WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Scott Tipton (CO-03) voted in support of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2019 (H.R. 5515), which will provide funding to rebuild the military, authorize a pay raise for troops, and make investments in missile defense. The NDAA passed the House with a bipartisan vote of 351-66 and will now be sent to the Senate for consideration.
“The number one role of the federal government has always been to provide for the common defense, and with the current threats posed by hostile regimes like Iran and North Korea, this role is more important than ever,” said Tipton. “This year’s NDAA will make critical investments to rebuild the military, so that American troops are adequately equipped and prepared to respond to these threats.”
The NDAA authorizes a $717 billion investment in national defense, with significant funding for rebuilding the military and readiness recovery. H.R. 5515 will increase the size of all branches of the Armed Forces, replace worn-out equipment, restore America’s strength at sea and in the air, improve military buildings and infrastructure, and invest in missile defense. Additionally, it authorizes a 2.6 percent pay raise for the troops, the largest raise in 9 years.
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For the past decade, the national debt has been increasing at an alarming rate, while billions of dollars sit in unused accounts across the federal government, in many cases no longer legally eligible to be used.
President Donald Trump recently requested that Congress rescind more than $15 billion in previously appropriated, but unobligated, funding that is just sitting in these unused accounts. This request is not an unprecedented one. Since 1974, both Republican and Democratic presidents have proposed rescissions to federal spending.
The president sent Congress a proposed rescissions package on Tuesday, May 8, and almost immediately, there was misinformation and confusion surrounding the package and the impact it would have on the Children's Health Insurance Program, otherwise known as CHIP. I want to set the record straight on this matter and bring peace of mind to Coloradans who might be worried about the future of this program. The rescissions package will in no way impact the delivery of CHIP.
CHIP is a critical program that helps families who make too much to qualify for Medicaid but not enough to be able to afford private health insurance. It is the reason that 75,000 children across Colorado and 9 million children across the nation receive critical health care services, such as doctor's appointments, prescriptions and immunizations. I have always recognized this program's importance and supported its funding.
Unfortunately, funding for CHIP came dangerously close to running out last year, when a majority of Senate Democrats decided to use children's health care as a political football, voting to block both short- and long-term extensions of CHIP funding because they had made unrelated demands that were not met in each bill. The situation was so dire that letters were sent out to Coloradan families who rely on CHIP for their children's health care, urging them to look for other coverage options.
Despite this opposition and with significant pressure, we eventually were able to pass a six-year extension of CHIP through the Senate, which was subsequently signed into law. This was the longest and most generous extension in CHIP's 20-year history, with the program authorized at $21.5 billion for fiscal year 2018 and gradual increases made in 2022 and 2023. A month after this initial extension, my colleagues and I passed the Bipartisan Budget Act, which extended CHIP for an additional four years.
Trump's rescission proposal has two provisions that are related to CHIP, but neither will impact the delivery of the program. One provision will simply rescind funds that can't be spent because the authority to do so expired last year. The other provision will rescind $1.9 billion from the CHIP Contingency Fund, which provides payments to states that have higher than expected CHIP enrollment.
Currently, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services do not foresee that any state will require a Contingency Fund payment this year. Additionally, the rescissions proposal would not rescind all funding for the Contingency Fund, meaning that if a state needed to qualify for a payment in the future, its needs would still be met.
I am proud of my record of unwavering support for the Children's Health Insurance Program, which has been demonstrated through letters to House leadership and votes on the House floor. I will continue to support CHIP because all of America's children deserve access to quality health care. This rescissions package does not contradict that support and, if passed, would not impact the delivery of CHIP.Read More
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Scott Tipton (CO-03) issued the following statement after the House passed the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protections Act (S. 2155), which included his Making Online Banking Initiation Legal and Easy Act, otherwise known as the MOBILE Act (H.R. 1457).
“The passage of this historic, pro-growth package will provide regulatory relief for community banks, so America’s families and small businesses on Main Street once again have the resources they need to prosper. One provision of S. 2155 that I authored, the MOBILE Act, embodies exactly the kind of commonsense help for families that today’s vote will provide,” said Tipton. “The MOBILE Act will allow consumers across the country to open bank accounts on their mobile devices using a driver’s license or personal ID, meaning access to financial services will start in your pocket and be more convenient than ever.
“Approximately three-quarters of the 20 percent of the U.S. population that’s underbanked has access to a smartphone,” Tipton followed. “This provision will help these Americans get access to the critical banking services that can help set them on the path to financial success.”
H.R. 1457 will create a uniform regulatory standard, allowing consumers to authorize their bank to use their personal information on their driver’s license or state-issued identification card in order to open a bank account on a mobile device.
Watch Congressman Tipton speak in support of S. 2155 and his MOBILE Act here.
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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Scott Tipton (CO-03) reintroduced the Education and Energy Act (H.R. 5859), a bill that will help states support K-12 and public higher education through the responsible development of energy resources.
H.R. 5859, which Tipton last introduced in the 113th Congress, would dedicate more of the federal share of mineral and geothermal lease royalties back to the state in which they were generated to support public education. The bill would apply to new leases and only to revenues that exceed the Congressional Budget Office’s estimated revenue for the leases in the prior fiscal year.
“The teachers’ strikes in Colorado and across the country over recent weeks have reignited the conversation around teacher pay and education resources,” said Tipton. “By directing a greater portion of energy revenues to fund education, we can help bridge some of these gaps and make critical investments in the future of our children.”
Under H.R. 5859, 33 percent of the federal portion of mineral and geothermal revenues would be sent back to the state in which the revenue was generated. Seventeen percent of all federal revenues from new mineral and geothermal leases would be split between all 50 states.
“The Education and Energy Act is a win-win for Colorado,” Tipton added. “We can responsibly develop energy to open the door for more job creation and lower energy costs, and at the same time ensure a sustainable funding stream for public education in our state.”
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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congressman Scott Tipton’s (CO-03) Every Kid Outdoors Act (H.R. 3186), passed out of the House Natural Resources Committee as a stand-alone measure. This legislation would provide America’s fourth graders and supervising adults free entrance to all federally managed land, water, and historic sites, including the more than 2,000 national parks.
“It is critical that America’s children have the opportunity to explore the National Parks System so that they can learn about American history and conservation in a way that is not possible within the four walls of a classroom,” said Tipton. “Too often, however, economic barriers prevent children and their families from visiting National Parks and Monuments. The Every Kid Outdoors Act would help solve this disparity, by allowing fourth graders of all backgrounds to get outside and learn from these incredible sites for free.”
This legislation recently passed out of the Natural Resources Committee as a part of the Recreation Not Red-Tape Act (H.R. 3400), a bill that would streamline regulations to facilitate more public access to outdoor recreation opportunities on public lands.
Congressman Tipton introduced the Every Kid Outdoors Act along with Congresswoman Niki Tsongas (MA-03).
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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Scott Tipton (CO-03) introduced House Resolution 894, calling for the return of the USS Pueblo to the U.S. Navy. Tipton has advocated for the USS Pueblo’s return since coming to Congress and recently sent a letter to President Trump requesting that he ask for the ship’s release during an upcoming summit with North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un.
“It has been 50 years since the USS Pueblo was unlawfully seized by the North Korean government from international waters, and we will never forget the horrors that its crew endured at the hands of their captors. This remains an important issue for many Pueblo residents and Coloradans including surviving veterans,” said Tipton. “The USS Pueblo continues to be unlawfully held captive and used as a tool for North Korean propaganda. The return of the USS Pueblo is an important topic that should be included during conversations and negotiations with the North Korean government.”
The USS Pueblo is a naval intelligence ship that was captured by the North Korean government in 1968 while it was peacefully sailing in international waters. The capture of the USS Pueblo resulted in the fatality of one of its crew members, Petty Officer Duane Hodges. The remaining crew members were held in captivity for 11 months, experiencing miserable conditions and torture at the hands of their North Korean captors.
For fifty years, the USS Pueblo has been used for North Korean propaganda. It remains the only commissioned vessel by the U.S. Navy to be held in captivity.
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Did you know that there are 611,495 small businesses in Colorado that account for 99.5 percent of the state's businesses?
Or that 48.6 percent of employed Coloradans work at small businesses?
National Small Business Week (April 29-May 5) recognizes the significant impact of small businesses at the state and national level. As a former small-business owner, I can testify to the importance of providing local opportunities and jobs, as well as to the many roadblocks that entrepreneurs and small businesses regularly face from overzealous federal regulators and Washington bureaucrats.
My experience as a small-business owner is a big part of what inspired me to first run for Congress, since much of what is done in our nation's capital directly impacts the ability of small businesses to operate and engage in commerce and for communities to prosper.
Upon my arrival to Congress in 2011, it was apparent that many improvements needed to be made, such as reforming our national tax code and reducing burdensome federal regulations, so that small businesses — the main driver of the American economy — can thrive. Fortunately, over the course of this past year, Congress has achieved many of these objectives.
Now that the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is officially law, we have a tax code that works for small businesses and American families.
Thanks to this tax overhaul, a 20 percent deduction has been established for the first $315,000 of joint income earned by businesses that are classified as S corporations, partnerships, LLCs and sole proprietorships (the majority of small businesses). This deduction will allow small businesses to use tax savings to increase investment, hire more workers and give its hard-working employees the raises that they deserve.
One little-known benefit of the new tax code is the establishment of the opportunity zone program, which will offer tax incentives to investors who invest in low-income or rural areas that are still struggling to recover from the recession. This incentive for private investment will encourage entrepreneurs to start small businesses in these designated zones, which, in turn, will bring more jobs and commerce to areas that need them most.
The implementation of this program is welcome news for the 3rd District, as opportunity zones will be located in various counties in Western Colorado such as Rio Blanco and Alamosa.
In addition to rewriting the tax code, we have gone to great lengths to reduce duplicative or unnecessary federal regulations that stifle small-business growth, and as a member of the Financial Services Committee, this has been a mission to which I have dedicated much of my time.
A huge roadblock to many entrepreneurs who hope to start and run a small business is often access to capital. This became a major problem under the implementation of the Dodd-Frank Act, which mandated that banks and credit unions be regulated under a one-size-fits-all approach, regardless of size.
Since smaller financial institutions do not have the same amount of staff and resources as larger institutions, they have been forced to spend more time on compliance rather than serving its communities and, more specifically, lending capital to entrepreneurs so that they can start and operate a business.
In response to this issue, I introduced the Taking Account of Institutions with Low Operation Risk Act, which will require financial oversight agencies to tailor regulations to fit a bank or credit union's business model, so that they can better serve small businesses on Main Street. This legislation was recently passed off of the House floor, and I am optimistic that it will be signed into law soon.
Small businesses are the backbone of the American economy and must be allowed to succeed. I have been proud of the progress made over the course of this last year, but I recognize there is still a lot of work to be done. I will continue to advocate for policies that will open the door to success for small businesses in Colorado and nationwide.Read More
The House of Representatives will soon consider a new Farm Bill. Unfortunately, there is a significant amount of misinformation being spread about some of its commonsense reforms that will prevent abuse of critical nutrition programs and ensure resources are reaching those who truly need them. It's important to clear some of those up.
In addition to providing certainty for American farmers by protecting important programs like crop insurance, this legislation includes policies that will improve the status quo and help millions of Americans escape poverty.
A large part of the Farm Bill consists of reforms to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), which offers nutrition assistance to low-income individuals and families across the nation. This program is important, but in recent years, it has become apparent that it is also broken.
When an individual or family first applies for SNAP, their household assets and income are evaluated to determine eligibility. The income threshold is set at 130 percent of the federal poverty level, so it has adjusted over time. However, the asset threshold was set in the 1970s. The Farm Bill would modernize the asset threshold for the 21st century.
Under current law, a typical household must hold less than $2,250 in assets to be eligible for SNAP. The Farm Bill increases the threshold for assets to $7,000 for a typical household. The bill would also exempt the first $12,000 in value of each vehicle per licensed driver in the household from counting towards the SNAP asset threshold, so families are not penalized for having reliable transportation to and from work, school, and their various activities.
In addition, the Farm Bill creates a new exemption for household savings accounts, encouraging families to put money away for emergencies and unplanned expenses. Current law punishes SNAP-eligible families from saving money, so the Farm Bill includes a provision that would allow households to save up to $2,000 before their SNAP benefits are impacted.
Another element of SNAP in desperate need of reform is the current work requirement. The current SNAP work requirements are vague and have not been enforced due to the availability of state waivers. In fact, meeting the "work requirement" can be as simple as checking a box when filling out an application, stating that you will apply for work. Statistics show that only 30 percent of the people who are required to work under SNAP actually do so.
The Farm Bill would strengthen the program by instituting a 20-hours-per-week work requirement for able-bodied individuals ages 18-59. Exceptions would be made for the elderly, individuals with disabilities, women who are pregnant, and for individuals who are the primary caregiver of a child 6 years old or younger.
In order to fulfill this 20-hours-per-week work requirement, the SNAP recipient must either have a job or enroll in the state's Employment and Training Services (E&T) program. The Farm Bill makes historic investments in the E&T program, and anyone who wishes to participate will be guaranteed a spot. States will have two years and robust federal funding to ensure their state-run E&T programs have the capacity to fulfill this promise.
I have heard from some constituents who are worried that they will no longer be eligible for SNAP under the Farm Bill. I am disappointed when I receive these calls, because it is clear these families are being given false information. The Farm Bill, which must be re-negotiated every five years, is typically very bipartisan. Unfortunately, this year, there are some in Congress who are using it as a political football and spreading misinformation and fear among some of the most vulnerable Americans.
The bottom line is that if you are currently getting SNAP and meet the income and asset thresholds, you will continue to get SNAP. Nobody wants to take away needed benefits from individuals who have fallen on hard times. The Farm Bill maintains benefits and also gives low-income individuals the opportunity to train and work towards a more prosperous future.
For programs like SNAP to truly be successful, they must set Americans up for success and not trap them in a cycle of poverty. Unfortunately, this has not been the pattern we have seen for the past 17 years. In 2001, there were only 17 million SNAP recipients in the U.S.; today there are 43 million. This Farm Bill would reverse the growing trend, by giving people the tools and resources they need to create a better life for themselves and their families.Read More
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Scott Tipton (CO-03) announced Klause T. Ravidas, a senior at Pueblo East High School, as the winner of the 2018 Congressional Art Competition.
Tipton announced Ravidas’ winning entry, “Self Portrait,” a mixed media work, during a reception in Grand Junction, where all of the entries were on exhibit. The winning piece will be sent to Washington, DC, where it will hang on display for the next year in the Capitol.
“Every piece of artwork submitted this year was impressive, which made choosing a winner tough for the judges,” said Tipton. “I am so proud of the talent coming out of the Third District every year and want to thank all of the students who participated. A big congratulations to Klause -- I cannot wait see your artwork on display in the Capitol.”
Each participant received a certificate of recognition. The first place winner also received airfare to Washington, DC, for the Congressional Institute’s Awards Reception (not at taxpayer expense). In addition, the first place artwork will be displayed in the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC, for the rest of the calendar year, along with other winning artworks from Congressional Districts throughout the nation.
Results of the 2018 Congressional District Art Competition:
The Congressional Art Competition takes place each spring. Students are encourages to visit Congressman Tipton’s website to learn more: https://tipton.house.gov/serving-you/art-competition.
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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congressman Scott Tipton (CO-03) sent a letter to President Trump requesting that he ask for the return of the USS Pueblo during the upcoming summit with North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un. Tipton has advocated for the release of the USS Pueblo since first coming to Congress.
“This year marks the 50th anniversary of North Korea’s seizure of the USS Pueblo and I like many others in our state want to see this ship returned home,” said Tipton. “The historic summit that is to be held between the United States and North Korea presents a rare opportunity to directly make this request.”
The USS Pueblo is a naval intelligence ship that was unlawfully captured by the North Korean government in 1968 while it was peacefully sailing in international waters. The capture of the USS Pueblo resulted in the fatality of one of its crew members, Petty Officer Duane Hodges. The remaining crew members were held in captivity for eleven months, experiencing miserable conditions and torture at the hands of their North Korean captors.
For fifty years, the USS Pueblo has sat moored in Pyongyang and is used as a site for North Korean propaganda. It remains the only commissioned vessel by the U.S. Navy to be held in captivity.
To view a copy of the letter, click here.
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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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