WASHINGTON—Congressman Scott Tipton (CO-03) contacted the offices of U.S. Forest Service (USFS) Chief Tom Tidwell and Office of Management and the Budget (OMB) Director Shaun Donovan to schedule a meeting in the wake of the announcement that the Forest Service will delay the release of the Colorado Roadless Rule Supplemental Final Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) until the fall. The SEIS was originally slated to be released this spring, but the USFS told Tipton’s office that OMB has held up the process saying the decision is “significant” and will require further review.
“The Colorado Roadless Rule was the result of a statewide collaborative effort with many diverse stakeholders that achieved an outcome prioritizing conservation and responsible use of the land. The certainty provided under that rule for the people of Delta and Gunnison Counties has been upended by extreme special interests who serially litigate against responsible multiple use of public lands,” said Tipton. “The decision to delay the release of the supplemental environmental analysis required by the court is deeply disappointing and puts jobs in Delta and Gunnison Counties at risk. I plan to convene a meeting with Forrest Service Chief Tidwell and OMB Director Donovan as soon as possible to facilitate a discussion on working toward a more expedient resolution. This decision is far too important for the Administration to brush under the rug until after Election Day. People’s jobs are at stake.”
Tipton and Senator Cory Gardner led a letter to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack in January urging completion of supplemental environmental analysis resulting from a June 2014 court ruling. See that letter HERE.
Read more about the Colorado Roadless Rule HERE.Read More
Washington D.C.—Today, Congressman Scott Tipton (CO-3) stressed that a proposed CFPB rule will further decrease access to capital during a House Committee on Financial Services Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit hearing. The hearing focused on the impact of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) proposed rule which would prohibit the use of class action waivers in arbitration clauses of consumer financial services agreements, reversing decades of congressional intent and legal precedence.
“This new rule puts consumers at a needless disadvantage by eliminating a beneficial and effective tool for consumer redress,” Tipton said. “Not only does it limit favorable outcomes when settling disputes between consumers and companies, but it will also have a larger negative impact on the economy. Financial institutions anticipating a rise in class action suits will store additional capital instead of lending in their communities, diminishing the already sparse availability of capital. Utilizing arbitration is actually more efficient for consumers, which the CFPB’s arbitration study supports. Arbitration takes a shorter time, is cheaper for consumers, and results in higher average resolutions for the consumer. Once again, the CFPB‘s actions come at the detriment of the consumers the Bureau is supposed to protect. Eliminating arbitration will drive up costs for consumers, limit avenues for resolution, and further tighten credit. ”
Washington D.C.—Congressman Scott Tipton (CO-3) was joined by 24 of his House colleagues in calling on Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Director Neil Kornze to extend the current 90 day public comment period by 30 days to ensure that local governments and communities have sufficient time to review the BLM’s proposed “Planning 2.0” initiative. The members also outline a number of their initial concerns with Planning 2.0. in the letter.
The text of the letter follows:
We request that the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) revise the proposed “Planning 2.0” initiative and extend the public comment period by at least an additional 30 days, beyond the current 90 day comment period, to ensure local governments with limited financial and staffing resources have adequate time to fully digest and provide comment on the proposed Planning 2.0 Rule. The current 90 day comment period simply does not provide adequate time for local governments to analyze the substantial revisions to BLM’s planning processes included in Planning 2.0.
The Federal Land Policy and Management Act (FLPMA) tasks the BLM to "…provide for meaningful public involvement of State and local government officials, both elected and appointed, in the development of… land use regulations…" The requirement to provide meaningful public involvement of local governments is not a discretionary requirement. Simply providing public notice and comment alone does not achieve the required "meaningful public involvement" for local governments directed by FLPMA. Yet public notice and comment is all that has been provided.
While the BLM has provided a limited number of workshops to discuss Planning 2.0, the proposed regulations had already been drafted before the meetings occurred. We remain concerned that the BLM has not conducted adequate outreach to inform counties and local governments of the proposed changes. We believe that due to the complexity of the proposed changes the agency must hold public hearings in every state with BLM land before closing the public comment period. This will help to ensure that local governments fully understand what the BLM is proposing. If the Planning 2.0 initiative intends to make “landscape-scale” management decisions, then the same policy should apply to local outreach before any rulemaking is finalized.
Based on our initial analysis of the Planning 2.0 initiative, these are just a few of the immediate concerns we’ve identified as unclear and request immediate clarification.
With Planning 2.0’s emphasis on expanded and earlier general public involvement, how does the BLM intend to preserve the significant role of cooperating agencies? Specifically, how will the BLM commit to ensuring that cooperating agencies under the National Environmental Policy Act will be able to participate in organizing planning processes and preparing analyses, per Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) regulations found at 40 CFR 1501.6 and the BLM’s Land Use Planning Handbook, and not be limited only to providing comments later in the process?
As Planning 2.0 proposes to eliminate consistency requirements with local policies and programs, how does the BLM specifically plan to avoid marginalizing a large number of western communities who may not have the means to produce and maintain comprehensive land use plans? Why does BLM believe it is necessary to remove the definition of “consistent” from 43 CFR 1601.0-5 when the removal may make it unclear whether or not consistency review requirements have been met?
If BLM proposes to eliminate planning based on jurisdictional boundaries and instead devise Resource Management Plans (RMP) based on landscapes, which resources will be used to define planning areas? Will these be identified based on geography, mineral resources, ecological resources, or some combination? With an increased emphasis on Adaptive Management, is there a potential that rapid changes to RMPs will make it difficult to plan for and invest in certain uses, and if so, how will the BLM balance these two objectives? What is the anticipated effect on the development timeline and lifespan of an RMP under the proposed process?
We request you address these concerns with the highest level of consideration on behalf of our constituents.
See the signed PDF of the letter HERE.Read More
Washington D.C.—Congressman Scott Tipton (CO-3) voted in favor of 18 bipartisan bills during this week’s legislative session designed to combat the nationwide opioid epidemic. Tipton, a member of the Bipartisan Task Force to Combat the Heroin Epidemic, delivered the following remarks on the House floor in support of the bills and to underscore the importance of coordinated efforts at the local, state and federal levels to curb abuse:
View the transcript of Tipton’s speech HERE.
After delivering his remarks, Tipton issued the following statement:
“I am confident the legislation we passed this week will begin to provide some of the much-needed resources for medical treatment and law enforcement professionals who have been battling this epidemic across the country for some time now,” Tipton said. “Congress has an obligation to support state governments and local groups in their efforts to reverse widespread opioid abuse.”
Tipton is forming community task force working groups that will begin meeting in June to enhance local coordination and communication on the opioid epidemic, and identify further solutions to solve the problem. The local working group agenda and schedule will be announced soon, with the first meeting slated for Pueblo, CO.
Tipton voted to pass the following bills in the House of Representatives this week and is the cosponsor of H.R. 4063, H.R. 3865 and H.R. 2805:
Washington D.C.—Congressman Scott Tipton (CO-3) issued the following statement after the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a finalized rule on methane emissions from natural gas and oil extraction sites:
“The finalized methane emissions rule will have a negligible impact on air quality, while creating a significant new regulatory paperwork and red tape burden on energy producers who are already increasingly capturing methane emissions through technological innovation and under several existing and effective state efforts,” said Tipton. “States are already leading the charge on methane collection efforts. The EPA should focus on enforcing existing laws, rather than promulgating new overreaching rules and regulations to stifle job creation and responsible energy production that Congress did not approve or pass.”
Washington D.C.—Today, Congressman Scott Tipton (CO-3) delivered the keynote address at the Electronic Transaction Association’s Policy Day on Capitol Hill. Tipton, a former small business owner, stressed the important role online lending markets play in expanding access to capital and the ongoing concern regulatory burdens pose to the growth of small businesses nationwide.
In discussing the current regulatory climate facing small businesses, Tipton highlighted the Dodd-Frank Act as one of the main drivers of onerous and duplicative regulations prohibiting growth for Main Street businesses. He discussed the unintended consequences of Dodd-Frank and noted that the law has burdened the financial sector with more than $24 billion in compliance costs.
“Every small business owner knows that competition in the marketplace is unavoidable,” Tipton said after his speech. “Every day they work to expand their businesses, hire more people and gain a greater share of the market. Often times the speed at which they can expand is vital to their success or failure. Online lending can be a useful tool for businesses looking to succeed and grow that may not have access to traditional financing methods. With regulatory requirements already tightening credit from community banks and credit unions, it is imperative that the online lending marketplace is allowed to grow responsibly without needless and onerous regulation that stifles that ability of small businesses to access capital. As regulators continue to gather information on this emerging area it is imperative to recognize that online small business lenders are already regulated both at the federal and state level. Adding regulation for the sake of regulation is impractical and will stifle economic growth.”
By Congressman Scott Tipton, Guest Columnist for the Pueblo Chieftain
Widespread opioid abuse in the form of heroin or prescription pain medication is having a tragic impact on lives and families across the nation, including here in Colorado.
According to the Colorado Consortium for Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention, 36 percent of drug poisoning deaths in our state involve prescription opioids. For every one of those deaths, 825 more people are already abusing or dependent on these powerfully addictive drugs.
To make things worse, 14 percent of Coloradans between the ages of 18 and 25 misused prescription drugs last year, a habit that often leads to heroin use. Even newborn babies suffer from the effects of addiction. Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome occurs when opiates like heroin, oxycodone or methadone are abused during pregnancy, which has dramatically increased over the past 15 years. According to the Center for Disease Control, heroin use alone increased by 63 percent in the U.S. from 2002 to 2013.
The rapid spike in abuse is alarming. In addition to the obvious destructive impacts that opioid abuse has on health and wellbeing, it has contributed to increased violence and poverty within our communities.
Addicts seeking access to drugs and a means to pay for them often fall into a permanent cycle of criminality. Pueblo faces this problem every day because the increased availability of cheap heroin from Mexico keeps addicted users in a stranglehold — simultaneously entrenching existing gang activity and straining law enforcement resources.
One of the ways we are working to help ease the burden on law enforcement and the courts is to reduce the number of addicts through prevention and treatment.
Treatment centers and their dedicated staffs are under incredible strain as they face an influx of patients seeking help and limited resources to accommodate them. Because of that intense demand, and the influx of cheap heroin on the streets, many prevention efforts struggle to keep pace with preventing the flow of drugs, prescription or otherwise, from getting into the community.
The good news is Congress has put forth a series of bills designed to fight the American opioid epidemic on multiple fronts.
As a member of the Bipartisan Task Force to Combat the Heroin Epidemic, I have joined my colleagues in the House of Representatives to present 15 legislative proposals specifically targeting systemic opioid abuse across the country. I’d like to talk further about two of those bills that deal specifically with aspects of prevention and treatment: HR2805, the Heroin and Prescription Opioid Abuse Prevention, Education and Enforcement Act, bolsters prevention efforts, while HR3865, the Cradle Act, focuses primarily on treatment.
HR2805 requires federal agencies with jurisdiction to combat opioid abuse to create an interagency task force with authority to generate public awareness campaigns and substance abuse monitoring programs. Additionally, the task force will implement better educational standards for prescribers and dispensers of prescription opiates.
HR3865 requires the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to establish and clearly define guidelines for pediatric recovery centers seeking certifications to treat infants with NAS. Getting these facilities in a better position to provide care is critical for infants born with an addiction to opioids.
These are but two of the steps my colleagues and I are working to pass out of the House of Representatives to better equip communities to combat this epidemic.
As we continue to work on these and other legislative solutions, I am forming working groups across the 3rd District that will begin meeting in June to enhance local coordination and communication on the opioid epidemic, and identify further solutions to solve the problem. The first of these meetings will take place in Pueblo and Alamosa, with more to be scheduled for the Western Slope.
A multifront approach of prevention and treatment solutions, as well as enforcement to break up distribution networks, is necessary to make progress on reversing the alarming trend of abuse and addiction. Coordination and communication at the local, state and federal levels is imperative.
We are focused on putting forward solutions and engaging with experts within impacted communities to achieve those ends.
U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton is a Republican congressman in Colorado’s 3rd District.
- See more at: http://www.chieftain.com/opinion/4714280-119/abuse-heroin-opioid-prescription#sthash.YZUs9eYp.dpufRead More
Washington D.C.—Congressman Scott Tipton (CO-3) issued the following statement after the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced it will name the long-awaited new national veterans cemetery the “Pikes Peak National Cemetery”:
“The establishment of a national veterans cemetery in southern Colorado has been long awaited by the region’s veterans and their families. Years of bipartisan work in the Colorado delegation have gone into moving this important project forward, and the announcement of its official name is a welcome and encouraging sign of progress,”,” Tipton said. “While there is still much work to be done before the cemetery will be fully operational, I will continue to work with my colleagues, particularly Congressman Lamborn, to ensure the VA has everything it needs to complete this it as quickly and efficiently as possible for Southern Colorado’s veterans and their families.”
Washington D.C.—Congressman Scott Tipton (CO-3) issued the following statement after the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced it plans to commit additional funds for monitoring the water conditions of the Animas and San Juan Rivers:
“I welcome the EPA’s announcement to provide additional funds to monitor water conditions,” Tipton said. “However, I maintain these kind of resources should have been made available to San Juan and La Plata Counties and all the affected communities and ecosystems some time ago. Spring is upon us and mountain runoff has already begun affecting river conditions by the remobilization of sediments. This means we need the rapid implementation of accurate and real-time water monitoring systems for gauging the rivers’ recovery and overall health – especially as Silverton, Durango and so many others begin the tourism season.”
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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