, put "boots on the ground." Iraqis, under their new leadership, are willing to fight with us, as are the Kurds, the Free Syrian Army, the Jordanians, several of the Gulf states, and many of the Sunni tribes who understand now the terror of living under ISIL control. Fourth, we must not allow the enemy a safe haven where it can regroup, rearm and gather strength. This means we must be willing to extend the fight into Syria. But the Syrian border is now nonexistent anyway. And everything would be for naught if we were not willing to extend this fight to wherever ISIL exists. Finally, we must assure the Sunnis in northwestern Iraq that the new government will create a means of sharing oil revenue. They have no oil reserves of their own. Without assurances that they will not be left in poverty, they will not be willing to join in this fight. Keeping world chaos at bay has a high cost. While other democratic governments must step up and accept their portion of the burden, the United States will always have the primary responsibility to lead. As a people we need to accept the fact that retreating from the world stage, only to return when the resulting vacuum is filled with authoritarian regimes, is more costly — in dollars and lives — than never leaving the stage. The world needs U.S. leadership. It always has and it always will. Read More

Endangered Species Improvement Act Discussed in House Natural Resources Committee Hearing

2014/09/09

WASHINGTON, D.C.— Today, the House Natural Resources Committee held a hearing to discuss Rep. Chris Stewart's (R-Utah) Endangered Species Improvement Act of 2014. This bill would amend the Endangered Species Act of 1973, to require that the federal government count all species dwelling on both public and private lands, when determining the recovery of a species.  “The intent of the Endangered Species Act is to protect species from extinction—an absolutely noble and needed cause,” Stewart said. “Unfortunately, not all laws are perfect, and in this case, the interpretation of the law is resulting in inaccurate data collection, potentially preventing healthy and growing species from being removed from the threatened or endangered list. Specifically in southern Utah, local communities have been asking for Congressional help with the Endangered Species Act for over 40 years in dealing with the Utah Prairie Dog. I am pleased to be able to help through this legislation." The Utah prairie dog has been a listed species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) since 1973. In the species recovery plan for the Utah prairie dog, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service counts only prairie dogs living on federal or other protected land to determine whether or not the species is recovering and could be delisted.  They do not count the thousands of prairie dogs found on state, local and private lands. These uncounted prairie dogs could account for up to 70 percent of the species population. “Many wonder whether the species could be delisted if dogs dwelling on private lands were included in official counts used to determine whether the species is on the path to recovery," Stewart said. "Moreover, I am concerned that only counting part of a population of any species to determine species recovery could hugely expand the reach of the ESA.” "This bill is a common-sense reform that simply asks for accurate population counts when assessing the status of threatened or endangered species," Stewart said. "I have had conversations with Interior Secretary Sally Jewel and the Fish and Wildlife Service who have been helpful. I’m hopeful that this is the latest step in providing more access to lands and better communication between local and federal governments." Today’s action is the latest effort led by the Stewart office to help gain increased local control over species recovery efforts, which have included productive meetings  between U.S. Fish and Wildlife officials, local governmental officials, and officials from the Utah Department of Natural Resources. During the hearing, Iron County Commissioner Dave Miller also testified on Utah's behalf about the need to improve the Endangered Species Act.  "The proposed improvements suggested by Congressman Stewart to the Endangered Species Act are not only crucial but legitimate adjustments to an Act that has been in existence long enough to identify the shortcomings and instigate much needed improvements," Miller said. "This bill, known as HR 4256, simply illustrates a way to improve a severe inconsistency in the way the living populations of species are counted. Currently internal rules exclude counting populations toward recovery objectives because they may be found on State, tribal or private property. Suffice it to say those private property owners who are restricted, impacted and often is the case found damaged as a result of the poor processes and coordination efforts are less than enchanted with the so called protections of life, liberty and property or lack thereof." For the video of the hearing, click here. To read Miller's full testimony, click here. For a PDF copy of the bill, click here. Read More

Stewart votes in favor of House Border Bill

2014/08/02

Washington, D.C. - Today, Rep. Chris Stewart (R-Utah) voted in favor of the House bill that addresses the southern border immigration crisis. “This bill does not fix all of our current immigration challenges – but it’s critical to securing our southern border,” Stewart said. “Securing our borders is the first and most important step in reducing the flow of illegal immigrants.” What this bill does: Includes $694 Million to meet immediate border security and humanitarian needs until the end of the fiscal year on September 30, 2014. This funding is fully offset, meaning the money is collected through cuts and rescissions of existing funds. Increases National Guard presence on the Southwest border Boosts Department of Homeland Security border security and enforcement Expedites deportation of illegal immigrants, back to their country of origin. Temporarily provides shelters and assistance to unaccompanied children and redirects funds to ensure countries will quickly accept and repatriate those illegal immigrants returning from the U.S. What this bill does NOT do: This bill will not result in more people getting asylum – in fact, it will reduce the number of migrant children granted asylum. Under this bill, unaccompanied children will be eligible for immediate return to their home countries. This is important, as 95% of unaccompanied children who applied for do so after being in the U.S. for more than 100 days. Read More

Rep. Chris Stewart Introduces Bill Giving States the Ability to Manage Wild Horses and Burros

2014/07/10

Washington, D.C. – Today, Rep. Chris Stewart (R-Utah) introduced legislation that would give states and Indian Tribes the option to take over the management of wild horses and burros. The Wild Horse Oversight Act of 2014 would preserve all protections under the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971, and simply allow states to implement horse and burro management plans that address the specific needs of their own state. “The federal government has never been able to properly manage the horses and burros in the west,” Stewart said. “Every state faces different challenges, which is why it’s important that they have the ability to manage their own wildlife.” In the 43 years that the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act has been in place, the ranges have been overused, pushing cattle off the ranges and leading to the destruction of important habitat for native species. “States and tribes already successfully manage large quantities of wildlife within their borders,” Stewart said. “If horses and burros were under that same jurisdiction, I’m confident that new ideas and opportunities would be developed to manage the herds more successfully than the federal government.” This bill would allow states to form cooperative agreements to manage herds that cross over borders, and the federal government would continue to inventory the horses and burros to ensure that the population numbers as prescribed by the 1971 Act are maintained. “In an era of fiscal crisis, the federal government just doesn’t have the money to manage these programs.” For the full text of the bill, click here.   Read More

Rep. Stewart Introduces Bill to De-Militarize Federal Regulatory Agencies

2014/06/23

Washington, D.C. – Today, Rep. Chris Stewart (R-Utah) introduced the Regulatory Agency De-militarization (RAD) Act, which stems the trend of federal regulatory agencies developing SWAT-like teams. In recent years, numerous federal regulatory agencies – including the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Food and Drug Agency and the Department of Education – have created their own special law enforcement teams to conduct their own arrests and raids. This is in part a product of the 2002 Homeland Security Act, which gave most Offices of Inspector General arrest and firearm authority. "It's disturbing to see the stories of federal regulators armed to the teeth and breaking into homes and businesses when there was no reason to think there would be resistance," Stewart said. “I understand that federal agents must be capable of protecting themselves. But what we have observed goes far beyond providing necessary protection. When there are genuinely dangerous situations involving federal law, that’s the job of the Department of Justice, not regulatory agencies like the FDA or the Department of Education. Not only is it overkill, but having these highly-armed units within dozens of agencies is duplicative, costly, heavy handed, dangerous and destroys any sense of trust between citizens and the federal government.” The RAD Act has three pieces: 1. Repeals the arrest and firearm authority granted to Offices of Inspectors General in the 2002 Homeland Security Act. 2. Prohibits federal agencies, other than those traditionally tasked with enforcing federal law—such as the FBI and U.S. Marshals, from purchasing machine guns, grenades, and other weaponry regulated under the National Firearms Act. 3. Directs the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to write a complete report detailing all federal agencies, including Offices of Inspectors General, with specialized units that receive special tactical or military-style training and that respond to high-risk situations that fall outside the capabilities of regular law enforcement officers. “The militarization of agencies is only a symptom of a much deeper and more troubling problem within Washington – that the federal government no longer trusts the American people,” Stewart said. “When all of us feel that we are no longer seen as citizens but as potential dangerous suspects – a relationship of trust is impossible. I’m working to restore and rebuild trust – beginning with this effort to defund paramilitary capabilities within federal regulatory agencies.” Specific examples of the militarization of federal regulatory agencies include: In July 2010, a multi-agency taskforce, including armed officers from the Food and Drug Agency, raided a Venice, California organic grocery store suspected of using raw milk. (LA Times, July 10, 2010). In June 2011, armed federal agents with the Department of Education’s OIG broke down the door of a Stockton, California home at 6 AM and handcuffed a man suspected of student aid fraud. (Washington Post, June 8, 2011). In July 2013, an armed multi-agency taskforce, including officers from the Environmental Protection Agency, the Bureau of Land Management, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the National Park Service, the Fish and Wildlife Service raided a small Alaska mining operation suspected of violating the Clean Water Act. (Washington Times, Oct. 11, 2013). On May 7th, 2014, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s OIG released a solicitation for submachine guns. For the full text of the bill, click here. Original Co-sponsors of the bill include: Representatives Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), Sam Graves (R-Mo.), Tom McClintock (R-Calif.), Mike Pompeo (R-Kan.), Jeff Duncan (R-S.C.), Kerry Bentivolio (R-Mich), Todd Rokita (R-Ind.), Billy Long (R-Mo.), Doug LaMalfa (R-Calif.), Adrian Smith (R-Neb.), James Lankford (R-Okla.), Louie Gohmert (R-Texas), Matt Salmon (R-Ariz.), Tom Rice (R-S.C.) and Mark Amodei (R-Nev.). [[{"fid":"357","view_mode":"full","fields":{"format":"full","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":""},"type":"media","attributes":{"style":"height: 312px; width: 600px; border-width: 0px; border-style: solid;","class":"media-element file-full"}}]]   Read More

Stewart: New EPA Regulations are Pure Fantasy

2014/06/02

Washington, D.C. -- Today, the Environmental Protection Agency announced new carbon regulations, requiring power plants to cut their carbon emissions by 30 percent by 2030. Following this announcement, Rep. Chris Stewart (R-Utah), former chairman of the House Subcommittee on the Environment, released the following statement: "What the EPA is calling a "common sense plan" is just pure fantasy. It's just another example of more expensive, big-government regulation, and less freedom for american businesses and american families. These new regulations will require existing power plants to cut carbon emissions by 30%, which will require billions of dollars in renovations and cost over 400,000 jobs. The costs of this new regulation will be paid for by you and me in the form of increased power bills, fewer jobs, a decrease in the manufacturing sector, and more expensive energy efficient products." "President Obama ran on an all-of-the-above energy platform. His plan promised to support economic growth, job creation and energy security. But over the last 5 years, instead of 'developing every source of American-made energy', he has engaged in a war on coal. The President's administration is crushing energy development with over-regulation. Instead of growing the economy, he's stifling it — forcing companies to cut employees hours and jobs to pay for these new regulations. Even the President himself admitted, that these kind of proposals will make energy bills 'necessarily skyrocket'." "This comes at horrible timing, as just last week it was announced that our GDP shrunk for the first time in 3 years. We need to be growing our economy, focusing on investing in new technology and cultivating the untapped energy resources found across the United States."    Read More

Statement on Resignation of Secretary Shinseki

2014/05/30

Washington, D.C. -- Rep. Chris Stewart (R-Utah) released the following statement after the resignation of Secretary Shinseki: "Our veterans are heroes that deserve the best possible care," Stewart said. "Unfortunately, we've learned over the last few weeks that not all of them have received that care. While it doesn't solve the problem, Sec. Shinseki's resignation was a necessary step in reforming the V.A.  As a veteran myself, I  understand that someone needs to be held accountable in order to move forward. Veterans care should be our top priority and I hope this is just the first step of many to solve the problems within the V.A." Read More

Stewart and Gabbard Introduce The Veterans TRICARE Choice Act

2014/05/20

Washington, D.C. – Today, Rep. Chris Stewart (R-Utah) and Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI), both veterans, introduced the Veterans TRICARE Choice Act of 2014, H.R. 4682. This bipartisan bill gives TRICARE-eligible veterans the ability to contribute to a Health Savings Account (HSA) program. Under current Veterans Administration policy, it is illegal for a TRICARE-eligible veteran to participate in an HSA program. The Veterans TRICARE Choice Act of 2014, gives veterans the choice to voluntarily pause their TRICARE benefits in order to participate in an HSA program. Health Savings Accounts have proven to be an effective way to pay for medical costs and proactively save for future medical expenses. Employees invest and save tax-free money in HSAs, which are then used to pay for qualified medical expenses. These have become increasingly popular healthcare plans in the private sector. “As a former Air Force Officer, I know first hand about the sacrifices made by veterans and their families,” Congressman Chris Stewart said. “When they leave the military and enter the private workforce, they shouldn’t be denied opportunities given to non-veteran employees. This bill simply allows veterans to pause TRICARE benefits to participate in the same employer sponsored HSA programs that non-veteran employees are given. It’s important that we honor our veterans by ensuring that they have access to the best healthcare options for themselves and their families.” “Veterans in the private sector deserve the same access to quality healthcare options that their civilian co-workers enjoy,” said Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard. “As a National Guard soldier who used TRICARE in the past, I've experienced firsthand the limitations that exist.  TRICARE-eligible veterans who have served their country honorably are denied access to other health plans unless they permanently opt out of TRICARE. This outdated policy does not serve our veterans or their families, who have sacrificed greatly. I’m proud to join my friend and fellow veteran, Congressman Stewart, to introduce the Veterans TRICARE Choice Act to provide more freedom and flexibility for our veterans to make healthcare choices that are right for themselves and their families.” For a PDF copy of the bill, click here. Read More

Hatch, Lee, Bishop, Chaffetz, Stewart Urge BLM to Keep Seized Nevada Cattle Out of Utah

2014/04/10

Washington, D.C. – Five members of Utah’s congressional delegation – U.S. Senators Orrin Hatch and Mike Lee, and Reps. Rob Bishop (UT-01), Jason Chaffetz (UT-03), and Chris Stewart (UT-02) – today urged the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to keep cattle seized in Nevada out of Utah. In a letter to BLM Director Neil Kornze and Amy Leuders, State Director of BLM’s Nevada Field Office, the members of the delegation cited health and safety concerns to Utah’s cattle industry, workers involved in a potential sale and that of residents in the communities around where any sale may take place. In the letter, Hatch, Lee, Bishop, Chaffetz and Stewart wrote that “We strongly support Governor Herbert and echo his concerns, expressed in his April 2nd letter to you, that going forward with the plan to transport the Nevada cattle to Utah may endanger the health of Utah herds and place Utah state employees and other Utah residents in danger.” The letter adds that “endangering [the cattle industry], particularly when there are alternatives available for selling the animals in Nevada, would be imprudent and careless.” A signed copy of the letter to the BLM can be found HERE, and the text is below: Dear Mr. Kornze and Ms. Lueders Over the past several weeks, Utah leaders have expressed to you in letters, hearings, and personal conversations our concerns with the Bureau of Land Management’s plans to transport cattle seized in Nevada to Utah for sale.  As members of the Utah delegation, we again strongly urge you to develop a plan for the cattle which does not involve transporting them to Utah. The fact that the BLM is legally able to transport the cattle to Utah does not mean it would be wise to do so. Under the circumstances, bringing the cattle to Utah would be foolish and unnecessary. We strongly support Governor Herbert and echo his concerns, expressed in his April 2nd letter to you, that going forward with the plan to transport the Nevada cattle to Utah may endanger the health of Utah herds and place Utah state employees and other Utah residents in danger.  With 5,589 beef producers and 364,744 beef cattle, the Utah cattle industry is an important part of the state’s economy. Endangering this industry, particularly when there are alternatives available for selling the animals in Nevada, would be imprudent and careless.  We also share the concerns of Governor Herbert and other stakeholders that bringing any of the animals to Utah—not just those determined to be feral—may precipitate a needless confrontation. Regardless of who is to blame for the current environment, you clearly have the power to lower the emotions involved by keeping the cattle out of Utah. As Governor Herbert wrote, “the proposed transaction is a Nevada issue, involving Nevada residents and Nevada livestock.”  We ask that BLM please implement an immediate change of course. Simply postponing your plan will not solve the problem. We hope to work productively with you in your respective roles in the coming years, and to that end we hope you will recognize the very legitimate concerns of Utah leaders and respond accordingly. Sincerely,   Read More

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Contact Information

323 Cannon HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Phone 202-225-9730
Fax 202-225-9627
stewart.house.gov

Committee Assignments

Homeland Security

Appropriations

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.


Serving With

Rob Bishop

UTAH's 1st DISTRICT

Jason Chaffetz

UTAH's 3rd DISTRICT

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