As part of his efforts to address the opioid abuse epidemic that is impacting communities across Colorado, Congressman Scott Tipton (CO-03) will hold a panel discussion on opioid and heroin abuse in Grand Junction, CO, on October 12, 2016. This panel follows five roundtable meetings on opioid abuse that Tipton held in communities in the Third Congressional District over June, July, and August of this year.
The panel discussion is open to the public and will focus specifically on strategies for preventing opioid and heroin abuse among high school and college students.
“Over the past few months, I’ve had the chance to visit communities and with families that have been devastated by the opioid and heroin abuse epidemic that is sweeping our nation. We held our first series of roundtable meetings to learn what the federal government can do to support the efforts of local law enforcement officers, health care providers, educators, government officials, and others in this fight,” Tipton said. “Now, we have an opportunity to address some of the challenges that were raised at these meetings. The goal of our first panel is to share resources for preventing opioid abuse with high school and college students, as well as their teachers and administrators.”
The panel will include a former addiction counselor and a doctor who specializes in behavioral medicine. The details for the meeting can be found below.
Congressman Tipton’s Opioid and Heroin Panel Discussion
Wednesday, October 12, 2016
8:30 AM to 10:00 AM MT
Colorado Mesa University, University Center
1100 North Avenue, Grand Junction, CO, 81501
Anyone with questions about the meeting should contact Tipton’s Grand Junction office at 970-241-2499.Read More
I recently asked over 100,000 people across the Third Congressional District if they thought today’s kids are on track to be better off than their parents. Of those who responded, nearly 78 percent said no. This sentiment isn’t unique to Colorado. An August 2016 Gallup poll revealed that 72 percent of Americans are dissatisfied with the way things are going in the United States.
Many of us “Baby Boomers” have been lucky to experience the American Dream. After growing up in Cortez, CO, I had the opportunity to attend Ft. Lewis College and become the first person in my family to earn a college degree. After college, my brother and I started a business, and I met my wife, Jean. We welcomed two beautiful daughters into the world, then two sons-in-law, and just recently our second grandbaby.
For decades, we heard stories similar to ours from families in towns across the United States. But recently, it seems like the American Dream we experienced is out of reach for too many people. There are too many families that are one paycheck away from being homeless, too many kids who will never complete high school, too many small businesses closing their doors, and too many adults who have given up on looking for work.
We have an opportunity to turn things around and make the American Dream a reality for everybody, and it starts by laying out our vision and the steps we need to take to get there. This is what the Better Way Agenda is all about.
Creating a better way means addressing some of the biggest challenges facing our nation – challenges like restoring constitutional authority, creating jobs and growing our economy, making health care accessible and affordable for everyone, protecting Americans from threats at home and abroad, and ensuring that everyone has a chance to succeed.
Our Better Way Agenda is made up of six different planks focused on: poverty, national security, the economy, the Constitution, health care, and tax reform. I’d like to share our plans on poverty, the economy, and the Constitution first.
Right now, there are 46.7 million people living in poverty, and the number of people living in highly-concentrated areas of poverty has doubled since the year 2000. For the past seven years, the government’s top-down approach has only made it harder to break the cycle. Under a Better Way, we’ll give people purpose by strengthening work requirements for government assistance programs. We’ll make sure people don’t lose needed benefits because they get married or take a higher-paying job. We’ll reward results by utilizing government programs that work and shutting down programs that don’t.
In many of the communities I have visited over the past several months, a weak economy is the root of many of the problems families face. Federal regulations play a role in keeping our communities safe and secure, but the federal government should be fostering competition, not picking winners and losers. The Better Way Agenda will help us regulate smarter. We will cut down on needless red tape and make the regulations we do need more efficient and more effective. We’ll stop relying on one-size-fits-all mandates, and instead, put more power back into the hands of state and local governments.
Restoring constitutional authority will play a big part in getting our regulatory system on the right track. As the federal government has grown, the separation of powers between our three branches of government has broken down. Although the legislative branch is supposed to hold power over the purse, today, two out of every three dollars the federal government spends are outside of Congress’ control. Under the Better Way Agenda, the Legislative Branch will write clear laws that leave no room for radical interpretation, and through Congress, the American people will have the final word over who is spending their money and where it’s being spent. This is the way our Founding Fathers intended for our government to operate.
To solve the complex problems our country is facing today, we need to implement reforms that are going to have real impacts in our communities and on our families. The Better Way Agenda is the start of this work, and I look forward to sharing the second half of the agenda – our plans for tax reform, health care, and national security – with you soon.Read More
Congressman Scott Tipton advanced a measure through the House to name the U.S. Veterans Affairs (VA) Community Based Outpatient Clinic in Pueblo, CO, after Colorado native and WWII Navy Cross recipient, Private First Class (PFC) James Dunn. The bill has now cleared both chambers of Congress and been sent to the president’s desk.
“PFC James Dunn embodies the proud military traditions and rugged spirit of the city and county of Pueblo, and I am proud that the VA clinic will bear his name,” said Tipton. “I want to thank the Pueblo VA Naming Committee, the United Veterans Council of Colorado, and my colleagues in the Colorado Congressional Delegation for their hard work, support, and commitment to getting this bill across the finish line.”
On Wednesday, the House of Representatives passed the Senate companion (S. 3283) to Tipton’s bill, H.R. 5901, by a vote of 423-0. S. 3283 passed the Senate unanimously on July 14, 2016.
PFC Dunn was assigned to the 3rd Battalion 6th Marines during WWII, and he saw combat action during the Battle of Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands. On Jan. 20, 1943, Dunn’s platoon was split into three squads to conduct a scouting mission when they came under heavy enemy fire. Dunn took command of his platoon and led his fellow Marines to safe cover. His actions that day earned him the Navy Cross, the second-highest military decoration awarded for extraordinary heroism.
PFC Dunn went on to serve in the campaigns on Tinian and Okinawa. When he returned to Pueblo, he married Mary Knez, and they had two sons, Mike and Jeff. In his civilian life, PFC Dunn became a mason, enjoyed reading and spent many years delivering meals to community members who were confined to their homes. He passed away in Pueblo on July 5, 2000.Read More
Congressman Scott Tipton (CO-03) voted to exempt individuals who had their health insurance cancelled due to the closure of a Consumer Operated and Oriented Plan (CO-OP) from the Obamacare individual insurance mandate. Under the CO-OP program, the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) provided loans to states to help establish CO-OPs that were meant to give consumers more health insurance options. Loans were given to 23 CO-OPS in 25 states. To date, all but six of the CO-OPs have shutdown. H.R. 954, which passed the House of Representatives by a bipartisan vote of 258-165, protects anyone whose CO-OP- sponsored health insurance was terminated from having to pay a tax penalty.
“Many Coloradans had no choice but to purchase health insurance through the Colorado HealthOP after Obamacare was signed into law in 2010. Then, last year, the Colorado Division of Insurance announced HealthOP would shut down and thousands of families’ plans would be discontinued,” Tipton said. “These families had two options: sign up for a new plan and start over on reaching their deductibles for the year, or elect to forgo insurance and face a tax penalty. Colorado’s families should not be punished for the president’s failed health care law.”
In total, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) provided $2.4 billion in federal loans to states to establish CO-OPs. The seventeen failed CO-OPs have cost U.S. taxpayers $1.8 billion so far. H.R. 954 would protect families that have lost their insurance through no fault of their own from a tax penalty totaling at least 2.5 percent of their household income.
“Federal control of our health care system has made health insurance the exact opposite of accessible and affordable,” Tipton added. “Americans deserve better, and I hope the Administration will stop blocking our efforts to advance policies that open the marketplace, increase access, and drive down costs for families.”
The House Financial Services Committee on Tuesday held a hearing on Congressman Scott Tipton’s (CO-03) bill, the Protect Prepaid Accounts Act of 2016 (H.R. 6162). Tipton introduced the bill on September 22, 2016. The hearing included five additional bills focused on ensuring all consumers have access to mainstream banking services.
“Prepaid card products have become an important tool for the millions of Americans who either don’t have a bank account or are not able to participate in direct deposit from their employers. My bill keeps prepaid products available by excluding the funds from regulations that would make it too expensive for banks to offer the products to consumers,” Tipton said.
Revisions to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation’s (FDIC) deposit broker regulations in 2014 increased deposit insurance costs for financial institutions that offer prepaid card programs. The current regulations do not include the majority of prepaid card products within the FDIC’s “primary purpose” regulatory exemption. Tipton’s bill clarifies that all prepaid funds deposited into an insured depository institution satisfy the “primary purpose” exclusion to the definition of a “deposit broker.”
“Ensuring prepaid products are exempted from the one-size-fits-all Dodd-Frank regulations is critical for allowing smaller banks and credit unions to devote their time and resources to serving their communities,” Tipton added. “I’m hopeful that my colleagues on the committee agree and that the House will be able to vote on this important relief measure soon.”
A video of Tipton speaking in support of H.R. 6162 before the House Financial Services Committee can be viewed here.Read More
WASHINGTON—Congressman Scott Tipton (CO-03) voted to make sure no veteran’s call to the Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) Veterans Crisis Line (VCL) goes unanswered. The bill, H.R. 5392, passed the House of Representatives by a vote of 357-0.
“When one of our nation’s heroes is in crisis, we must be there to help. It is absolutely unacceptable for any veteran’s call to the crisis hotline to go unanswered,” Tipton said.
A February 2016 report from the VA’s Office of Inspector General found that veterans calling into the VCL were put on long holds before being able to speak to a responder, and some calls were sent to voicemail. Another recent report revealed that more than one-third of calls into the hotline are not being answered by front-line staffers – they are instead sent to backup centers where responders may not have adequate training to handle the caller’s crisis. In an internal email, former director of the VCL, Greg Hughes, said that some hotline workers spend little time on the phone, handling fewer than five calls each day.
H.R. 5392 would require the VA to put together a quality assurance process to fix problems with responsiveness and performance of the VCL. The bill would also require the VA to develop a plan to ensure every telephone call, text message, and other communications received by the VCL is answered in a timely manner by a person – not an automated system.
“There are systematic problems within the VA that are preventing our veterans from receiving the care and services they need,” Tipton added. “Passing this bill is another step towards achieving a more accountable and effective VA.”
The U.S. House of Representatives passed two bills to protect Americans from Iran’s State Sponsored Terrorism. Congressman Scott Tipton (CO-03) supported both pieces of legislation – the Iranian Leadership Asset Transparency Act (H.R. 5461) and a bill to prohibit future ransom payments to Iran (H.R. 5931).
“American lives have been lost because of Iran’s state sponsored terrorism, and families have been ripped apart. Yet, just last month, we learned that the Administration paid Iran $1.7 billion dollars – $400 million of which was in unmarked, non-US currency – before they could secure the release of American military personnel who were held hostage by Iran. There is no way to track how Iran is using this money,” said Tipton.
H.R. 5461 would require the U.S. Treasury to make public a list of the estimated assets that are held by Iran’s government leaders and submit a report to Congress that shows how the assets were acquired and how they have been put to use. H.R. 5461 prohibits the U.S. government from paying Iran or releasing U.S. held Iranian prisoners to satisfy demands made by the country of Iran.
“If the Administration will not act to keep its citizens safe, the House must force its hand. This starts by holding both our Administration and Iran’s government accountable,” Tipton added. “Fighting terrorism and depriving evil regimes of the ability to fund terrorism should not be partisan issues.”
Colorado is home to over 400,000 of our nation’s veterans – men and women who have fought to protect our freedom in conflicts around the world. These men and women are often some of the most respected individuals in our communities, which makes it easy to overlook that they may be struggling to transition back into civilian life at the end of their service.
A 2012 study from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) found that 22 veterans tragically end their lives by suicide each day. This is a shocking and heartbreaking statistic, and it is one that greatly impacts the Third Congressional District, because a large number of our nation’s veterans make this beautiful district home when their service is complete.
September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month and a time when everyone can learn more about helping to prevent veteran suicide. In our communities, we can all work to make sure that no veteran ever feels like suicide is their only option.
In 2011, Clay Hunt, a decorated Marine veteran who had served in Iraq and Afghanistan, took his own life. Clay was 28, and he had struggled for four years with depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after returning home from his service. This past December, the Clay Hunt SAV Act (H.R. 203) was signed into law in memory of Clay and to make sure our veterans have access to the best mental health care services possible. The bill created incentives for graduating psychiatrists to serve in the VA and a pilot program to assist veterans in their transition from active duty.
In conversations with veterans groups across the Third Congressional District, and especially in the San Luis Valley, I have learned about some of the unique challenges that women veterans in our communities face. Recognizing that mental health programs must be tailored to meet the needs of different groups, in the House we passed the Female Veteran Suicide Prevention Act (H.R. 2915), which directs the VA to examine its current mental health care programming and identify the programs that are most effective and have the highest satisfaction rates among women.
In Congress, I’m working to advance policies that will lead to systematic changes that are needed to ensure our veterans receive effective mental health care services. My team in Colorado is always available to help veterans who need assistance with the VA, from arranging a medical appointment to checking on the status of a benefit claim. We can be reached in Grand Junction at 970-241-2499 and Pueblo at 719-542-1073.
The VA also has resources that may be helpful if you or a loved one is suffering from depression or PTSD. The VA’s Veterans Crisis Line can be reached at 1-800-273-8255, or veterans can chat online at VeteransCrisisLine.net/Chat and by text at 838255.
I am honored to represent a district that works so hard to make sure our veterans are taken care of when they return home, and I’m committed to advancing federal policies that will ensure we honor and serve the men and women who have so honorably served our country. The next time you run into a veteran in the community, take a minute to let them know you appreciate their service. You never know how big of a difference a small “thank you” could make.Read More
Congressman Scott Tipton (CO-03) issued the following statement after Colorado Insurance Commissioner Marguerite Salazar announced a 20 percent increase in the state’s individual insurance premiums for 2017:
“The fact that Coloradans will have to pay 20 percent more for their individual health insurance next year reconfirms what we’ve known for a long time: Obamacare is a broken health care law. When the law passed, the president repeatedly told American families that their premiums would go down by $2,500 on average. In reality, Coloradans have seen their health insurance costs increase year over year. Not only have two of our state’s biggest health insurers decided to drop out of the Obamacare exchange in 2017, the groups that will remain in the exchange will need a huge premium increase to cover the costs they expect to incur next year.
“Health insurance should be accessible and affordable for every American, but federal control of our health care system is proving to have the opposite effect. I’ve voted every chance I’ve had to fix our health care system. Unfortunately, the House’s efforts to advance policies that open the marketplace and drive down costs have been blocked by Senate Democrats and the Administration. Coloradans deserve better, and I’m going to keep fighting to make sure they have access to a health insurance plan that they can afford and that meets their needs.”
Congressman Scott Tipton issued the following statement after voting to prohibit the Obama Administration from transferring any individual detained at the U.S. Naval Station in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba:
“Guantanamo Bay houses some of the most dangerous terrorists in the world. We know that many of the individuals who are released from Guantanamo return to terrorist activities. Just this week, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence confirmed that two more terrorists released from the base have returned to fighting.
“The president himself signed two laws that prohibit any Guantanamo detainee from being transferred to U.S. territory, but it is clear that any transfer of the prisoners puts our nation at risk. The Administration should not be sending terrorists back to their host countries. Instead of worrying about fulfilling a campaign promise, the president should be more concerned with keeping Americans safe.”
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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I recently asked over 100,000 people across the Third Congressional District if they thought today's kids are on track to be better off than
Thanks to the Colorado FCCLA for kicking-off my morning with a discussion about career technical education!
Our measure to name the VA Outpatient Clinic in Pueblo after WWII Navy Cross Recipient Private First Class James Dunn is headed to the president's
Thanks to the Family Farm Alliance for coming by my office today to talk about agriculture issues!
Last night I voted to protect Coloradans who lost their health insurance through no fault of their own from having to pay an Obamacare tax penalty.