Washington, D.C. – Rep. Chris Stewart (R-Utah), a former Air Force Bomber pilot, reflects on the 75th Anniversary of the Attack on Pearl Harbor in a speech on the House Floor. You can watch the speech here.
Washington, D.C. – President-elect Donald Trump will be sworn in as the President of the United States on Friday, January 20, 2017 in Washington, D.C.
Congressman Chris Stewart (R-Utah) has been given a limited number of tickets for the Inauguration Ceremony and is offering them to constituents in Utah’s 2nd Congressional District on a first come, first serve basis.
Utahns interested in attending the Presidential Inauguration Ceremony may request tickets at: http://stewart.house.gov/InaugurationTickets.
Washington, D.C. – Rep. Chris Stewart’s (R-Utah) Veterans TRICARE Choice Act, unanimously passed the House today, giving Veterans more healthcare options.
This bill, H.R. 5458, is a bipartisan, common sense piece of legislation that allows veterans to temporarily pause their TRICARE benefits to participate in an employers Health Savings Account (HSA) program if they so choose.
Health Savings Accounts have proven to be an effective way to pay for medical costs and proactively save for future medical expenses. They have become increasingly popular healthcare plans in the private sector, but under current federal law, it is illegal for a TRICARE-eligible veteran to participate in an HSA program.
The Veterans TRICARE Choice Act simply gives veterans the choice to voluntarily pause their TRICARE benefits in order to participate in an HSA program.
“Our veterans deserve our most profound gratitude,” Stewart said. “Nothing about their military service should prevent them from accessing the same benefits as their non-veteran co-workers. The very least we can do is ensure they receive the benefits we’ve promised them, and that the process goes as smoothly as possible. We still have a lot of work to do on that front, but the passage of this bill is a great step in the right direction.”
Following the bill’s passage, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI), the original Democrat co-sponsor of the bill said, “As a soldier and a veteran, I have seen firsthand the tremendous sacrifice our veterans and their families make in service to our country. That service should never limit their access to quality healthcare, and the ability to make decisions about their own health. The Veterans TRICARE Choice Act gives our veterans the ability to choose the best healthcare options for themselves and their families.”
The Veterans Tricare Choice Act has the support of the Association of the United States Navy (AUSN) and the National Guard Association of the United States (NGAUS).
Before the bill’s passage, Rep. Stewart spoke in on the House Floor, urging his colleagues to vote in favor of the bill. You can watch the video below:
Washington, D.C. – Today, Rep. Chris Stewart honored the fallen West Valley City Police Officer, Cody Brotherson, in a speech on the House Floor.
You can watch the video here.
Text of the speech is below:
Mr. Speaker, it is with honor but with sadness that I rise today to honor a local hero, 26 year-old West Valley City Police Officer Cody Brotherson, who was killed last week in the line of duty. On Sunday, November 6th around 3 a.m., police were pursuing three individuals in a stolen vehicle. While Officer Brotherson was placing spikes in an attempt to stop this stolen vehicle, he was hit by the car and tragically killed. Not only will he be deeply missed by his parents, two brothers, and loving fiancé, but by the entire community.
I’ve had the chance, like many member of Congress, to go on police ride-a-longs. Again and again, I’ve been impressed with their hard work, professionalism, and their willingness to put themselves at risk so that they can protect those of us that they serve.
Now, more than ever, it’s important that we recognize these brave men and woman who are willing to serve and protect our communities. Cody was one of these brave ones who ultimately lost his life protecting us. My prayers go out to the Brotherson family during this extremely difficult time. We will forever be grateful for his and their sacrifice.
And with that, Mr. Speaker, I yield back.
Washington, D.C. -- Today, Rep. Chris Stewart (R-Utah) led a group of Members of Congress in sending a letter to Speaker Ryan, urging him to initiate a lawsuit on behalf of the House to stop the Obama Administration’s illegal bailout of insurance companies participating in Obamacare.
Two years ago, Congress passed a law prohibiting the President from using taxpayer dollars to bailout insurance companies that were losing money under Obamacare.
But on September 9th, the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) published a memo encouraging insurance companies to settle with the Obama Administration, allowing the Treasury Department to pay companies from the Judgment Fund and thus avoid going through Congress.
“Such an egregious misuse of taxpayer funds is not only a violation of the law but also represents an institutional challenge to the legislative branch and should be met with the fullest opposition from the House of Representatives,” Stewart wrote in the letter. “If such a payment is not met with a challenge from Congress, there is no limit to any Administration’s ability to decide which of its priorities to fund.”
The full text of the letter is below. The PDF can be found here.
Dear Speaker Ryan,
On September 9, 2016, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) published a memo announcing the Agency’s intention to circumvent the Congressional prohibition on risk corridor payments by settling with insurers and paying damages from the Judgment Fund. The move is a brazen effort to violate Section 225 of Public Law No: 114-113 in which Congress made clear that CMS is prohibited from using appropriated funds to make risk corridor payments. Accordingly, we urge you to initiate a civil action on behalf of the House of Representatives in Federal court, pursuant to the authority granted you under House Resolution 676 of the 113th Congress and which remains in effect through the rules of the 114th Congress.
In its memo, CMS informed insurers that not only will HHS “record risk corridors payments due as an obligation of the United States Government for which full payment is required,” CMS is also “open to discussing resolution of those claims.” According to subsequent news reports, the Administration is “eager to negotiate a broad settlement” which would draw from the Judgment Fund before the next President assumes office. In accordance with longstanding precedent of the Judgment Fund, using it to settle these claims is illegal and must be challenged.
In 1998, The Government Accountability Office asserted that “converting the Judgment Fund” in the absence of “appropriations that would otherwise be available to cover those expenses” is a clear violation of the law. In the same year, the Justice department concurred with GAO’s analysis of this backdoor settlement stating:
The Judgment Fund does not become available simply because an agency may have insufficient funds at a particular time to pay a judgment. If the agency lacks sufficient funds to pay a judgment, but possesses statutory authority to make the payment, its recourse is to seek funds from Congress.
Even the Administration’s own Department of Justice agrees that it would be illegal to make such payments without Congressional authorization. On September 30, the Department of Justice filed motions to dismiss two lawsuits initiated by Moda Healthcare and Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina to obtain a combined $338 million they believe they are owed in risk corridors payments. In addition to arguing that the claims are not yet ripe, the Department of Justice argued on the merits that,
Section 1342 [of the ACA] does not require HHS to make risk corridors payments beyond those funded from collections. And even if that intent were unclear when the Affordable Care Act was enacted in 2010, Congress removed any ambiguity when it enacted annual appropriations laws for fiscal years 2015 and 2016 that prohibited HHS from paying risk corridors amounts from appropriated funds other than collections.
Although we are heartened to see that at least some officials at the Department of Justice take seriously their responsibility to enforce the law, we don’t believe DOJ’s motion will end the Administration’s attempts to bypass Congress’s spending power with respect to the risk corridors program. In recent testimony before Congress, CMS Acting Administrator Andy Slavitt confirmed the Administration’s intent to use taxpayer funds to settle insurers’ claims.
Such an egregious misuse of taxpayer funds is not only a violation of the law but also represents an institutional challenge to the legislative branch and should be met with the fullest opposition from the House of Representatives. If such a payment is not met with a challenge from Congress, there is no limit to any Administration’s ability to decide which of its priorities to fund.
In accordance with the Rules of the House of Representatives, we urge you to intervene to stop this illegal use of taxpayer funds.
Reps. Chris Stewart (R-Utah), Andy Harris (R-Md.), Jim Bridenstine (R-Okla.), Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.), Tom McClintock (R-Calif.), Brian Babin (R-Texas), Louie Gohmert (R-Texas), Dan Newhouse (R-Wash.), Rob Bishop (R-Utah), Mario Diaz-Balart (R-Fla.)
Bountiful, Utah – Rep. Chris Stewart (R-Utah) will hold a Youth Council Town Hall Meeting on Tuesday, October 18, 2016 at 7:00pm in Bountiful, Utah. This Town Hall Meeting is specifically for youth and their parents.
Salt Lake City – Today, Rep. Chris Stewart (R-Utah) launched a blanket drive to benefit patients at Primary Children’s Hospital. Stewart’s office is specifically collecting new fleece blankets, new quilts and new NICU blankets.
Blankets can be dropped off or mailed to Rep. Stewart’s Salt Lake or St. George offices through November 18th. Congressman Stewart will then deliver the blankets to Primary Children’s Hospital.
Primary Children’s Hospital has very specific color and size requirements. Visit Stewart.house.gov/BlanketDrive for more information.
Watch Rep. Stewart’s video message launching the Blanket Drive:
WHAT: Congressman Chris Stewart Launches Blanket Drive Benefitting Primary Children’s Hospital
WHEN: The Blanket Drive runs through November 18th
WHERE: Deliver or mail new blankets to Rep. Stewart’s Salt Lake or St. George Offices
A flier can be downloaded here.
Washington, D.C. – Rep. Chris Stewart (R-Utah)’s congressional resolution directing the State Department and Intelligence Community to investigate the disappearance of BYU student David Sneddon passed the House today. The resolution specifically asks them to investigate the possibility that the North Korean government may have abducted Sneddon.
Sneddon was last seen in 2004 hiking in western China. Chinese officials say he likely died while hiking, but there is no evidence of an accident, his body has never been found, and there are witnesses who claim they saw Sneddon after he finished hiking.
North Korean officials are known to operate in this particular region of China, and the Sneddon family, along with various experts in North Korean policy, believe that the North Korea government may have abducted David, as they have citizens of other countries, using his language skills to train government officials and operatives. A recent report out of South Korea potentially validates this theory.
“As the resolution indicates, there is more work to be done by the State Department and Intelligence Community,” Stewart said. “Particularly given the recent reports out of South Korea that David may be alive, David’s family deserves answers, and until we find those answers we should continue to pursue all possible explanations for David’s disappearance.”
Below is a video on a floor Speech Rep. Stewart gave in February about David and the Resolution:
Washington, D.C. -- Today, Rep. Chris Stewart (R-Utah) lead a bi-partisan group of 95 Members of Congress, alongside Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.), urging House leadership to secure full funding for the Payments in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) Program.
Nearly 1,900 counties across 49 states receive PILT funding to compensate for lost tax revenue due to the large amounts of federal lands in their counties, which are un-taxable according to federal law.
Specifically in Utah, 67 percent of the land is owned by the federal government and is un-taxable. In 2016 alone, Utah received over $38,000,000 in PILT payments, which were critical for Utah’s rural county budgets. A breakdown of the payments by county in Utah can be found here.
In a letter sent to House leadership, Stewart wrote, “If Congress fails to fully fund the PILT program by the end of the year, public lands counties across the nation will be unable to provide essential public services such as: law enforcement, search and rescue, public health and critical transportation infrastructure.”
Current PILT funding is set to expire on September 30, 2016, the end of the fiscal year.
Stewart also urged leadership to enact a fiscally responsible, long-term and sustainable solution to fully fund the program beyond next year.
The full text of the letter is below. The PDF can be found here.
Dear Speaker Ryan and Minority Leader Pelosi,
For more than 40 years, the Payments in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) program has played a critical role in supporting our local communities by providing critical resources to nearly 1,900 counties across 49 states to offset lost property tax revenue due to the presence of tax-exempt federal lands within their jurisdictions. As 2016 comes to an end, we urge you to work in a bipartisan, bicameral fashion to ensure the Payments in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) program is fully funded for FY 2017 and beyond.
For FY 2017, the U.S. Department of Interior has estimated that $480 million dollars will be necessary to fully fund PILT. If Congress fails to fully fund the PILT program by the end of the year, public lands counties across the nation will be unable to provide essential public services such as: law enforcement, search and rescue, public health and critical transportation infrastructure.
Current discretionary appropriations for the PILT program are set to expire on September 30, 2016. Without the certainty of full PILT funding for FY 2017, we risk severely crippling counties’ ability to provide essential services for their residents and public lands visitors alike.
Moving forward, we hope Congress can work together to enact a fiscally responsible, long-term and sustainable solution to fully fund PILT in FY 2017 and beyond. As counties across the United States works to balance their budgets, it is essential that Congress act to reaffirm the federal government’s long-standing commitment to public lands counties by fully funding PILT.
We look forward to working with you to end the financial uncertainty facing thousands of counties nationwide, and we thank you for your attention to this critical issue.
Reps. Abraham (R-La.), Aderholt (R-Ala.), Amodei (R-Nev.), Barr (R-Ky.), Benishek (R-Mich.), Bishop (R-Utah), Blumenauer (D-Ore.), Bonamici (D-Ore.), Bordallo (D-Guam), Brownley (D-Calif.), Buck (R-Colo.), Capps (D-Calif.), Cárdenas (D-Calif.), Carter (R-Ga.), Chaffetz (R-Utah), Clawson (R-Fla.), Coffman (R-Colo.), Cook (R-Calif.), Costa (D-Calif.), Cramer (R-S.D.), Curbelo (R-Fla.), DeFazio (D-Ore.), DeGette (D-Colo.), DelBene (D-Wash.), Duffy (R-Wis.), Duncan (R-Tenn.), Fleischmann (R-Tenn.), Franks (R-Ariz.), Gallego (D-Ariz.), Garamendi (D-Calif.), Gohmert (R-Texas), Goodlatte (R-Va.), Gosar (R-Ariz.), Griffith (R-Va.), Grijalva (D-Ariz.), Hardy (R-Nev.), Harper (R-Miss.), Heck (R-Nev.), Heck (D-Wash.), Herrera Beutler (R-Wash.), Holmes Norton (D-D.C.), Honda (D-Calif.), Huffman (D-Calif.), Hurd (R-Texas), Jenkins (R-W. Va.), Jones (R-N.C.), Kilmer (D-Wash.), Kirkpatrick (D-Ariz.), Knight (R-Calif.), LaMalfa (R-Calif.), Lamborn (R-Colo.), Larsen (D-Wash.), Love (R-Utah), Lujan (D-N.M.), Lujan Grisham (D-N.M.), Lummis (R-Wyo.), McClintock (R-Calif.), McKinley (R-W. Va.), McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.), McSally (R-Ariz.), Newhouse (R-Wash.), Noem (R-S.D.), Nolan (D-Minn.), Palazzo (R-Miss.), Pearce (R-N.M.), Peters (D-Calif.), Plaskett (D-V.I.), Pocan (D-Wis.), Polis (D-Colo.), Reichert (R-Wash.), Rogers (R-Ala.), Ruiz (D-Calif.), Rush (D-Ill.), Salmon (R-Ariz.), Sánchez (D-Calif.), Schrader (D-Ore.), Simpson (R-Idaho), Sinema (D-Ariz.), Smith (D-Wash.), Stewart (R-Utah), Takano (D-Calif.), Thompson (R-Pa.), Thompson (D-Calif.), Thompson (D-Miss.), Tipton (R-Colo.), Titus (D-Nev.), Valadao (R-Calif.), Vargas (D-Calif.), Welch (D-Vt.), Westerman (R-Ark.), Williams (R-Texas), Wilson (R-S.C.), Yoho (R-Fla.), Young (R-AK), Zinke (R-Mont.).
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.”
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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