Scott Tipton

Scott Tipton

COLORADO's 3rd DISTRICT

Pueblo Town Hall Meeting with Congressman Tipton

2015/03/27

Constituents are invited to join Congressman Scott Tipton (CO-03) for a town hall meeting. At the meeting, Congressman Tipton will answer questions and provide an update on legislation and key issues. The town hall will last approximately one hour.

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Tipton: Medicare SGR Reform is First Step to Providing Certainty for Seniors

2015/03/26

Bill includes two-year SRS extension

WASHINGTON—Congressman Scott Tipton (R-CO) issued this statement following passage in the U.S. House of Representatives of H.R. 2:

“By repealing the Sustainable Growth Rate, Congress took the first steps to reform and strengthen Medicare, and give seniors needed certainty that they won’t lose their healthcare providers due to looming severe cuts to Medicare reimbursement rates year to year. The bill does not create any new federal spending or raise taxes, and according to CBO estimates could result in a cost savings of nearly $1 billion over the next ten years. This is a first step, but there is still much work that needs to be done to put Medicare on a sustainable course so that it remains viable for future generations of seniors, and I look forward to working with my colleagues to that end.

“Additionally, today’s legislation included a two-year funding extension for Secure Rural Schools, making good on assurances from leadership that this vital program would be extended during the first part of this Congress. Rural counties throughout the 3rd District and Western U.S. use SRS payments to fund education, public safety and infrastructure repairs. For these communities, SRS makes all the difference in their ability to provide essential services, and already this year I have heard numerous reports from counties facing tough decisions including laying off teachers and delaying infrastructure repairs because SRS had not been renewed. The two-year extension of SRS will provide time for us to work toward reducing the need for this program by passing solutions, including my Healthy Forest Management and Wildfire Prevention Act, to increase responsible timber harvesting in order to protect forests and communities from catastrophic wildfire.”

Highlights of H.R. 2 courtesy of the Speaker’s Office:

  • Strengthens Medicare and provides stability for seniors and their doctors.  The legislation moves beyond the sustainable growth rate (SGR) to a better system that ensures seniors have access to their doctors and the high-quality care they deserve.
  • Establishes the first real, structural entitlement reform in nearly two decades – offsetting all new spending without tax increases.  These reforms – increased means-testing and prohibition of Medigap “first-dollar coverage” – have long been part of Republican budgets. For the first time, however, Democrats agreed to these reforms without demanding tax hikes – a breakthrough and a win for conservatives.
  • Saves taxpayers money compared to the path we’ve been on – freezing physician payments every year and 17 times total.  From CBO: “CBO estimates that enacting the legislation would cost $0.9 billion less over the 2015–2025 period than freezing payment rates for physicians’ services.”
  • Reduces the deficit over the long term.  Looking ahead – 20, 30, and 40 years down the road – these reforms will produce hundreds of billions in durable savings for taxpayers, while the status quo only provides the illusion of savings.  As an example, former CBO Director Douglas Holtz-Eakin writes that these reforms “will continue to reap benefits in the years beyond the budget window,” estimating $230 billion in savings in the second decade alone.
  • Drives more competition into Medicare, bending the cost curve and putting these programs on a more sound financial footing.  While additional reforms are necessary, these policies are an essential first-step toward larger reforms.
  • After 17 short-term patches since 2003, H.R. 2 ends the cycle of cliffs and “must-pass” ‘doc fix’ bills that have often served as vehicles for more spending and new programs. 
  • Strengthens Medicare’s ability to fight fraud, waste, and abuse by, among other things, removing Social Security numbers from beneficiaries’ Medicare cards, preventing Medicare payments for deceased and ineligible individuals, and removing burdensome reporting policies for employers.
  • Extends the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and traditional Medicare extenders for two years, giving House committees time to lay the groundwork for better reforms under a new president, and keeping more than three million Americans from becoming uninsured or enrolled in Obamacare exchanges.

Additional information on H.R. 2 is available HERE.

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Tipton Statement on Passage of the House Budget for FY 2016

2015/03/25

WASHINGTON—Congressman Scott Tipton (R-CO) issued this statement following passage of a budget for Fiscal Year (FY) 2016 by the U.S. House of Representatives:

“Today we passed a budget that empowers Main Street instead of the Beltway. It requires Washington to live within its means, as countless American families and businesses do each and every day. It respects the American worker and strengthens the middle class by embracing bottom-up growth policies to invest in American ingenuity, independence and hard work, instead of bureaucracy.

“The House budget is a stark contrast to the President’s, which called for more of the same tax increases and debt-fueled Washington growth that has resulted in the lowest labor participation rate in decades, and created an economic climate in which more businesses are closing than starting up for the first time in American history.

“The President’s status quo approach hasn’t worked and it’s time for new ideas. The House budget doesn’t treat taxpayers as cash cows, or future generations as credit cards, but seeks to address the nation’s fiscal crisis by reining in big government spending and achieving balance within 10 years. Under the House budget, seniors and those nearing retirement will have the opportunity to access the benefits they paid into for so many years. The President’s raid on Medicare is stopped and the program is strengthened, and his plan to raid the Social Security Trust Fund is prevented. With the repeal of Obamacare, a path is cleared for healthcare reform solutions to move forward to allow Americans the freedom to choose affordable, patient-centered healthcare plans that meet their needs, without a federal mandate forcing them to opt-in to government healthcare. Repeal of Obamacare is not enough however. Congress must take the next step and pass healthcare reform, and I will continue to work with my colleagues to put forward a solution that achieves accessible and affordable healthcare for all Americans—a goal we can all agree on.

“At the foundation of this budget is the belief that the path forward to grow the economy, create jobs, and increase wages is not found through more federal spending, taxes on job creators or government mandates and programs, but through investing in Main Street, encouraging innovation, entrepreneurship and education, and giving every opportunity for this generation of Americans, and the next, to prosper.”

Charts on the national debt and budget trends are available HERE.

Highlights of the House Budget (H. Con. Res. 27) courtesy of the House Committee on the Budget:

  • Balances the budget in less than 10 years without raising taxes, in contrast to the President whose budget never balances
  • Cuts $5.5 trillion in spending – higher than any previous House Budget Committee proposal
  • Calls for a fairer, simpler tax code to promote job creation and a healthy economy
  • Places the country on a path to paying off the debt by growing the economy and making government more efficient, effective and accountable
  • Calls on Congress to pass a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution
  • Boosts defense spending above the president’s levels while putting in place a plan to responsibly address the current spending caps and the threat of sequester
  • Repeals Obamacare in full – including all of its taxes, regulations and mandates
  • The budget eliminates “double dipping” of Disability Insurance and Unemployment Insurance and establishes a plan to strengthen the regular Social Security Trust Fund
  • The budget saves and strengthens Medicare, ending the $700 billion Obamacare raid on Medicare

Additional information on H. Con. Res. 27 is available HERE.

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Tipton Pushes to Fully Fund PILT

2015/03/25

WASHINGTON—Congressman Scott Tipton (R-CO) joined with a bipartisan group of his House colleagues to urge House leadership to prioritize funding for the Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) program for Fiscal Year (FY) 2016, and to work toward a long-term, sustainable solution for the vital program on which rural counties rely to provide essential services. Tipton also sent a letter to House appropriators this week requesting full funding for PILT in FY 2016 Interior, Environment and Related Agencies Appropriations.

PILT reimburses local governments for losses in tax revenues due to the presence of large expanses of un-taxable federal lands, ensuring vital funding for infrastructure, law enforcement, education and other essential operations. Colorado received nearly $34 million in PILT payments in 2014. See a county breakdown of PILT payments HERE.

The text of the letter from Tipton and his colleagues to Speaker of the House John Boehner and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi follows:

Dear Speaker Boehner and Minority Leader Pelosi:

As the 114th Congress begins its work to enact the fiscal priorities of the United States, we urge you to work in a bi-partisan, bi-cameral fashion to secure full funding for the Payments in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) program for fiscal year (FY) 2016 and beyond.  Without the certainty of full funding for the PILT program, counties throughout our districts and across the nation will be unable to provide our constituents with essential services such as education, law enforcement, search and rescue, road maintenance and public health.

While it must be Congress’ ultimate goal to enact a long-term, sustainable solution to eliminate the ongoing uncertainty counties face, full-funding in FY16 for the PILT program is essential to provide our counties with the certainty they need to plan their own 2016 budgets.

PILT provides payments to local governments in 49 states and nearly 1,900 counties to offset foregone revenue due to tax-exempt federal lands within their jurisdictions.  Current discretionary appropriations for PILT are set to expire on September 30, 2015. Without congressional action, we risk severely crippling counties’ ability to operate and provide essential services to our constituents.

Full funding of the PILT program will enable the federal government to meet its long-standing obligations to counties with federal land within their jurisdictions. It is imperative that we fulfill this obligation. We thank you for your consideration of this request and stand ready to work with you going forward.

Sincerely,

See a pdf of the letter HERE.

In the letter to members of the House Committee on Appropriations, Tipton and Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) wrote:

As you know, sales taxes and local property taxes typically fund local governments and provide important revenues for essential services, including law enforcement, infrastructure and education. Counties are often required to provide these services on tax-exempt federal lands. The federal government owns significant portions of land in counties throughout the country. PILT funding helps offset the losses of these critical revenues and allows for the continuation of essential services.

In Fiscal Year 2014, the national average for PILT payments was 72 cents per acre. This figure pales in comparison to the amount of revenues that would be generated for states and local governments if economic development and value-based taxation were allowed to occur on these lands.

The federal government has an obligation to reimburse local governments for large quantities of federal lands found within their jurisdiction. Failure to provide PILT payments in FY2016 and beyond places an unsustainable burden on local taxpayers as well as local governments. We ask that you recognize the importance of the PILT program and include funding in the Fiscal Year 2016 Interior, Environment and Related Agencies Appropriations bill.

See a pdf of the full letter HERE

Since being elected to Congress, Tipton has fought to ensure programs vital for infrastructure, emergency services, law enforcement and education in rural counties with large expanses of un-taxable federal lands, remain intact. He has also worked to reduce the need for programs like PILT through legislation that would allow Western states to responsibly develop energy resources, manage their forests and create jobs.

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3rd District Congressional Art Competition Deadline Fast Approaching

2015/03/25

Now accepting submissions from high school students through April 15

WASHINGTON—The deadline is approaching for students to complete their submissions for the 3rd District Congressional Art Competition. Students in grades 9 through 12 that attend school (or homeschool) in the 3rd District are eligible to participate. Participants should complete their entries and deliver or mail them to Congressman Scott Tipton’s local office by April 15 (extended from previously announced April 1 deadline).

Students can mail their submissions to the Office of Congressman Scott Tipton, 503 N. Main Street, Pueblo, CO 81003. Submissions can also be delivered in person to the nearest local 3rd Congressional District office location. Office locations can be found HERE.

Guidelines for the 2015 competition:

The artwork must be no larger than 28 inches high, 28 inches wide and 4 inches deep including the outside dimensions of the frame.

Artwork that will be accepted: 

Drawings: colored pencil, pencil, ink, marker, pastels, charcoal (It is recommended that Charcoal and pastel drawings be fixed.)

Collage: must be two dimensional

Prints: lithographs, silkscreen, block prints

Mixed Media: use of more than two mediums such as pencil, ink, watercolor, etc.

Photography

For additional information on submitting artwork to the competition and for forms required with the submissions, please visit: http://tipton.house.gov/serving-you/art-competition

All submitted artwork will be put on display in Pueblo, CO from April 20th – May 5th. A reception will be held on May 5th at 6 pm. in Pueblo in the Thatcher Building lobby, 503 N. Main Street. All entrants will receive a certificate of participation signed by Congressman Scott Tipton. First, second and third places will receive awards, and there will be honorable mentions for other submissions.

The first place winner of the competition will also be awarded a $3,000 college scholarship; should they be accepted and show documentation of this achievement. The first place winner and 1 family member will also receive 2 roundtrip airline tickets to Washington, D.C. to attend the National Exhibit and Reception. The first place artwork will be sent to Washington, D.C. to be exhibited in the U.S. Capitol along with other award-winning art works from across the nation for a period of one year.

For additional questions regarding submissions, please contact Brenda Felmlee, 3rd Congressional District Art Competition liaison, at 719-587-5105, or email: Brenda.Felmlee@mail.house.gov.

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VA Agrees to Expand Veterans Choice Program Following Pressure from Tipton

2015/03/24

WASHINGTON– Congressman Scott Tipton (R-CO) welcomed today’s announcement that veterans living farther than a 40 mile drive from a Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) healthcare facility will now be able to receive and use Veterans Choice Cards to access non-VA healthcare providers closer to home.

When the House passed the Veterans Access, Choice and Accountability Act (H.R. 3230) last year, the legislation established the 40 mile distance cutoff. When the VA began implementing the law ‘as the crow flies’, it excluded many veterans in rural areas that were over the 40 mile range in actual driving distance.

Upon first hearing concerns from veterans in the 3rd District who were facing drives to VA facilities over 40 miles away, but still weren’t eligible for Choice Cards, Tipton’s office immediately reached out to the VA to urge corrective action. Tipton also cosponsored legislation in the House, the Veterans Access to Community Care Act of 2015, which sought to clarify the 40 mile distance from a VA facility be based on driving distance.

“This is welcome news for veterans living in rural communities throughout Colorado and the nation, and finally meets the intent of the original reforms passed by Congress last year. The whole problem could have been avoided by using commonsense,” said Tipton. “Veterans deserve to have access to high quality healthcare in their communities, and while it’s frustrating that it has taken the VA this long to take corrective action on this issue, we are happy they have finally made it happen. We will continue to monitor the VA and keep an open line of communication with veterans in the 3rd District to make sure they are getting the care and responsiveness from the VA that they deserve.”

Since being elected to Congress, Tipton has fought to expand access to care for rural veterans, cosponsoring legislation in the 112th and 113th Congresses to enable local hospitals and physicians to contract with the VA to provide local health care for veterans (The Healthy Vets Act).

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Tipton Introduces Bill to Ease Regulatory Burden on Community Banks

2015/03/24

WASHINGTON—Today, Congressman Scott Tipton (R-CO) introduced legislation to reduce red tape compliance burdens on well-managed community banks so they can better focus their resources on providing vital economic services that help their communities grow and prosper.

The Small Bank Exam Cycle Reform Act (H.R. 1553) would allow well-managed banks with under $1 billion in total assets to be eligible for an 18-month bank examination cycle by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC). Currently, only banks with assets below $500 million are eligible for the 18-month cycle, while other small banks are required to undergo an exam every year.

The full bill is available HERE.

“The most widespread concern that I’ve heard from small banks I’ve met with throughout Colorado, is that increased regulatory compliance burdens have taken vital resources away from running their business operations and providing services to consumers. This legislation takes a commonsense step to reduce that heavy regulatory burden by allowing additional well-managed community banks—including banks in Colorado’s 3rd District—to take advantage of a longer bank examination cycle. Under my bill, as many as 676 more banks around the nation would be eligible for an 18-month exam cycle, instead of the current 12-month cycle, allowing these well-run institutions to spend more time focusing on their respective communities,” said Tipton. “Furthermore, this is a good government bill that would create greater efficiency in the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency’s use of time and resources.”

In a House Committee on Financial Services hearing last week, Tipton heard testimony on the impact that an uncoordinated, burdensome and complex regulatory system is having on community banks and credit unions. Witnesses from the American Bankers Association and the Independent Community Bankers of America told Tipton that an adjustment to make more well-managed community banks eligible for a longer exam cycle would help ease the regulatory burden and be beneficial for the banks and consumers.

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Congressman Scott Tipton’s Events for Week of March 23, 2015

2015/03/23

Congressman Scott Tipton (CO-03) will be in Washington, D.C. this week and will participate in several House Financial Services Committee hearings, as well as cast votes to assist Americans in purchasing and holding on to their homes, to reform the Department of Veterans’ Affairs Budget process, and consider the House FY2016 budget resolution, among other items.  The details of the hearings and the House schedule follow:

House Schedule for the week can be found here:

 http://www.majorityleader.gov/floor/#weekly

What: Tuesday House Financial Services Hearing titled, “Examining the SEC’s Agenda, Operations, and FY2016 Budget Request.”

Date: Tuesday March 24, 2015

Time:  10:00am ET

Where: Capitol Visitor’s Center HVC-210

Financial Services Committee Notice: http://financialservices.house.gov/calendar/eventsingle.aspx?EventID=398795

What: Tuesday House Financial Services Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations hearing titled, “The Federal Deposit Corporation’s Role in Operation Choke Point.”

Date: Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Time: 2:00pm ET

Where: Capitol Visitor’s Center HVC-210

Financial Services Committee Notice: http://financialservices.house.gov/calendar/eventsingle.aspx?EventID=398796

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Tipton leads conduit push

2015/03/21

More funding for the Arkansas Valley Conduit is being sought by Rep. Scott Tipton, R-Colo., and his Colorado colleagues, the Southeastern Colorado Water Conservancy District learned Thursday. Read More

Tipton Leads Letter Requesting Resources to Complete the Arkansas Valley Conduit

2015/03/19

Tipton Leads Letter Requesting Resources to Complete the Arkansas Valley Conduit

WASHINGTON— Today, Congressman Scott Tipton (R-CO) led a bipartisan letter to the Chairman and Ranking Member of the House Energy and Water Development Appropriations Subcommittee requesting sufficient funding in the FY 2016 Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies Appropriations bill to the Water and Related Resources account to ensure the United States Bureau of Reclamation (USBR) satisfies its commitments to continue funding for authorized projects which have fully completed environmental compliance. The Arkansas Valley Conduit meets those criteria.

The request would not require any new federal spending, but would prioritize already appropriated funds within the USBR budget. In addition to Tipton, the letter was signed by Reps. Mike Coffman, Doug Lamborn, Ed Perlmutter and Jared Polis.

The text of the letter from Tipton and his colleagues to Chairman Mike Simpson and Ranking Member Marcy Kaptur follows:

Dear Chairman Simpson and Ranking Member Kaptur,

Thank you for your efforts to appropriately balance limited resources in this difficult fiscal climate in order to maintain our obligation to responsibly manage our nation’s water supply.  We are writing to express support for increased funding over FY 2015 levels in the FY 2016 Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies Appropriations bill to the Water and Related Resources account to ensure the United States Bureau of Reclamation (USBR) satisfies its commitments to continue funding for authorized projects which have fully completed environmental compliance.

The work of the USBR in the West has greatly influenced the economy and livelihoods of those who reside in this semi-arid region.  Through its development of storage and delivery systems, the USBR has brought water to communities large and small for a multitude of agricultural, industrial and municipal purposes.

While the agency has not experienced drastic reductions in its budget as some have in recent years of severe fiscal constraint, its budgetary resources are nonetheless stretched thin, particularly for discretionary expenditures on infrastructure projects that are not mandated, like tribal water rights settlements.  Consequently, authorized projects receive funding at well under their spending capability, which only results in higher costs of completion. 

Completing authorized water diversion and storage projects will deliver clean drinking water to families, producers and municipalities throughout the West.  These projects are vital to the daily lives of those who depend on and deserve a sufficient supply of water to support abundant food production, vital industries and safe drinking water for western households.  The projects are even more important in regions which are experiencing multi-year drought conditions and to economically-distressed rural communities which depend on farming, ranching and small industries to maintain their culture and quality of life.

For these reasons, we strongly encourage the Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies Subcommittee to direct an increase in funding to the USBR and its Water and Related Resources account.  

We understand the difficulty you face in appropriating adequate resources for the programs under your discretion and thank you for your consideration of this request and your leadership on these important issues.

Sincerely,  

See a pdf of the letter HERE.

The Arkansas Valley Conduit is the final component of the Fryingpan-Arkansas Project, a water diversion and storage project in the lower Arkansas Valley. Once constructed, the Conduit will deliver clean drinking water to families, producers and municipalities throughout Southeastern Colorado. Members of the Colorado delegation have fought annually for the necessary resources to move the project forward.

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Contact Information

218 Cannon HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Phone 202-225-4761
Fax 202-226-9669
tipton.house.gov

Committee Assignments

Financial Services

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

Ken Buck

COLORADO's 4th DISTRICT

Doug Lamborn

COLORADO's 5th DISTRICT

Mike Coffman

COLORADO's 6th DISTRICT

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