The U.S. House of Representatives passed the Prescribed Burn Approval Act of 2016 (S. 3395), a bill that requires the federal government to coordinate with state and local fire officials prior to initiating a prescribed burn. The bill passed the U.S. Senate on Nov. 17, 2016, and it will now be sent to the president’s desk to be signed into law.
Congressman Scott Tipton (CO-03), a supporter of the bill, said, “I’ve long advocated for more coordination between the federal government and state and local fire officials when it comes to scheduling prescribed burns. No one is going to have a better grasp of the conditions on the ground than the men and women who travel the land every day. More coordination between federal and local officials will help prevent prescribed burns from growing out of control.”
S. 3395 prohibits the Secretary of Agriculture from authorizing a prescribed burn on Forest Service land if the national fire rating system classifies the county land that is adjacent to the proposed burn site at the extreme fire danger level.
The bill also requires the Secretary of Agriculture to submit an annual report to Congress describing the number and locations of prescribed burns that are conducted by any federal agency.Read More
As we look forward to a new year and a new Congress, the topic of national security is a primary focus among our country’s leaders. The House of Representatives Committee on Homeland Security recently issued its latest installment of a monthly assessment of the growing threat that the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and other radical terrorist groups pose to the United States and the West. The November Terror Threat Snapshot shows that although ISIS may be retreating in parts of Syria and Iraq, the group continues to plot attacks against our country and our allies.
We know that since 2014, there have been 125 total ISIS-linked plots to attack the West, and in September of this year, Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) Director James Comey said that the Bureau has approximately 1,000 active homegrown terror investigations, of which 80 percent are related to ISIS.
Our U.S. law enforcement agencies and the law enforcement agencies of our allies are working diligently to identify and arrest individuals who are suspected or known to be conspiring to join ISIS, but it is clear that we have ground to make up following the failures of the Obama Administration’s foreign policy.
The House has put forth a plan as part of our Better Way Agenda that will strengthen our national defense, so we can defeat terrorists, protect our borders, and keep our families safe.
The federal government’s primary duty is to protect citizens from hostile foreign actions, and the first steps under a Better Way will be to secure our borders and keep terrorists out of the United States. This starts by closing security gaps in our transportation and immigration systems and making sure agencies that have information about terror threats are communicating with each other.
The Obama Administration has allowed radical Islamic terror groups to gain traction, but we can’t let the U.S. become the battleground for the war on terror. We must take the fight to the enemy. It is going to take decisive action and a strong international coalition to defeat Islamic terror, but we are committed to making sure our military has the resources it needs to take the fight to the enemy.
The world is safer when America is strong, so we must also lead by example in promoting the values of freedom, democracy, and free enterprise. We can’t do it alone, though. In some cases, we’ll have to rebuild the trust of allies, and we’ll take a strong stand to hold evil regimes accountable for violations of international sanctions and treaties.
We have a tall task before us, but Congress has already begun to do its part. We recently passed the National Defense Authorization Act for 2017, which increases base funding for defense operations by $9 billion over the Administration’s request to rebuild key parts of our military and make sure our troops have the tools they need to support and defend the United States.
Article 1, section 8 of the Constitution charges Congress with providing for the common defense and advancing America’s interest overseas. This is a serious responsibility, and I will do everything I can to support a national defense strategy that will keep you, your family, and our communities safe.Read More
Congressman Scott Tipton (CO-03) voted today in the U.S. House of Representatives to pass the final National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for 2017. After passing separate versions of the bill, the House and Senate negotiated the differences between the two bills in a conference committee. The final text of the 2017 NDAA was approved by the House-Senate conference committee on November 29, 2016 and passed the full House with a bipartisan vote of 375-34.
The 2017 NDAA authorizes funding for the U.S. military’s ongoing engagements in the Middle East, as well as for U.S. troops operating in Europe. The 2.1% pay increase for active duty service members included in the bill marks the largest pay increase for troops in three years. The bill increases base funding for the military by $9 billion over the amount requested by President Obama to stop troop drawdowns and replace outdated equipment. The 2017 NDAA also includes authorization for over $550 million to fund the ongoing destruction of chemical weapons in depots like the one in Pueblo, CO.
“Congress has a responsibility to ensure that our military has the resources it needs to protect the country from its enemies,” said Tipton. “We’ve heard numerous reports from military leaders that our military’s current operational readiness is below what it should be. Radical terrorist groups and state sponsors of terror, like Iran, pose very serious threats to our way of life. This year’s NDAA gives our troops the resources they need to fight terrorist threats effectively, and it also enforces existing sanctions on Iran.”
The 2017 NDAA supports the national security plan put forth by House Republicans as part of its Better Way Agenda. The Better Way Agenda prioritizes the defeat of radical Islamic extremism, protection of U.S. borders, and the prevention of cyber-attacks in the upcoming 115th Congress.
“The Constitution charges Congress with the responsibility to provide for the common defense, and if we ask our men and women in the armed forces to put themselves in harm’s way, we owe it to them and their families to ensure they have the pay, benefits, and equipment to carry out their duties effectively,” Tipton added. “We must rebuild and restore our nation’s military strength and the 2017 NDAA is an effective first step.”
Congressman Scott Tipton (CO-03) voted on Wednesday to advance the 21st Century Cures Act, which is legislation that addresses the nation’s opioid abuse epidemic, growing mental health crises, and accelerates the development of cures for 7,000 rare diseases that affect families in Colorado and across the nation.
The 21st Century Cures Act authorizes $1 billion in state grants to supplement opioid abuse prevention and treatment activities.
“Over the past year, I’ve visited many of the communities that have been devastated by the opioid abuse epidemic that is sweeping our state and nation, and my team and I have worked to develop federal policies that will better allow our local stakeholders to address the crisis” Tipton said. “The 21st Century Cures Act puts federal resources where we need them the most: in the hands of the local governments, law enforcement officers, and health care providers who are best equipped to fight the opioid abuse epidemic in their own communities.”
The bill also includes reforms to the mental health care system that are included in the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act (H.R. 2646), a bill that Tipton cosponsored earlier this year.
The legislative package authorizes mental health block grants for community programs that serve adults with serious mental illness – schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, etc. – and children with serious emotional disturbance. The bill also makes reforms to the Medicaid program that will allow patients in the program to receive both physical and mental health services on the same day. Additionally, the bill includes a Sense of Congress that there needs to be more clarity about existing health care privacy laws to reduce confusion that may prevent effective communication between caregivers of patients with serious mental illness.
“Mental illness has played a role in many of the tragedies that have impacted our communities, especially in rural areas, where our providers are struggling to maintain mental health services for the growing number of people who are in crisis. I’ve been proud to support these much-needed reforms to our mental health care system,” Tipton added.
The primary focus of the 21st Century Cures Act is on accelerating the development of cures for the over 7,000 rare diseases in existence, the majority of which have no form of treatment. The bill re-prioritizes federal medical research spending to ensure accountability and results, and it also makes important reforms to the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) approval process the get live-saving drugs and medical devices to patients faster.
“There are 10,000 known diseases in the world, and 7,000 of them are considered rare diseases. Of these 7,000 rare diseases, there are treatments options for only 500 of them. Innovation in medicine is moving quickly, but our federal laws aren’t keeping up. With 21st Century Cures, we will ensure that the U.S. remains the leader of medical innovation, and we will be in a better position to deliver cures to the millions of people in our country who suffer from rare diseases,” Tipton said.
The House expects the Senate to approve the current version of the 21st Century Cures Act soon. The bill will then move to the president’s desk to be signed into law.Read More
The U.S. House of Representatives advanced legislation this week aimed at strengthening health care and education benefits for veterans. The Veterans TRICARE Choice Act of 2016 (H.R. 5458) passed the House unanimously, and the Protecting Veterans’ Educational Choice Act of 2016 (H.R. 5047) passed with a bipartisan vote of 411-3.
Congressman Scott Tipton (CO-03) supported the passage of both bills.
“Our state is home to over 400,000 of our nation’s veterans. These men and women have put their lives on the line to protect our freedom, and it is our duty to ensure they are cared for when they return home,” Tipton said. “I am committed to making sure federal policies help us honor and serve the men and women who have so honorably served our country, and I’m glad that we have advanced policies that will help resolve some of the health care and education challenges that many of our veterans face.”
Under current law, if an individual is eligible for TRICARE, they are not eligible to make contributions or receive employer contributions to a tax-exempt Health Savings Account (HSA), and there is no mechanism in place for an individual to suspend their TRICARE eligibility. H.R. 5458 gives veterans the flexibility to suspend their TRICARE benefits if they determine an employer-offered high-deductible health plan with a HSA is a better solution for their health care needs. The veteran would retain the ability to resume their TRICARE coverage in the future.
“In order to ensure our veterans are receiving the best health care possible, we need to roll back the red tape that has kept military retirees from utilizing the health coverage that makes the most sense for them and their families,” Tipton said.
H.R. 5047 addresses challenges that many veterans have faced when trying to use their Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits. The bill requires the VA to provide all veterans with information about the educational services that are available to them, as well as inform veterans about the various credit transfer agreements between educational institutions.
“Many veterans receive very little guidance from the VA regarding their education benefits. We’re seeing veterans exhaust their benefits at institutions that don’t have credit transfer agreements in place or attend schools that lack accreditation altogether,” Tipton added. “We must support our nation’s heroes in their pursuit of higher education when they return home from their service, and it starts by making sure they have all of the information necessary to make an informed decision.”
H.R. 5458 and H.R. 5047 must now be considered by the Senate.
Congressman Scott Tipton (CO-03) issued the following statement after the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) released the Colorado Roadless Rule Supplemental Final Environmental Impact Statement (SFEIS) and reinstated the exception for approximately 19,700 acres in the North Fork Coal Mining Area:
“The Colorado Roadless Rule was the result of a statewide collaborative effort among diverse stakeholders that achieved an outcome that prioritized conservation and the responsible use of land. I am pleased that the Forest Service has issued its supplemental environmental analysis and determined that the North Fork Coal Mining Area exception should be reinstated. Serial litigation tactics implemented by extreme special interests have put the livelihoods of families in Delta and Gunnison counties at risk, and I am glad to see action from the Forest Service even if it is long overdue.”
In January 2016, Tipton and Colorado U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner led a letter to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack urging completion of the SFEIS that resulted from a June 2014 court ruling. In May 2016, Tipton called for a meeting with the USFS and Office of Management and Budget (OMB) after the USFS announced it would delay the release of the SFEIS until the fall. The USFS will hold a thirty-day internal review period, and the OMB will issue a sixty-day stay on the reinstatement before it is implemented.Read More
Congressman Tipton (CO-03) voted on Thursday to hold Iran accountable for its continued support of terrorist activity, voting for two measures that extend energy, banking, and defense sanctions on Iran until 2026 and prohibit the Administration from authorizing U.S. aircraft sales to the country.
The Iran Sanctions Act (H.R. 6297) passed the House with an overwhelming bipartisan vote of 419-1. Sanctions against Iran were set to expire at the end of 2016. H.R. 6297 extends the sanctions an additional 10 years.
“Iran remains the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism, and the government’s recent actions tell us that Iran will continue to support terrorist activity,” Tipton said. “I adamantly opposed the president’s nuclear deal with Iran, and I am glad that my colleagues agree that we need mechanisms to hold Iran accountable for its violations of the deal. I am hopeful that my colleagues in the Senate will recognize the importance of extending these sanctions and get the bill to the president’s desk.”
A measure prohibiting the Administration from approving the sale of U.S. aircraft to Iran (H.R. 5729) passed the House by a bipartisan vote of 243-174. Under the Iran nuclear deal, the Obama Administration agreed to allow exports of U.S. commercial planes to Iran, while all other existing trade restrictions with the country would remain in place. In September 2016, the U.S. Treasury Department authorized the sale of up to 97 Airbus and Boeing planes to Iran.
“In 2011, state-owned Iran Air was sanctioned by the U.S. Treasury Department for transporting fighters and weapons of war on behalf of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards. We have no reason to believe that U.S. planes will not be used to further support terrorism. Under no circumstances should the Administration authorize these sales,” Tipton added.
Both H.R. 6297 and H.R. 5729 must be approved by the Senate.Read More
Congressman Tipton (CO-03) voted on Thursday to protect Coloradans from the Obama Administration’s last minute regulatory overreach. The House passed the Midnight Rules Relief Act of 2016 (H.R. 5892), which will help prevent the Administration from implementing “midnight rules,” or rules that are proposed during the final year of an out-going president’s term. In 2015 alone, the Obama Administration issued over 80,000 pages of regulations.
“We have seen this Administration push its political agenda by whatever means possible. Over the last eight years, hundreds of thousands of pages of regulations have been proposed by Washington bureaucrats who are out of touch with our communities,” Tipton said. “Regulations like the Department of Labor’s overtime and fiduciary rules, and the Department of the Interior’s stream buffer rule are prime examples of this Administration’s pattern of disregarding the needs of our families and our communities.”
Under current law, the Congressional Review Act (CRA) allows Congress to review and void a regulation once it is finalized. H.R. 5892 would amend the CRA to give Congress the ability to review and void multiple regulations that are finalized in the final 60 Congressional working days of an out-going president’s term “en block,” or at the same time.
“The American people spoke on Nov. 8, and they are tired of the endless barrage of regulations we have seen out of this Administration,” Tipton added. “With the ability to review and void regulations en block, Congress will be able to quickly turn to implementing policies that create jobs, grow our economy, and keep our country secure in the 115th Congress.”
H.R. 5892 must be approved by the U.S. Senate and signed by the president to have the force of law.Read More
Congressman Scott Tipton (CO-03) is encouraging communities across the Third Congressional District of Colorado to participate in Small Business Saturday, which falls on Nov. 26 this year. As a former small business owner and Co-Chairman of the Congressional Small Business Caucus, Tipton has worked to highlight the positive impacts that small businesses have on communities in Colorado and across the nation. Small Business Saturday is an opportunity for members of the community to show support for local businesses.
“Small businesses are truly the backbone of our economy. They are the driving force behind healthy, vibrant, and thriving communities, and they create the vast majority of the jobs that provide millions of families the opportunity to experience the American Dream,” Tipton said. “Shopping small gives you the chance to find unique items, and it also allows you to show support for your neighbors and other community members. It is vitally important that Congress continues to advance policies that empower entrepreneurs and Main Street job creators. I remain committed to reducing overly burdensome federal regulations and ensuring our tax code sets small businesses up for success.”
Tipton is a cosponsor of the Congressional resolution (H.Res. 886) recognizing Saturday, Nov. 26, 2016, as Small Business Saturday.
For more information on Small Business Saturday, including a list of participating local small businesses and free marketing materials, visit: https://www.sba.gov/about-sba/sba-initiatives/small-business-saturday.Read More
The U.S. House of Representatives has acted to ensure emergency medical service (EMS) personnel can continue to administer life-saving controlled substances, including anti-seizure medications, when necessary. The House approved the Protecting Patient Access to Emergency Mediations Act of 2016 (H.R. 4365) unanimously on November 14, 2016.
Congressman Scott Tipton, a cosponsor of the bill, said, “Too often, our federal laws and regulations do not keep pace with innovation. I’m pleased that the House has acted to clarify existing controlled substances laws to make sure that our EMS personnel can provide the best possible care for Coloradans in emergency situations.”
H.R. 4365 amends the Controlled Substances Act to affirm that “standing orders” given by a medical doctor for the delivery of controlled substances are protected under federal law. The bill also holds the EMS Agency accountable for the storing and tracking of controlled substances, which is similar to the current procedure at hospitals.
H.R. 4365 must now be considered in the U.S. Senate.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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Saddened to hear of the passing of Rashaan Salaam. Keeping the Buffs family in my thoughts. https://t.co/Y0eB1MoUmp
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H.R. 4680, The NPS Centennial Act, passes the House! https://t.co/q6tYTvP4AE
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I'm always inspired and humbled by the generosity I see from Coloradans. How are you participating in #ColoradoGivesDay? Let me know in the comments!
Last night we sent the president a bill that will help prevent catastrophic Federal Prescribed Burns. Read more about it in my press release:
Calling all computer science teachers! Have you ever held an #HourofCode at your school? If you're interested in learning more about the program,
As we continue to #PrayforSnow, Steamboat Resort has received 22 inches of snow in the last seven days (more expected in the forecast) and is
As we look forward to a new year and a new Congress, the topic of national security is a primary focus among our country’s leaders. The House