Gov. John Hickenlooper, along with Senators Cory Gardner and Michael Bennet, Rep. Scott Tipton, will hold a town hall following their visit with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and tour of the Gold King Mine. They, along with representatives from the EPA, will provide an update of their meeting and take questions from attendees.
Durango Town Hall
Gov. John Hickenlooper
Senators Cory Gardner and Michael Bennet
Rep. Scott Tipton
Durango Mayor Dick White & La Plata County Commissioner Brad Blake will moderate.
La Plata County Administration Building Board Room
1101 E. 2nd Ave.
Durango, CO 81301
Friday, Aug. 4, 2017
2:15 p.m. — 3:00 p.m.
Doors open to the public and media at 1:45 p.m.Read More
U.S. Reps. Scott Tipton (CO-03) and Chris Stewart (UT-02) introduced the Sage-Grouse and Mule Deer Habitat Conservation and Restoration Act (H.R. 3543), a bill that would streamline the approval process for vegetation management projects to protect or restore the habitat of the sage-grouse and mule deer.
In recent years, the rapid encroachment of invasive Piñon and Juniper trees on sagebrush habitat has threatened sage-grouse and mule deer populations and created dangerous wildfire conditions. H.R. 3543 would allow the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to quickly engage in habitat restoration and proactive vegetation management projects to protect the species and improve ecological conditions.
“The current vegetation management process isn’t allowing Western states to keep up with the rapid growth of invasive species in sagebrush habitat. To combat invasive species effectively, we must streamline the process through which BLM must go to protect and restore threatened habitats and address potential areas of concern. Our bill cuts through the unnecessary red tape that has prevented BLM from acting quickly in the past,” said Tipton.
“In order to protect mule deer and sage-grouse populations in Utah and across the West, we must protect their habitat. The review process for vegetation management has become too cumbersome and time consuming. This legislation removes bureaucratic red tape and gives land managers the tools needed to protect and preserve this precious habitat,” said Stewart.
H.R. 3543 has drawn praise from conservation groups.
“The Sage-Grouse and Mule Deer Habitat Conservation and Restoration Act will allow conservation partners to move quickly on landscape habitat restoration projects that are proving to have a tremendous impact for mule deer, sage-grouse and other species dependent on sagebrush rangelands. This is good for wildlife conservation as well as western big game hunters,” noted Mule Deer Foundation President/CEO Miles Moretti. “The Mule Deer Foundation greatly appreciates Congressmen Tipton and Stewart for working together to introduce this important legislation in the House. With bills now in both chambers of Congress, we are optimistic about moving this issue forward in this Congress.”Read More
The United States has stood strong for 241 years. Through our commitment to a strong national defense, we have been able to protect our interests at home and abroad. Unfortunately, as our intelligence and defense assets have advanced, so have those of our adversaries. Today, cyberattacks, efforts to meddle in our democratic process, intercontinental ballistic missile threats, and governments that continue to support terrorist activity force us to respond to numerous threats across the world. In the last few weeks, Congress has taken necessary actions to address these risks.
The House and Senate both recently passed a bill (H.R. 3364) that preserves and strengthens sanctions on Russia, Iran, and North Korea.
There is no question among the intelligence community that Russia engaged in efforts to meddle in the 2016 presidential election, and it is critical that we stand up to any country that attempts to undermine our democratic process. In addition to attempting to undermine our election process, Vladimir Putin continues to pose threats to global stability. I am glad there is bipartisan agreement in Congress that any significant changes to U.S. foreign policy concerning Russia must be approved by the legislative branch. H.R. 3364 requires the president to submit to Congress any proposed actions to terminate or waive sanctions with respect to Russia. After receiving the report, Congress would have thirty days to approve or deny the proposed actions. Russia must face consequences for its actions.
We have seen the Kim Jong Un regime in North Korea test 17 missiles since February, and we know that the country conducted its first successful test of an intercontinental ballistic missile capable of striking the United States. This is unacceptable, and Kim Jong Un must be stopped. H.R. 3364 cuts the flow of cash North Korea needs to support its ballistic missile program by prohibiting any entity that does business in the United States from also conducting business in North Korea.
Despite warnings from the United States, Iran continues to fund terrorist activities, strengthening our adversaries and undermining stability in the Middle East. The Obama Administration’s nuclear deal with Iran has done little to bring more security to the world. Instead, Iran has received billions of dollars in sanctions relief. Through the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, Iran is supporting Hezbollah, one of the most dangerous terrorist groups, and the Assad regime’s attacks on its own people in Syria. H.R. 3364 punishes anyone who contributes to Iran’s ballistic missile program and places new sanctions on the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps to deter further support of terrorist activities.
Recently, the House Homeland Security Committee released alarming statistics that show 39 cases where homegrown jihadists have supported the plotting or financing of terrorist attack attempts. One hundred and ninety-nine attacks have been planned against the West since 2013. These numbers show why a strong Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is so important. I am proud the House, along with my support, has passed the Department of Homeland Security Authorization Act, National Defense Authorization Act, and the Make Americans Secure Appropriations Act – a funding bill that ensures all U.S. military and security operations have the resources they need to identify and respond to threats and keep Americans safe.
Although threats continue to grow and evolve, the United States has the strongest military in the world, and Congress is committed to providing our military with resources to keep it that way. We may have different views on many topics, but we all agree that the security of our nation and safety of all Americans is a top priority.Read More
Kudos to Rep. Scott Tipton for recommending that a good government program be made permanent.
The Every Kid Outdoors Act, introduced by a bipartisan group of lawmakers, asks the Department of the Interior to maintain a program that provides fourth-grade students, along with their families, free access to federally managed lands, waters and historic sites.
Especially in a time such as this, when politics are impassioned and divisive, the United States of America may seem more like an ideal than a physical place, where those politics are driven by the vastness and stunning diversity of the landscape. Between one shining sea and the other, from Canada to Mexico and outward to Alaska and our island states and territories, there is a lot to see and a lot to understand.
Rep. Niki Tsongas, a Democrat from Massachusetts, said, “Our nation’s public lands protect, celebrate and give access to the many places that have shaped and defined who we are as Americans.”
She’s right. The nation’s formative history did not take place only in the 13 original colonies. As the frontier moved westward, governing concepts that made sense in seaboard cities had to be adjusted.
The National Anthem sounds different to children who have visited Fort McHenry. The costs of war seem real at a Civil War battlefield or the Little Bighorn. Cultural parks and monuments from Mesa Verde to Independence Hall to Birmingham put American history in a broader perspective. The science and natural history of places like Yellowstone or the Grand Canyon is almost incomprehensible until viewed up close.
We never know what will pique a student’s interest, but among our forests, parks and monuments, there is something to interest every child. A park pass is an invitation to explore and experience; It is an invaluable partnership with parents and teachers.
A similar strategy, giving free season ski passes to fourth-graders, has turned Colorado students into lifelong skiers. Let’s turn American youths into lifelong learners who recognize, understand and appreciate the country’s trove of wonderful places and stories. That is education at its finest, and it only costs the government the price of admission.Read More
Congressman Scott Tipton (CO-03) issued the following statement after the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Army Corps of Engineers (Army Corps) formally proposed a rule to withdraw the Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule:
“The WOTUS rule was the Obama Administration’s most onerous federal water grab and one if its most egregious acts of executive overreach. The rule threatened the private property rights of millions of Western water users who rely on access to their water rights for everything from irrigating crops and providing clean and reliable water supplies, to attracting tourism opportunities through recreation. I applaud the EPA and Army Corps for taking action to withdraw this rule for good.”
The U.S. House of Representatives passed a series of bills to expand veteran education benefits, establish greater transparency within the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), and create new protections for veteran-owned small businesses. Throughout his tenure in the House, Congressman Scott Tipton (CO-03) has supported measures that improve care and strengthen benefits for veterans, and he commended the passage additional bills to further these efforts.
“I am confident the quality of benefits our veterans receive will continue to improve if we listen to them and work to address their concerns,” Tipton said. “Our veterans have sacrificed so much to protect this country, and they deserve to have access to the resources they need when they transition to civilian life. Passing these important pieces of legislation reaffirms Congress’ commitment to supporting our nation’s veterans.”
Included in the series of House-passed bills is the Harry E. Colmery Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2017 (H.R. 3218), which expands the GI Bill by eliminating the current 15-year time limit veterans and their spouses have to use their GI benefits. Eliminating the arbitrary deadline will make continuing education opportunities more accessible for veterans across the country.
Also included in the series of House-passed bills is the Department of Veterans Affairs Bonus Transparency Act (H.R. 1690), a measure that would require the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to submit an annual report to Congress detailing information regarding senior employees’ bonuses on a yearly basis. Additionally, the House passed the Ensuring Veteran Enterprise Participation in Strategic Sourcing Act (H.R. 2781), which would provide veteran small business owners with preference during the General Service Administration contracting process.
Additional House-passed bills include: Ensuring Veteran Enterprise Participation in Strategic Sourcing Act (H.R. 2781); VA Procurement Efficiency and Transparency Act (H.R. 2006); Protecting Business Opportunities for Veterans Act of 2017 (H.R. 2749); Veterans Affairs Medical Scribe Pilot Act of 2017 (H.R. 1848); VA Provider Equity Act (H.R. 1058; and Military Residency Choice Act (H.R. 282).Read More
Congressman Scott Tipton (CO-03) voted in support of H.J.Res. 111 to overturn the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) Anti-Arbitration Rule. The CFPB rule, which was finalized on July 10, 2017, would ban mandatory arbitration clauses in financial contracts and change the way consumers can resolve disputes with financial services companies. Without the ability to enter into arbitration, consumers would be forced to engage in costly litigation or class-action lawsuits.
Tipton spoke in support of H.J.Res. 111 on the House floor prior to the vote. He said, in part:
“Let’s look at the data that’s been provided by the CFPB: just 13 percent of the class action suits actually provided a benefit to the consumers. And what was that whopping benefit? Thirty-two dollars. Thirty-two dollars that they’re willing to celebrate over as compensation for people who have been harmed.
“Let’s look at the other side of the ledger. What are the trial lawyers receiving? On average, $1 million. So our friends may want to stand up for the trial lawyers, for their million dollar paychecks, but we’re going to choose to stand with the American consumer to make sure they are going to be able to receive the justice that they deserve. And one way to be able to do that is going to be through arbitration. When we look at the CFPB’s own statistics, the average arbitration payout is not your $32, it is almost $5,400, which has been received in terms of compensation … this latest rule joins a growing list of CFPB actions that have hurt consumers.”
Watch Tipton’s full remarks here.
H.J.Res. 111 passed the House with a vote of 231-190. It must now be considered by the Senate.Read More
The U.S. House of Representatives passed a measure that would require the president to seek Congressional approval before taking action that would “significantly alter” U.S. foreign policy towards Russia. The bill, H.R. 3364, would also impose new sanctions on Iran and North Korea.
Congressman Tipton (CO-03) voted in support of the bill.
“Vladimir Putin is not our friend, and there is no question among the intelligence community that Russia engaged in efforts to meddle with the 2016 presidential election. It is critical that we stand up to any country that attempts to undermine our democratic process,” said Tipton. “I’m glad there is bipartisan agreement in Congress that any significant changes to U.S. foreign policy concerning Russia must be approved by the legislative branch.”
H.R. 3364 would also increase sanctions on Iran for its continued funding of terrorist activities and on North Korea to prevent the Kim Jong Un regime from further developing its ballistic missile and nuclear weapons programs.
Energy demand is growing in the United States. In order to meet the energy needs of the future, it is critical that we develop and all-of-the-above energy strategy that incorporates renewable resources, as well as responsible development of fossil fuels.
I recently introduced the Planning for American Energy Act, which is a bill that would set us on the path towards creating an all-of-the-above energy strategy by requiring the Departments of Agriculture and the Interior to develop forward-looking energy plans that include all resources: wind, solar, hydropower, geothermal, oil, natural gas, coal, oil shale and minerals.
We will need to make significant investments in energy infrastructure in order to make an all-of-the-above energy future a reality, but the current permitting process for energy infrastructure is a spider web of regulations that often prevents important projects from moving forward.
We recently passed two bills in the House of Representatives to address the permitting process for natural gas and oil pipelines. The two bills, the Promoting Interagency Coordination for Review of Natural Gas Pipelines Act (H.R. 2910) and the Promoting Cross-Border Energy Infrastructure Act (H.R. 2883), centralize permitting authority within the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).
Too often, energy infrastructure projects get held up in the permitting process for years, even decades. The cost of the project grows and there is no certainty that it will ever be approved. The result? Fewer companies are inclined to build the infrastructure we’ll need to meet future energy demands.
The Promoting Interagency Coordination for Review of Natural Gas Pipelines Act would address part of this problem by requiring any federal agency that is participating in an infrastructure project to either deny or approve a permit within 90 days of FERC completing its review under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).
Another issue that has prevented energy infrastructure projects from moving forward is the lack of any standardized permit process for international projects – projects that cross from the U.S. into Canada or Mexico. Currently, the approval process for international projects follows Executive Order precedent, which can be highly subjective. The lack of certainty hurts U.S. energy infrastructure.
The Promoting Cross-Border Energy Infrastructure Act creates a streamlined, standardized process within FERC for permitting cross-border projects. The bill would also give the Secretary of Energy the authority to approve electric transmission facility projects.
Both of the bills we passed this week are not only critical to U.S. energy security, but they will also help support good-paying jobs in Colorado. The Western Energy Alliance reports that responsible oil and gas development in the Third Congressional District alone supports over 7,800 direct and indirect jobs, totaling over $820 million in wages and over $2.2 billion in total economic output. Sustaining these jobs and their resulting economic output requires investments in energy infrastructure.
While we still have a long way to go, we’ve already seen progress from efforts to simplify and streamline federal regulations. I’m committed to ensuring our regulatory process supports the infrastructure investments we’ll need to create an all-of-the-above energy future and grow good-paying jobs in the United States.Read More
Canyons of the Ancients’ national monument status is no longer under review, but conservationists are still seething over the review that targeted the area and 26 other national monuments.
Before appearing at the Western Conservative Summit in Denver, Department of the Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke announced that Canyons of the Ancients National Monument was being removed from the list.
“Canyons of the Ancients is gorgeous land, but its monument status as the most high-density Native American archaeological sites in the Nation is clear. The history at this site spans thousands of years, and the federal protection of these objects and history will help us preserve this site for a thousand more years,” says Zinke in a statement.
Canyons of the Ancients National Monument was formed by President Clinton in 2000 using the Antiquities Act. The 178-thousand acresconservation area is considered the richest archeological site in the world. Several native tribes trace their lineage to the area and ancient pueblos there date back 1,000 years.
The Interior Department cited letters from Colorado Republicans Sen. Cory Gardner and Rep. Scott Tipton.
“This is great news for Colorado and I’m thrilled the Department of the Interior listened to Coloradans and will make no changes to Canyons of the Ancients National Monument’s designation,” say Sen. Gardner in the same statement.
Conservationists say the review is targeting two monuments in Utah and attacking the Presidents who made them; Bears Ears and Grand Staircase – Escalante.
“It is partially about the Obama legacy and they don’t like anything with the name Obama and Clinton … but its also about oil & gas and coal,” says Aaron Weiss with the Center for Western Priorities.
Weiss says the review is thinly veiled political revenge made clear by Secretary Zinke’s own response to one of the monuments under review.
In late June Zinke announced the Upper Missouri River Breaks National Monument in Montana, Zinke’s home state, would not suffer any changes to it’s status.
“I think it speaks to the nature of Secretary Zinke’s future political goals,” says Weiss. “He’s being very careful not to do anything that would harm his chances of running for Governor someday and that would have been a dead end.”
More than 20 national monuments are still under the review that is expected to end in the fall.
Weiss accuses the Trump Administration of treating the review like a reality TV show – keeping communities that financially rely on the monuments on edge only to be saved later on.
While Gardner and Tipton are credited for their actions to help preserve Canyons of the Ancients, Weiss says they were acting out of political convenience as well because their statements did not extend to the other national monuments that share the same heritage and culturalimportance of Canyons.
“It says they’re being deferential to the first ever attack on our monuments.”Read More
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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Neo-nazis are abhorrent & only try to drive America apart. We must stand up to racism, antisemitism & hateful rhetoric wherever we see it.
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All Americans have the right to peaceful protest and free speech, but there is no room for violence in our society. #Charlottesville