Scott Tipton

Scott Tipton


Column: An opportunity to get things done


As we’ve traveled tens of thousands of miles in our district over the past four years, I’ve found that some of the best ideas to solve our nation’s challenges originate with those who are working every day to make America stronger. The perspectives of farmers, oil field workers, small business owners, firefighters and police officers, builders, doctors and nurses, teachers, manufacturers and countless others provide expertise and common sense that is far too often absent in Washington.

Some of these ideas have become the basis for the legislation I introduced, and will continue to be a driving force behind the work we will do in the next Congress.

During the 113th Congress we were able to pass one such homegrown solution into law. The Hydropower and Rural Jobs Act (H.R. 678) reduces the time and cost of small hydropower projects by clearing red tape that would have required duplicative regulatory paperwork. It has already led to numerous projects being built throughout the 3rd District and is helping to create opportunities and economic growth here at home.

In addition to this law, we passed legislation through the House with bipartisan support to address issues that impact Colorado and communities across the nation.

These bills would:

  • Protect private water rights from uncompensated federal takings (H.R. 3189);
  • Put into place an all-of-the-above domestic energy plan that responsibly develops our natural resources to meet the needs of the American people without eliminating a single environmental safeguard already in place (H.R. 1394);
  • And promote healthy forest management and prevent catastrophic wildfire through increased local control over hazardous fuels mitigation projects on public lands (H.R. 818).

We will have an opportunity in the 114th Congress to get these and other efforts across the finish line with a Senate that will allow the legislative process to work.

I also look forward to working with the Senate to address pressing national issues including healthcare, immigration reform and the national debt. To meet these challenges my goal is to advance policies, whether Republican or Democrat in origin, that will get results for the American people and improve our nation for future generations.

  • When it comes to healthcare that means taking a hard look at the many failures in Obamacare, and replacing it with a solution that truly creates an affordable and accessible healthcare system for all Americans. There are redeemable portions of the current law that I believe should be included in replacement legislation such as coverage for pre-existing conditions. With the Senate we will work to pass a market-based solution that puts patients first, takes bureaucrats out of healthcare decisions that should be made between doctors and their patients, drives down costs, and reduces the size of big government.
  • To fix our nation’s immigration system, we need to pass legislation through both chambers that takes a step-by-step approach beginning with enhanced, verifiable border security and a strengthened guest worker program before any other action is taken. Going it alone on immigration as the President is doing isn’t solving the problem; it’s prolonging it and widening the partisan divide.
  • The national debt is now over $18 trillion and is not sustainable. Each year the hole is getting deeper and the next generation’s burden is getting heavier. We must continue to fight to restore fiscal accountability in Washington, cutting waste and abuse of taxpayers’ hard-earned dollars, and work in the House and Senate to pass a long-term budget, rather than patches that don’t fully address the severity of our nation’s spending crisis.

In the 114th Congress I’m looking forward to serving on the Committee on Financial Services where we will now have a greater impact on issues that affect small community banks and their ability to work with local businesses to provide access to capital. This directly impacts the health of Main Street and countless jobs throughout the 3rd District because getting a loan to upgrade equipment, make it through a tough time or hire new employees is essential to the survival of many small businesses and the prosperity of virtually all of them.

On top of these goals, I will also continue to focus on public lands, natural resources and agriculture issues through my work on the Western Caucus. As the co-founder of the Congressional Small Business Caucus, I will continue to champion small business issues.

I’m committed to listening to the ideas and concerns of the people of the 3rd District and will continue to be accessible and available to them as we strive to represent their interests. Together we will work to advance Colorado-grown, commonsense solutions in Washington.

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Bennet, Tipton Celebrate Final Passage of Hermosa Creek Bill


Washington, DC – Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet and U.S. Representative Scott Tipton today celebrated the Senate’s passage of their bipartisan bill to protect more than 100,000 acres of the Hermosa Creek Watershed, an area in the San Juan National Forest north of Durango.

The Hermosa Creek Watershed Protection Act would establish a management plan for the watershed based on recommendations from the Hermosa Creek River Protection Workgroup, which included local water officials, conservationists, sportsmen, mountain bikers, off-road-vehicle users, outfitters, property owners, grazing permit holders, and other interested citizens.  Bennet introduced the bill last year with Senator Mark Udall (D-CO), while Representative Scott Tipton (R-CO) introduced a companion bill in the House of Representatives.

“Folks in Southwest Colorado can finally claim victory. Everyone in the local communities – from sportsmen, to snowmobilers, to conservationists, to the mining  industry – can celebrate their hard work to come together and implement their shared vision for one of Colorado’s natural treasures,” Bennet said. “This bill was written by them, and it protects this land for many of its historic uses, including fishing for cutthroat trout, backcountry hunting, camping, mountain biking and motorcycle riding on world class trails, and snowmobiling through fresh powder on Molas Pass. The cooperation, compromise, and hard work put into this bill over a number of years by a diverse group of Coloradans should serve as a model for Washington. I was proud to work with Congressman Tipton to get this important measure across the finish line.”

“The people of Southwest Colorado who have dedicated so much time and effort as a community to help craft and support this legislation that will protect the Hermosa Creek Watershed and the multiple uses of that land, have reason to celebrate today,” said Congressman Scott Tipton. “I’m pleased to have been able to work with the community and Senator Bennet to get this locally-driven legislation to the President’s desk.”

The bill would designate approximately 70,650 acres of the San Juan Nation Forest land as the Hermosa Creek Special Management Area. Much of the land would remain open to all historic uses of the forest under the bill, including mountain biking, motorized recreation, and selective timber harvesting. Grazing will continue to be allowed in the entire watershed.

In accordance with the consensus recommendations of the Hermosa Creek Workgroup, roughly 38,000 acres of the watershed would be set aside as wilderness, to be managed in accordance with the Wilderness Act of 1964.  No roads or mineral development are permitted in wilderness areas; while hunting, fishing, horseback riding and non-mechanized recreation are allowed.

The bill also provides for the conveyance of approximately 82 acres of BLM land to La Plata County for its use as a possible future multi-events center site to complement the potential development of a new county fairgrounds on an adjacent parcel of county-owned property.

Supporters of the bill include the La Plata County Commission, the San Juan County Commission, the City of Durango,  Town of Silverton, The Wilderness Society, Trout Unlimited, Southwestern Water Conservation District, San Juan Citizen’s Alliance, International Mountain Bicycling Association, Conservation Colorado, Colorado Snowmobile Association, Durango Mountain Resort, Backcountry Hunters and Anglers, the Durango Chamber of Commerce, Region 9 Economic Development District of Southwest Colorado, Trails 2000, Silverton Snowmobile Club, Four Corners Back County Horsemen, American Rivers, Bull Moose Sportsmen Alliance, Mercury Payment Systems, American Motorcycle Association, Jo Grant Mining Company, Inc., and the Colorado Off Highway Vehicle Coalition, in addition to numerous other business and sportsmen groups.

“As the mayor of Durango, I feel that Congress has given an amazing Christmas present to the state of Colorado by passing the Hermosa Creek Watershed Protection Act,” said Sweetie Marbury, Mayor of Durango. “We salute Senator Bennet, Senator Udall and Congressman Tipton for their work to carry this through Congress. This gift will last for generations.”

“Like a trail through the mountains, the path of the Hermosa Watershed Protection Act has had ups and downs, with obstacles to overcome along the way. Now we have reached our destination,” said Julie Westendorff, La Plata County Commissioner. “The bill’s passage illustrates that a community can work together and with its lawmakers to create a solution that works for all of us. Hermosa Creek’s waters fortify the Animas River, giving us water to drink, irrigation for crops, a top-notch fishery, and a recreational treasure enjoyed by all of us. As a La Plata County Commissioner, I appreciate the work of those in our community and Senator Bennet and Congressman Tipton to push, pull, and fight to bring home to Southwest Colorado a bill that will help keep the Hermosa Creek flowing clean into the future.”

“The Hermosa Creek Watershed Protection Act is the product of years of community work and cooperation to create a piece of legislation that honors the diverse values of our mountain communities,” said Pete McKay, San Juan County Commissioner. “I think this bill reflects a common sense compromise that works for everyone. I would like to thank our local partners for all the hard work that made this bill possible and I am so very pleased that Congress has approved this legislation before the end of the year.”

“Starting soon after the Wilderness Act was passed in 1964, the community has made five attempts to guarantee permanent protection of the Hermosa Watershed. Looks like we finally got’er done,” said Ed Zink, 3rd generation rancher and water user, outfitter in Hermosa Creek, board member of Animas Consolidated Ditch Company, Board Member of Animas Water Company, Owner of Mountain Bike Specialists and Founder of Iron Horse Bicycle Classic. “I bet all those old pioneer cowboys whose names are carved in old aspen trees will be smiling around the campfire tonight ‘cause we finally brought the herd home on this one. An old cowboy with two good dogs couldn’t have done any better keeping the strays together and getting them to good water. Good clean water never goes out of style. We have collectively taken an important step to ensure good clean water flows from the Hermosa Watershed. This time we’ve done our civic duty in making our community a better place for future generations. The Hermosa landscape in now protected in a way that it can also be used by everyone. Protection of the whole Hermosa Watershed is a shining example of working together to both protect and utilize our natural gems.”

“This bill represents a true balance between all the diverse uses of the Hermosa Creek watershed – Congressman Tipton and Senator Bennet deserve our thanks for honoring the community consensus,” said Steve Fearn, Member of the Southwestern Water Conservation District Board.

“We are thrilled that our Congressional representatives – working with the Durango community – have been able to protect the Hermosa Creek Watershed through this legislation,” said Matt Taylor, president of Mercury Payment Systems. “We at Mercury and the entire community of Durango are passionate about keeping Southwest Colorado a great place to live and work. This legislation does that, and I’d like to thank Senator Bennet and Representative Tipton for their bipartisan work in this area.”

“The Hermosa Creek Watershed legislation releases a Wilderness Study Area on Molas Pass that was very important to the snowmobile community,” said Scott Jones, Vice President Colorado Snowmobile Association and authorized representative of the Trail Preservation Alliance and Colorado Off Highway Vehicle Coalition. “The Molas Pass area is a significant riding area for the snowmobile community and a large economic driver for the winter economy of the Town of Silverton community. These riding opportunities and important economic benefits would have been lost without this legislation. Additionally, the legislation creates a 70,000 acre special management area where motorized recreation is protected and preserved in perpetuity. Our deepest gratitude to Congressman Tipton and Senator Bennet's offices and everyone that worked so hard to make this legislation a reality.”

“Trails 2000 volunteers build and maintain multi-use trails in Southwest Colorado. The Hermosa Creek Watershed Protection Act’s Special Management Area designation will allow mountain bikers to continue to ride the Hermosa Creek areas quintessential mountain biking trails including the Colorado Trail and the Hermosa Creek trail,” said Mary R. Monroe Brown, Director of Trails 2000. “Senator Bennet and Congressman Tipton’s staff understood the recreational characteristics of the area and made sure to represent the various constituents in an inclusive manner.”

“Today’s vote to provide durable protections to the Hermosa Creek watershed represents an incredible effort by hundreds of local citizens who came together to create a legacy that supports a diversity of community interests, enhances our economy, protects a unique wild landscape, and demonstrates that citizens can work together for the betterment of all,” said Jimbo Buickerood, Public Lands Coordinator for the San Juan Citizens Alliance. “We are exceedingly grateful to Senator Bennet and Congressman Tipton who carried forth the community’s intentions and efforts in Congress.”

“After four decades of analysis, discussion, and debate, the old-growth forests, cutthroat trout streams, and stunning landscape of the Hermosa Creek watershed is preserved forever,” said Jeff Widen, Senior Public Lands Advocate. “What a fitting tribute to the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act. Thank you Senator Bennet and Congressman Tipton - and all those in our community - for working so hard to make this a reality.”

“The Hermosa Creek watershed is a treasure for our local recreation-driven community,” said Ty Churchwell, Backcountry Coordinator for Trout Unlimited in Durango. “For sportsmen, Hermosa Creek offers incredible hunting and fishing opportunities just minutes from Durango. Sportsmen take special pleasure in knowing that our beloved native cutthroat trout and big game in southwest Colorado now have a protected home in America’s newest wilderness area. We thank Senator Bennet and Representative Tipton for their leadership in bringing local stakeholders together and getting this bill across the finish line. This is a historic conservation achievement.”

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House Passes Budget Measure that Cuts IRS, EPA Funding and Sets Stage for Immigration Vote in 114th Congress


WASHINGTON—Today, the House passed legislation to fund the federal government through September 30, 2015, while still allowing the 114th Congress to take action on the President’s executive orders on immigration by funding the Department of Homeland Security through a continuing resolution that expires on February 27, 2015. Congressman Scott Tipton (R-CO) voted in support of the measure that cuts funding to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) by over $300 million and reduces funding to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to the lowest levels since 1989.

“Today’s budget legislation, while not perfect, reduces spending at a level below the Ryan-Murray budget caps, cuts funding to the IRS and EPA, rescinds  numerous harmful administrative actions and addresses several issues of critical importance for Colorado’s 3rd District,” said Tipton. “I will work with my colleagues in the 114th Congress to advance solutions that further reduce federal spending and shrink the size of government, address immigration reform and healthcare, encourage economic growth in the private sector, and rein in excessive executive action by the President. We look forward to working with a Senate that will actually take up legislation that is passed through the House.”

The Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2015 (H.R. 83) includes funding for the Payment-in-Lieu-of-Taxes (PILT) program. PILT is vital for many Colorado counties because it reimburses local governments for losses in tax revenues due to the presence of large expanses of un-taxable federal lands, ensuring funding for infrastructure, law enforcement, education and other essential operations. H.R. 83 also prohibits the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) from using funds to issue a proposed rule to list the Greater Sage Grouse or a final rule to list the Gunnison Sage Grouse under the Endangered Species Act, and includes funds to help with local preservation efforts.

Prior to the vote, Tipton received assurances from House leadership that in the first quarter of next year, the House will take up legislation to address long-term forest management and extend funding for Secure Rural Schools (SRS).

“Among the issues addressed in today’s bill of vital importance to the 3rd District are the funding of PILT, prohibiting USFWS from listing the sage grouse under the Endangered Species Act, and stopping the EPA’s unilateral regulation of water storage and delivery systems for farm and ranch businesses,” said Tipton. “Additionally, House Leadership has assured me that in the new Congress we will move on a long-term forest management solution that will include tools to improve forest health, prevent wildfire, and ensure that schools, emergency services and local infrastructure are funded through an extension of Secure Rural Schools. These things would have already been addressed had the Senate taken action on the numerous House-passed forest management bills, including legislation that I helped write—the Restoring Healthy Forests for Healthy Communities Act (H.R. 1526).”

Tipton has been a vocal advocate in Congress for scientifically-supported, locally-tailored species preservation efforts like those currently underway in Colorado for the Gunnison and Greater sage grouse. Such efforts have the flexibility to account for the specific ecological and geographic conditions of a region; ensuring more effective, targeted species preservation can take place. A broad federal ESA listing would disrupt these efforts in favor of a less-effective, one-size-fits all approach that would implement uniform restrictions and requirements over an expansive range regardless of the local topographic and ecological conditions.

Highlights of H.R. 83 courtesy of the House Whip’s Office:

·         Fully funds 11 of the 12 regular Appropriations bills through September 30, 2015, and funds the Department of Homeland Security under a Continuing Resolution (CR) until February 27, 2015 

·         Obamacare: No new funding for Obamacare; prohibits funds for Obamacare Risk Corridors; Requires HHS and Treasury to report to Congress on improper payments of Obamacare tax subsidies;  cuts the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) by $10 million

  • Cuts EPA $60 million (fifth consecutive year of cuts, totaling a 21% reduction since FY10, and a decrease in 2,000 positions – 1989 levels)
  • Prohibits regulation of farm ponds and irrigation ditches
  • Prohibits listing the sage grouse on the Endangered Species List
  • Protects Second Amendment rights and prohibits EPA to regulations of lead content in ammunition or fishing tackle
  • IRS: Cuts IRS funding $345.6 million ($1.5 billion below the president’s request and below FY08 levels); prohibits IRS targeting organizations based on their ideological beliefs or for exercising their First Amendment rights; prohibits the White House ordering review of tax-exempt status; Prohibits IRS funds for inappropriate videos and conferences
  • Provides $2.5 billion for processing VA disability claims to end the backlog and rescinds $41 million in performance bonuses at the VA


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Tipton Calls for Stronger Sanctions on Iran


Congressman Scott Tipton (R-CO) spoke on the House floor this week on the need for stronger sanctions on Iran in order to advance negotiations over that country’s nuclear program.

The text of Tipton’s statement as prepared for delivery follows:

“This past week, negotiations with Iran over the country’s nuclear program were extended another seven months after no agreement was reached yet again. This extension carried with it no additional or strengthened economic sanctions on Iran. Now, disturbingly, we have heard that the Administration has considered sanctions against Israel—our ally.

“Stronger sanctions are needed regarding Iran—not our ally Israel—to increase pressure, advance negotiations and achieve a favorable outcome for the U.S. and all our allies. There is no room for error and the Administration cannot balk and miss the chance to get a strong agreement in place. 

“A nuclear Iran would pose an incredible threat to the Middle East and to the United States. The security of our allies, including Israel, our ally, and the stability of the region is at stake.

“H.R. 850, the Nuclear Iran Prevention Act of 2013, of which I am a cosponsor, passed the House of Representatives 400-20. The bill would strengthen, update, and replace previous sanctions on Iran, and close loopholes.  Despite the broad bipartisan support, the Senate has done nothing on this bill.

“The Senate needs to take it up, and increase pressure on Iran to reach an agreement. Stronger sanctions must be put into place. We cannot afford to wait.”

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Tipton Votes to Block Executive Orders on Immigration


Tipton Votes to Block Executive Orders on Immigration

WASHINGTON—Congressman Scott Tipton (R-CO) issued this statement following a vote in the House today (H.R. 5759) to block the President’s overreaching executive orders on immigration.

“It’s unfortunate that the President acted against his own best advice, overstepped his Constitutional authority, and issued executive orders on immigration. The President admitted on many occasions that he did not have the authority to act unilaterally on immigration, and yet did it anyway, instead of working with Congress to truly address the challenges in America’s broken immigration system.

“Today’s vote is the first of what will be a number of efforts over the coming months to stop his overreach. It’s my hope that we will advance a step-by-step immigration solution in the 114th Congress that begins with enhanced, verifiable border security and a strengthened guest worker program. We must confront the realities of the broken system and the challenges it presents—the President’s executive orders accomplish neither. ”



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Hermosa Creek Bill Passes House


Hermosa Creek Bill Passes House

WASHINGTON—Today, the Hermosa Creek Watershed Protection Act passed the U.S. House of Representatives as part of a legislative package (HR. 4435).

“The Hermosa Creek Watershed Protection Act is well on the way to becoming law,” said Congressman Scott Tipton. “This is a victory for the people of Southwest Colorado, who worked together to provide momentum for this effort to ensure that the region remains protected and that multiple use of the land continues for future generations.”

The language, which was agreed upon by Congressman Tipton, Senator Michael Bennet and community stakeholders in November, includes wilderness protections and multiple use access for existing activities like grazing and snowmobiling in designated areas. A Senate vote is expected to follow soon.

Learn more about the bill and community support for it HERE.

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Tipton: Reform needed to help small banks


Banking reforms that were aimed at curbing Wall Street excesses have hamstrung small community lenders in rural Colorado, said U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton, R-Colo., who said he would introduce legislation next year. Read More

Vet gets medals for long-ago service


Colorado’s 3rd District is home to thousands of military veterans and it’s commonplace for the phone to ring in Rep. Scott Tipton’s offices with a request from a veteran or a family member looking for lost or never-awarded decorations or military records. Read More

Pueblo Vietnam War veteran receives his medals almost 40 years after the war ended


He has waited almost 40 years, but on Friday a Pueblo Vietnam War veteran received his medals from the war. Former Army Spc. Clarence Archuleta earned his medal for his acts of bravery during the Vietnam War. Read More

Vietnam veteran receives medals 40 years later


Tipton was able to help correct the record and track down his long-awaited medals and citations. A few of those medals include the Bronze Star Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Combat Infantryman Badge and several others. Read More

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Contact Information

218 Cannon HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Phone 202-225-4761
Fax 202-226-9669

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.

Serving With

Cory Gardner


Doug Lamborn


Mike Coffman


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