WASHINGTON—Today, Congressman Scott Tipton (R-CO) voted in the House to pass legislation to protect law-abiding businesses from being unfairly targeted by federal regulators using highly subjective criteria to determine fraud risk. The bipartisan Financial Services Institutions Customer Protection Act (H.R. 766), of which Tipton is a co-sponsor, would effectively end the highly controversial Operation Choke Point which has prohibited many legitimate, law-abiding businesses from accessing consumer financial services.
Prior to the vote, Tipton spoke in favor of H.R. 766 on the House floor.
The text of Tipton’s remarks as prepared for delivery follows:
I want to thank my colleague from Missouri, Representative Luetkemeyer, for offering this piece of legislation under consideration on the floor today.
The bipartisan Financial Institution Customer Protection Act prevents federal banking agencies from pressuring banks and credit unions to terminate customer accounts with legal businesses. Although it is important to prevent fraud in the banking system, Operation Chokepoint has largely been abused by the agencies and their regulators, pressuring and manipulating financial institutions based on the personal prejudices of federal bureaucrats.
In my district, and many others across the U.S., legitimate businesses have found themselves shut out of the banking system after years of longstanding relationships with banks or credit unions. Oftentimes, this de-risking also means these legal businesses are further shunned by other financial institutions fearful of civil and criminal liability as well as greater regulatory scrutiny. Thankfully, this legislation puts commonsense restraints on regulators that have been running amok. By requiring federal banking agencies to provide a material reason, other than reputational risk, for terminating a customer account, this bill establishes the necessary clear standards to avoid further abuses. Instead of relying on implicit or explicit threats from regulators, this legislation also requires written justification of any request to terminate or restrict a customer account. It is clear that despite several letters, hearings, and warnings by Congress, financial institutions continue to face unwarranted pressure from their regulators. These requirements provide the necessary oversight to ensure banks, credit unions, and their customers are treated in a fair manner.
I am happy to lend my support to this bill and encourage my colleagues to support this common sense measure. I again thank the gentlemen from Missouri for his efforts on this legislation and I yield back the balance of my time.
In June, the House passed the Fiscal Year 2016 Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, which included a key provision requested by Tipton and his House Committee on Financial Services colleagues to prohibit any funds under the bill from being used to carry out any activities related to Operation Choke Point.
See a PDF of the signed request letter HERE.Read More
WASHINGTON—Reps. Scott Tipton (R-CO) and Patrick Murphy (D-FL) led a bipartisan letter to the Chairman of the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB), signed by 60 of their colleagues, to voice concerns that the FASB “accounting standards update” will severely limit small banks and credit unions from making loans and provide access to capital in their communities. The loss of capital access for small businesses and families would have a devastating impact on local economies.
The text of the letter follows:
Mr. Russell G. Golden
Financial Accounting Standards Board
401 Merritt 7
Norwalk, CT 06856
Dear Chairman Golden:
We write to express our strong concern about an imminent action by your organization. The Financial Accounting Standards Board’s (FASB) “accounting standards update” (or “ASU”), titled Financial Instruments – Credit Losses (Subtopic 825-15), would comprehensively revise the way all lenders set aside reserve funds in anticipation of possible future credit losses. FASB must proceed with the utmost caution in finalizing this ASU, as it has the potential to irreversibly damage community banks’ and credit unions’ ability to continue to adequately serve their customers/members and communities and sustain the economic recovery. As a staple for access to capital and credit in communities across the United States, it is imperative that community banks and credit unions continue to safely operate in a manner that best serves their respective communities.
Reserves provide a critical cushion for absorbing losses and protecting the lender in the event of loan default. However, the method for determining expected losses should be simple, straightforward, and easy to apply. A requirement that lenders use complex, theoretical forecasting models, determining each loan’s probability of failure based on a wide range of economic factors, is impractical, costly, and time consuming for community banks and credit unions.
What’s more, FASB is expected to require lenders to create a reserve for each loan on the day the loan is made. This is a radical departure from the current process in which lenders reserve for losses when signs of trouble emerge for a particular loan. If the new method dictates an unwarranted level of reserve for each loan, based on a theoretical model and contrary to a community banker or credit union’s informed judgment, it will sharply increase the cost of lending and constrict the flow of credit.
These are the real world risks posed by the forthcoming ASU and the federal banking agencies’ implementation of it. What’s at stake is the community bank and credit union lending model, which relies on time tested methods for assessing creditworthiness and projecting losses. Community banks and credit unions have safely served their communities for generations by drawing on their direct, personal knowledge of their customers and local economic conditions.
With these considerations in mind, we request that you respond to the following questions and concerns:
- Before finalizing the ASU, will you consider its impact on general credit availability and economic growth? A higher level of reserves will necessarily contract the credit that fuels consumer purchasing and business expansion. More specifically, will you consider the impact the ASU will have on lower income borrowers, borrowers with marginal credit ratings, and small businesses? Loans with higher expected losses will be more expensive for the lender.
- Will you consider more practical alternatives to a complex modeling requirement? An historical loss approach would be more manageable to implement and rely on a tangible data source. Because today’s historical losses include the recent economic crisis, they would probably overstate, rather than understate future losses.
- Will the ASU allow for tiered implementation by the agencies? Approaches that may be appropriate for a large lender with ample investment in technology and economic forecasting may not be appropriate for smaller lenders with smaller overall risk profiles, such as many community banks and credit unions, which already face excessive regulatory burden.
Thank you for your attention to these concerns. We look forward to your prompt response.
See a signed PDF of the letter HERE.Read More
By Congressman Scott Tipton (CO-03)
I recently attended my sixth State of the Union Address as a Member of Congress. I was hoping this year, in the President’s final address, to hear him speak of some opportunities for us to work together to address issues that truly affect Colorado and the rest of the country. He did speak to overreaching regulations, which we agree on. However, the majority of his speech was more ideologically driven rhetoric that has regrettably defined the President’s go-it-alone approach.
That propensity to run roughshod over the people’s representatives, and the Constitution, is at the core of his legacy, and I was thinking back to a number of examples over the years. One great example of that overreach that will hurt Colorado’s economy, families and local communities is the EPA’s so-called “Clean Power” regulations, imposed by bureaucrats in the name of addressing climate change.
As is often the case with cookie-cutter solutions launched by Washington bureaucrats – most of whom have likely never set foot in the Western U.S.- these regulations not only overreach the authority of the Executive Branch, they are at odds with the realities of both economics and global energy policy. While many would wish it were not so, it is a fact that responsibly developed traditional energy resources provide 82 percent of the global energy supply, with coal powering the most electricity of any fuel. Yet the President, just last week doubled-down on his anti-coal agenda, shutting down new leasing for coal extraction on public lands. This will have further severe impacts on America’s ability to produce the coal needed to meet our nation’s electricity needs.
I am a strong supporter of alternative energy sources and an all-of-the-above American energy strategy. Colorado companies are industry leaders in solar and wind power, as well as abundant producers in oil, natural gas, coal and hydropower. Yet when it comes to the EPA carbon regulations, their single-minded political focus on climate change limits energy policy to whatever fits their current ideological agenda.
Going back to my days as a small business owner, and now as a Member of Congress, I have seen the disregard that EPA bureaucrats have exhibited for families in communities in the West. And while the callous and tardy response to the Gold King Mine spill in Southwest Colorado was emblematic, the effects of the carbon rules will be far more widespread and damaging.
A wide range of studies have shown that this ill-considered attempt to basically take over the state electric systems will make electricity far less affordable, jeopardize the reliability of the grid, and will without question have devastating economic consequences in mining states such as Colorado. We all know the effect on household budgets with even a moderate electricity rate increase, and this is particularly hard on working families and seniors on fixed incomes.
Here are some facts that have come across my desk in recent months.
The carbon regulations will be massively expensive for the electric power sector, with compliance costs of more than $360 billion. These and other costs will result in double digit spikes in electricity rates in all but seven states. EPA’s proposal was projected to cause double-digit electricity rate increases in at least 40 states, and a recent study by the global firm NERA Economic Consulting showed that here in Colorado, we could see electricity price spikes as high as 31 percent with increases in peak years that could reach 37 percent.
Scientists reported that the President’s policies would have just about zero impact on climate change. Estimates are a drop in global temperatures of 2/100ths of a degree. Specifically, it will reduce carbon dioxide concentration by .5 percent. That’s one half of one percent. In the U.S., CO2 emissions are down because of responsible energy development and usage while the world’s biggest polluters, such as China and India, continue irresponsible and reckless practices virtually unabated.
Only in Washington could a plan be concocted that will cause massive disruption in a major American industry, cost jobs, hurt families and small business and spike electricity prices – all to accomplish virtually nothing positive for the environment. This is the triumph of ideology over conversation and common sense, and it’s my hope that next year’s State of the Union Address will be focused on how we can all work to shape America’s future together, and put an end to government by regulatory fiat.Read More
Washington – Senators Cory Gardner (R-CO), Michael Bennet (D-CO), and Representative Scott Tipton (CO-03) today released a draft of the Good Samaritan Cleanup of Orphan Mines Act, legislation designed to allow Good Samaritans, such as the mining industry, state agencies, local governments, nonprofits, and other groups, the opportunity to clean up the environment and improve water quality in and around orphan mines. The Colorado Members look forward to working with the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works to move this discussion draft forward and reach consensus on a bipartisan Good Samaritan bill.
According to the Government Accountability Office (GAO), in 2008 more than 160,000 estimated abandoned hardrock mines existed across the United States, and at least 33,000 of them pose environmental or safety concerns. These orphan mine sites continuously pollute waters and land, and many sites do not have past or current responsible owners. However, there are Good Samaritans with no connection to orphan mine sites that want to offer assistance in cleanup efforts, but are unwilling to enter these sites without liability protections from certain liability issues. States and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) do not have adequate funds to cleanup orphan mine sites on their own, and current environmental laws deter Good Samaritans from entering the sites for cleanup.
The Good Samaritan Cleanup of Orphan Mines Act is designed to allow Good Samaritans the opportunity to apply for a permit under a State or Indian tribe’s program or from the EPA to assist in the environmental cleanup of orphan mines across the United States. This legislation is narrowly tailored to exempt Good Samaritan cleanup efforts from liability at orphan mines only from those provisions necessary under the Clean Water Act and the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980. At the same time, the bill holds Good Samaritans liable under all laws if they fail to comply with the terms of their permit, but provides an exception if the failure results in only minor impacts. Lastly, the legislation expires in 10 years, which provides Congress the opportunity to determine if the Good Samaritan program contributed to the cleanup of orphan mines resulting in a cleaner environment and improved water quality conditions.
“The aftermath of the Gold King Mine spill shed light on the need for remediation of orphan mines in Colorado and across the West. While there are willing and able Good Samaritans who wish to address safety and environmental concerns and improve water quality at orphan mines, the EPA has done little to incentivize them and the fear of liability for meeting all federal standards during cleanup is too great," said Gardner. “The Good Samaritan Cleanup of Orphan Mines Act would ultimately lead to an improved environment. Similar legislative efforts have received broad bipartisan support in the past, and I’m hopeful that we can continue our work together to reduce the risks associated with a spill similar to the Gold King Mine disaster and protect our treasured lands and water in Colorado. I look forward to full consideration of the Good Samaritan concept as we move through the legislative process.”
“The Gold King Mine spill was a sharp reminder of the imperative to clean up the thousands of abandoned mines in Colorado and throughout the West,” Bennet said. “Part of that solution is to craft a Good Samaritan policy with the help of the state, local communities and their partners. This discussion draft is the result of those ongoing conversations and will allow us to gather additional feedback to ensure we introduce a bill that offers proper protections for these groups and helps pave a path to cleaning up these mines.”
“It’s no secret that more needs to be done to clean up the contamination in abandoned mines that is leaking into our streams and rivers. This problem exceeds the EPA’s capabilities and know-how—the Gold King mine blowout is proof enough of that. However, by incentivizing cleanup at the local level through Good Samaritan groups that possess the technical knowledge and expertise desperately needed to get the job done, we can make significant strides toward protecting our environment from continued contamination,” said Tipton. “Our discussion draft legislation, the Good Samaritan Cleanup of Orphan Mines Act, seeks to remove regulatory hurdles that currently discourage and prevent these groups from cleaning up contamination in abandoned mines, empowering them to take action. I look forward to hearing community feedback on this draft, and continuing to work with my Colorado colleagues to ensure that this challenge is met with the most effective solution possible.”
*Sent with the offices of Sens. Gardner and BennetRead More
Congressman Tipton will meet with the commissioners to discuss issues impacting the region.Read More
Congressman Tipton will meet with the commissioners to discuss issues impacting the region.Read More
WASHINGTON – Today, Congressman Scott Tipton (R-CO) issued the following statement on the Department of the Interior’s (DOI) announced moratorium on federal coal leasing.
“This irresponsible, politically motivated decision jeopardizes America’s energy future. Once more the President is picking winners and losers, choosing his ideology over the working class communities and hardworking Americans that make an affordable and reliable energy supply for the nation possible. We need to look no further than communities in Colorado, like Craig and Delta, that have seen firsthand the devastating toll the President's misguided energy policies have had on the economy.
“This decision reeks of contempt for rural America and for the most vulnerable Americans who will suffer as electricity prices increase and the reliability in the grid decreases. We will continue to fight to protect Americans from the President’s war on affordable energy.”
WASHINGTON – Congressman Scott Tipton (R-CO) issued the following statement following passage of a resolution of disapproval in the House, today, to vacate the Environmental Protection Agency’s Waters of the U.S. rule (S.J. Res 22). Tipton has been one of the most vocal defenders of Western water since being elected to Congress, carrying the widely supported Water Rights Protection Act (H.R. 1830) which would uphold state water law and priority-based systems.
“The Waters of the U.S. rule, this Administration’s most onerous federal water grab, threatens the private property rights of millions of Western water users who rely on access to their water rights from everything from irrigating crops and providing clean and reliable municipal drinking water supplies, to attracting tourism opportunities through recreation. Water is truly the lifeblood of the arid West, and for over a century, state water law and priority based systems have successfully protected these rights to ensure water users and communities retain the ability to responsibly access and manage this precious limited resource,” said Tipton. “The Waters of the U.S. rule would undermine state water law and priority-based systems, insert federal control over western water rights, interfere with or outright take private water rights, and put decisions about our water in the hands of Washington bureaucrats. Fortunately, the rule has been blocked for now in the courts. It’s time to do away with it for good. Be it through this legislation today to vacate the rule or through concrete protections from federal takings offered in our Water Rights Protection Act, we continue the fight to protect private water rights.”
Waters of the U.S. key events:
WASHINGTON – Congressman Scott Tipton (R-CO) issued this statement in response to President Obama’s final State of the Union address (SOTU):
“President Obama gave a damage control speech tonight. Americans are fed up with seven years of the President’s go it alone overreach that disregards the Constitution and excludes any ideas that aren’t his own.
“Ask the American people if they are better off than they were seven years ago when the President took office. Is the economy stronger, has access to affordable and high quality healthcare improved, and are we safer from domestic and foreign security threats? The answer to these questions is a resounding no. This is the unfortunate result of a divisive Presidency and failure of leadership. It’s time to move the country forward with fresh ideas that restore the opportunity of the American Dream.
“The people’s elected representatives in the House and Senate are working to empower Main Street, not Washington. To do that, in the coming months we will return to regular order, something the President has stood in the way of for too long.. For the first time in years the House will pass all 12 appropriations bills, presenting a critical opportunity to reform spending and to repeal and defund this Administration’s overreaching rules and regulations. We will be passing legislation to put Americans back in control of their futures, restore the opportunity to earn a good paycheck, access affordable healthcare that works for them, and know that their country is safe.
“We have many challenges ahead, but we have just as many opportunities. We are working to right the course and undo seven years of misguided and failed policies that have set our country back. This is the land of opportunity, it’s time to make that true once more.”
Washington – Today the House passed H.R. 1644: the Supporting Transparent Regulatory and Environmental Actions in Mining Act (“STREAM Act”). This legislation requires transparency in the Obama Administration’s proposed regulations on “stream buffer zones” between coal mines and streams. The bill also requires a third party study to evaluate the strength of stream buffer zone rules already in place, and limits the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSM) from exceeding its regulatory authority.
Western Caucus Chairman Cynthia Lummis (WY-At large), Vice Chairman Scott Tipton (CO-03), and bill sponsor and caucus member Rep. Alex X. Mooney (WV-02) issued the following statements in response:
“Tens of thousands of jobs are at stake if President Obama’s stream rule is allowed as the new standard,” said Chairman Lummis. “This anti-fossil fuel Administration has taken every opportunity to manufacture regulations that bury job creators under red tape. In this case, the Administration chose to forsake transparency and let special interest groups drive the regulation through litigation using closed door sue-and-settle tactics. I am proud to support this bill and thank Mr. Mooney for his efforts to protect the livelihoods of hardworking American families in coal country by forcing these regulations to be based on transparent science instead of on anti-coal ideologies.”
“The Administration rammed through an overreaching stream buffer rule, cloaked in secrecy and without presenting transparent scientific backing for it. This devastating rule would cause the loss of thousands of jobs and ravage the economies of working class towns that produce the nation’s affordable energy,” said Vice Chairman Tipton. “This important legislation prevents this onerous rule from moving forward and restores transparency to the regulatory process at OSM.”
“I am proud that my bill, the STREAM Act, passed the House today with bi-partisan support. The STREAM Act is critical to the mining industry and our economy. This bill will block an Obama Administration anti-coal regulation, saving an estimated 77,000 jobs in West Virginia and across America. President Obama needs to wake up and realize that his radical environmental agenda has a real impact on hardworking families,” said Rep. Alex X. Mooney. “The passage of the STREAM Act is crucial for preserving our economic health and way of life in West Virginia.”
218 Cannon HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Congressman Scott Tipton was raised in Cortez, Colorado. He graduated from Ft. Lewis College in Durango, where he studied Political Science and became the first person in his family to earn a college degree. After college, he returned home to Cortez and co-founded Mesa Verde Indian Pottery with his brother Joe. It was through his business that Scott met his wife, Jean, who is a former school teacher. The Tipton’s have two daughters, Liesl and Elizabeth, and two sons-in-law, Chris and Jace.
After a lifetime running his small business, Scott was elected as a Republican to the Colorado House of Representatives for the 58th District in November of 2008. During his time at the state House, he worked to ensure quality water for the people of Colorado and to improve the air quality of Southwest Colorado. He also sponsored legislation to protect children from the worst criminal offenders by mandating harsher penalties for child sex-offenders and allowing law enforcement to collect DNA evidence from suspects through Jessica’s Law and Katie’s Law.
Scott was first elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2010 and again in 2012 for a second term.
In the 112th Congress, Scott pushed hard to advance a federal version of Katie’s Law to encourage additional states to implement minimum DNA collection standards and enhanced collection processes for felons in order to strengthen law enforcement’s ability to prevent violent crimes, and protect women and children. That effort became a reality when the President signed Katie’s Law on January 3, 2013.
Using his positions on the House Natural Resources, Agriculture and Small Business Committees, Scott has is fighting for the issues that most directly impact Coloradans, many of which involve our state’s extensive open spaces and natural resources. In his first term, Scott introduced legislation to encourage healthy forest management and prevent wildfire, as well as passed a bill in the House with bipartisan support to advance the development of clean, renewable hydropower. He is also leading the charge in Congress to stop a federal grab of privately-held water rights, standing up for farmers and ranchers, the ski industry, and all who rely on their water rights to survive.
Scott is champion of advancing an all-of-the-above energy solution that balances common sense conservation with responsible development. He passed the Planning for American Energy Act through the House (as a title under the American Domestic Energy and Jobs Act) to put requirements into place to develop wind, solar, hydropower, geothermal, oil, natural gas, coal, oil shale and minerals, based on the needs of the American people.
Scott has used his experience as a small businessman to inform his work as a Subcommittee Chairman on the Small Business Committee. Here he has worked to protect farmers and ranchers from regulatory overreach, as well as push for expanded trade opportunities for Colorado products. Scott is a co-founder of the Congressional Small Business Caucus, a bipartisan caucus committed to open dialogue on the issues that most impact small businesses. Members of the Congressional Small Business Caucus are dedicated to advancing efforts to foster the economic certainty needed for small businesses and entrepreneurs to succeed and create jobs.
In the 113th Congress, Scott continues to represent the many interests of one of the most diverse and geographically vast districts in the nation. He will fight to bring Colorado common sense to Washington—focusing on reforming regulation, protecting Colorado’s natural environment, encouraging responsible all-of-the-above energy development, reducing government spending, and removing hurdles so that small businesses can do what they do best—create jobs.
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Just voted to pass H.R. 766, to defend law-abiding businesses from Operation Choke Point. https://t.co/6V0HJG0HZ2
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Dodd-Frank is having a severe impact on small banks' ability to provide access to capital in their communities: https://t.co/QUSWmbLFyA
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The House overwhelmingly passes FSC bills to help small businesses and empower hardworking Americans. https://t.co/AMHdon5fb4
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ICYMI: My latest column: The President’s Final SOTU, Turning the Lights Out on Affordable Energy https://t.co/chs3y7fbJ2
The President is completely out of touch. In countless communities, including in the 3rd District, economic growth has been stagnant and many
We just voted to pass the Financial Services Institutions Customer Protection Act (H.R. 766), of which I am a co-sponsor. This bill would effectively
ICYMI: The Daily Sentinel of Grand Junction covered our letter outlining concerns that the FASB accounting standards update will further hamper
I recently led a bipartisan letter to the Chairman of the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB), signed by 61 of my colleagues, to voice
Last week I had the opportunity to meet with a group of representatives from the local financial services industry in Durango. We discussed how