WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Scott Tipton (CO-03) has introduced H.R. 485, the “Veterans Reimbursement for Emergency Ambulance Services’ Act” (VREASA). This bipartisan legislation aims to correct the Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) regulations that unfairly saddle veterans with emergency ambulance costs.
“These bureaucratic regulations are harmfully affecting America’s veterans, and failing to deliver on the promise our country made to them in exchange for their service,” said Tipton. “Emergency ambulance fees are a huge financial burden, and one that those who have earned healthcare benefits through their service should not be required to pay. This issue needs to be addressed immediately to ensure that veterans are not deterred from receiving proper medical care.”
Congressman Rob Wittman (R-VA) and Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) are original cosponsors of the bill.
“Our brave men and women in uniform have sacrificed so much for our nation, and it is absolutely critical that we take care of them in return,” said Wittman. “We owe our veterans the highest standard of care; something as simple as ensuring reimbursement for emergency ambulance services will go a long way towards relieving our veterans from the financial burden of health care costs. These women and men have earned these benefits through their service, and it is our duty to ensure they get the care they deserve.”
“As a nation, we have a solemn obligation to care for all of our servicemembers,” said Congresswoman DeLauro. “In my home state of Connecticut, we have over 200,000 veterans—many of whom reside in my district. And the idea that they and their families are bearing the financial burden of ambulance costs out-of-pocket is unconscionable. This important legislation closes that loophole and ensures veterans are reimbursed for those costs. Through their service and sacrifice, veterans have earned this and so much more—and we must give it to them. That is why I am proud to cosponsor this bipartisan legislation with my colleague Rep. Tipton.”
The VA systematically denies emergency ambulance claims every year due to its interpretation of regulations, leaving tens of thousands of veterans to pay these bills out of pocket. This legislation is intended to Direct the VA Secretary to approve reimbursements to veterans for emergency ambulance services.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Scott Tipton (CO-03) reintroduced two bills that are critical to the protection of water and private property rights. The Water Rights Protection Act (H.R. 579) upholds federal deference to state water law and prevents federal takings of privately held water rights. The Protection and Transparency for Adjacent Landowners Act (H.R. 580) increases transparency and certainty for private landowners during a federal land acquisition, reclassification or resurvey process.
Congressman Tipton: “Private property rights must be protected at all costs and these bills get straight to the point. The federal government should not have the right to seize private water rights as a condition of renewing permits. The Water Rights Protection Act would ensure the protection of this precious resource that is vital to ski areas, farmers, ranchers, and other businesses in the West.
“When the federal government acquires land, it runs the risk of devaluing adjacent privately-owned land, and in some instances, resurveys of public lands will result in the re-classification of lands previously thought to be private as public. We need the Protection and Transparency for Adjacent Landowners Act to require notification to be given to private land owners in these circumstances. Private landowners deserve transparency and must be given the opportunity to protect their livelihoods."
More information on this bill can be found here.
The Protection and Transparency for Adjacent Landowners Act:
More information on this bill can be found here.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Scott Tipton (CO-03) sent a letter regarding disaster relief for communities impacted by wildfires on federal lands to Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy. Tipton’s amendments referenced in the letter would ensure that communities affected by nearby wildfires on federal lands, such as those impacted by the 416 and Burro Fires last year, are able to access disaster recovery assistance.
The letter states, “…because of statutory challenges and uncertainty surrounding what Federal programs are available to respond to the economic impact of wildfires that burn on Federal land, the people of southwestern Colorado came dangerously close to being denied the economic relief that usually accompanies this kind of natural disaster.”
The letter continues, “Put simply, when the tourists don’t come in their usual volume to a tourist-reliant economy because of a natural disaster, and the local financial institutions don’t have the resources to offer viable loans to the businesses of that economy, the region should be able to turn to Federal resources just like other victims of natural disasters.”
View the complete letter here.
Last Congress, Tipton introduced H.R. 6799, the Federal Lands Fire-Related Incidents Recovery and Economic Stimulus (Federal Lands FIRES) FIRE Act. Its purpose was to create a sub-disaster declaration that would trigger relief efforts to wildfires that burn specifically on federal lands. More information on this bill can be found here.
Following the Senate’s unanimous approval of H.R. 6216 and H.R. 6217, the president signed into law Congressman Scott Tipton’s (CO-03) bills to rename post office buildings after fallen law enforcement offices from Colorado’s Third Congressional District. H.R. 6216 will rename a Montrose post office after Sergeant David Kinterknecht, and H.R. 6217 will name a Grand Junction post office after Deputy Sheriff Derek Geer. Both Sergeant Kinterknecht and Sergeant Geer were killed in the line of duty.
Tipton honored the men on the House Floor on November 28, 2019.
“Sergeant David Kinterknecht and Deputy Sheriff Derek Geer embodied heroism and service. They put their lives on the line every day for their communities,” said Tipton. “I am glad to have had the opportunity to help their memories live on through the renaming of these post offices.”
The post offices will be officially renamed during ceremonies in the spring.
Today, Congressman Scott Tipton (CO-03) was sworn in to the 116th Congress. He was accompanied by his wife, Jean, their two daughters, three grandchildren and sons-in-law for the events.
“I’m honored to have the opportunity to continue to serve the people of the Third Congressional District of Colorado. I look forward to continuing our work including expanding economic opportunity in the Third District, standing up for veterans, fighting the opioid epidemic, and ensuring Colorado’s public lands and forests are responsibly managed,” said Tipton. “Being with my family for today’s events made the occasion even more special.”
Tipton is currently serving his fifth term as the U.S. Representative of Colorado’s Third Congressional District.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Scott Tipton (CO-03) voted to pass legislation that would help provide better treatment and care for Americans living with Alzheimer’s Disease. S. 2076, the Building Our Largest Dementia (BOLD) Infrastructure for Alzheimer’s Act passed the House with a bipartisan vote of 361-3. Tipton is a cosponsor of H.R. 4256, the House version of the bill.
“Alzheimer’s Disease is a public health crisis. In addition to the enormous amount of suffering that this disease causes, the costs associated with caring for Americans with Alzheimer’s are in the billions and only projected to increase,” said Tipton. “More must be done to improve the quality of life for those living with Alzheimer’s and their caregivers, as well as reduce the financial toll that this disease has had on our economy.”
S. 2076 would create infrastructure for the prevention, treatment and care of Americans with Alzheimer’s and related dementias. The bill would direct the Centers of Disease and Prevention (CDC) to establish:
According to the Alzheimer’s Association, 5.7 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s, and by 2050, that number is estimated to rise to nearly 14 million.
In Colorado, 71,000 people are living with Alzheimer’s.
In 2017, the cost of care for Americans with Alzheimer’s was $259 billion. Medicare and Medicaid paid approximately two thirds of the cost, or $175 billion. Nearly one in five Medicare dollars is currently goes towards health care costs associated with Alzheimer’s or other dementias.
# # #Read More
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Scott Tipton (CO-03) voted today in favor of H.R. 2, the House-Senate Conference Report to the Agriculture and Nutrition Act of 2018, otherwise known as the Farm Bill. The House agreed to the report with a bipartisan vote of 369-47.
“The final 2018 Farm Bill maintains and strengthens critical safety nets for U.S. farmers who work to provide healthy, affordable food for families across the country and the world,” said Tipton. “The bill also includes important provisions to protect and restore threatened habitats, help prevent catastrophic wildfires across the West and create more economic opportunities for the Third Congressional District through the production of industrial hemp.”
The final 2018 Farm Bill contains a Tipton-backed provision (H.R. 3543) that will streamline the approval process for vegetation management projects to protect and restore the habitat of sage-grouse and mule deer.
“The current vegetation management process has not allowed Western states to effectively keep up with the rapid growth of invasive species in sagebrush habitat, which has had a detrimental effect on both the sage grouse and mule deer populations,” said Tipton. “The 2018 Farm Bill will remove the bureaucratic red-tape that has prevented land managers from acting quickly in the past.”
The Farm Bill also contains several provisions to help the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) proactively manage National Forests and prevent catastrophic wildfires. The bill will allow the USFS to establish a pilot program for clearing overgrown vegetation around power lines and other utility infrastructure, as well as allow for the removal of trees that have become hazardous fuel due to disease and insect infestation.
Additionally, the bill removes industrial hemp from the definition of marijuana under the Controlled Substances Act, a provision Tipton has fought for as a cosponsor of the Industrial Hemp Farming Act (H.R. 3530).
“Industrial hemp has become an economic driver in the Third District but concerns over the Controlled Substances Act have prevented the crop from reaching its full potential,” Tipton added. “The 2018 Farm Bill will provide hemp farmers with the certainty they need to invest in the crop well into the future.”
The final report also includes Tipton’s bill, the West Fork Fires Station Act (H.R. 4609), which will permit the USFS to transfer 3.61 acres of land to Dolores County, Colorado for the purposes of building a fire station.
Additional information on the 2018 Farm Bill:
# # #Read More
Colorado’s U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner and U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton on Thursday introduced the latest version of a so-called “good Samaritan” bill to address abandoned, leaking mines in the U.S. with hopes of breaking roughly two decades of congressional gridlock on the topic.
With just weeks left before the end of the year, the legislation offered by the two Republicans has a near-impossible path toward passage, but is meant to set the table for broader conversations in 2019.
The bill would let environmental and conservation groups prove the good Samaritan concept by working with the Environmental Protection Agency to clean up 15 abandoned mines, most of which are leaking toxic waste.
The measure is called good Samaritan legislation because those good-will groups would be exempt from strict clean-water standards that typically come with addressing historic mining sites, Those rules currently keep do-gooder groups from completing remediation work.
“Across Colorado and the West we have needed a permanent solution to the dangerous problem of abandoned mines,” Gardner said in a written statement. “The opportunity to clean up the environment around these sites is crucial and this pilot program will finally allow for the long overdue process to begin.”
Gardner said he understands changes to the bill might be necessary and that he looks “forward to working with my colleagues and stakeholders to evaluate their feedback.”
A sign of likely future holdup is lack of a Democratic sponsor on the legislation — namely Colorado’s Democratic U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet, who has also been pushing for a good Samaritan bill. Bennet and Gardner worked on a draft version of a similar bill in 2016.
“Abandoned mines across Colorado and the West need to be cleaned up,” Bennet told The Colorado Sun in a statement. “We are willing to work with anyone to pass good Samaritan legislation with appropriate environmental safeguards. We have a strong history of working together in our delegation and have made a lot of progress on a bipartisan and comprehensive solution to address this issue. We should restart the conversation in that spirit.”
Also, environmental groups are leery of this type of legislation because they worry it could create more pollution and would not do enough to solve the enormously complex issue of abandoned mines.
There are estimated to be hundreds of thousands of abandoned mines across the U.S., 23,000 of which are in Colorado alone.
“The American West is littered with approximately 500,000 abandoned mines that shackle taxpayers with an Environmental Protection Agency-estimated $50 billion in costs,” Lauren Pagel, policy director for the environmental group Earthworks, said in a statement Thursday. “Good Samaritans, no matter their intentions, lack the resources to dent a problem of this scale. And this bill does nothing to address disasters like Gold King.”
The 2015 Gold King mine spill in southwest Colorado rekindled interest in good Samaritan legislation. However, Congress has been unable to reach an agreement on how to clean up abandoned mines without sacrificing environmental protections.
Groups like Earthworks want to see changes made to the nation’s 1872 Mining Law, specifically some kind of mechanism where current mining companies can pay into a fund dedicated toward abandoned mine cleanup.
Gardner and Tipton’s bill would bar any mining companies from working on sites they previously owned or operated. It would, however, allow those companies to clean up other abandoned mines.
The legislation bars so-called “re-mining” — or resuming mining activity at a site that’s being cleaned up — though it would allow groups to reprocess waste at a site to defray the cost of cleanup and help the EPA pay for overseeing the program.
Environmental groups also fear that good Samaritan legislation would allow companies to mine for profit without facing environmental regulations. The re-mining and cleanup-cost offset provisions in the new bill aim to address those anxieties.
“There are many Good Samaritan groups that have the technical expertise, financial ability and desire to conduct successful remediation at abandoned mines, but they are discouraged from taking on projects due to current regulations,” Tipton said in a statement.
Conservation group Trout Unlimited, which has been working with Gardner on the bill, has endorsed the legislation, as has the mining industry.
The bill’s formal name is the Good Samaritan Remediation of Orphaned Hardrock Mines Act of 2018.Read More
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Scott Tipton (CO-03) and Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO) introduced today the Good Samaritan Remediation of Orphan Hardrock Mines Act of 2018, legislation that will authorize the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to establish a pilot program that promotes the cleanup of orphan hardrock mines.
Abandoned mines are environmental hazards and also present danger to unaware recreationist on federal land all across the United States, especially the western part of the country. With the number of abandoned mines estimated to be as high as 500,000, Good Samaritans are needed to take necessary actions to clean up some of these sites. The assumption of long-term liability under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) and the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (CWA) has hindered prior cleanup of these sites. Tipton and Gardner’s legislation creates a pilot program that will allow qualifying Good Samaritans to clean up the sites without the assumption of long-term liability.
“The Gold King Mine spill was a reminder felt across the Third Congressional District and State of Colorado that when it comes to cleaning up abandoned mine sites, the status quo is unacceptable. There are many Good Samaritan groups that have the technical expertise, financial ability, and desire to conduct successful remediation at abandoned mines, but they are discouraged from taking on projects due to current regulations,” said Tipton. “The Good Samaritan Remediation of Orphan Hardrock Mines Act of 2018 will set up a pilot project to allow Good Samaritans to clean up abandoned mine sites, improving water quality and providing our communities with a valuable service, all while maintaining strong permitting and environmental controls.”
“For years I have been working on legislation to allow for the cleanup of orphan mine sites by Good Samaritans,” said Gardner. “Across Colorado and the West we have needed a permanent solution to the dangerous problem of abandoned mines. The opportunity to clean up the environment around these sites is crucial and this pilot program with finally allow for the long overdue process to begin. I understand changes may be necessary to get this bill across the finish line, and I look forward to working with my colleagues and stakeholders to evaluate their feedback.”
“I want to thank Senator Gardner and Congressman Tipton for their leadership. Abandoned mines represent the single greatest and least addressed threat to our nation’s waters. We look forward to working with anyone who wants to make our waters cleaner and our lands healthier and build strong, bipartisan support to pass Good Samaritan legislation,” said Chris Wood, President and CEO of Trout Unlimited.
“Today’s thorough federal and state regulations require that land reclamation and restoration be a key component of every mining project - but that wasn’t always the case. As a result, legacy mine sites have remained abandoned for decades or centuries,” said Hal Quinn, NMA’s President and CEO. “While our industry, environmental groups and others have the expertise and desire to rehabilitate these lands, current laws are preventing environmental progress. Senator Gardner and Congressman Tipton’s legislation would change that. These bills are vital to clearing the obstacles that are impeding remediation efforts at abandoned legacy mine sites that continue to impact land and water resources. Good Samaritans should be supported in their efforts to clean up these sites without fear of incurring additional legal liability. This is common sense legislation that Congress has discussed for years. Now is the time for action.”
“AEMA applauds Senator Gardner and Congressman Tipton for introducing the Good Samaritan Remediation of Orphan Hardrock Mines Act of 2018 providing the mining industry, NGOs and others the necessary liability protection to act as true Good Samaritans to remediate historic pre-regulation abandoned mine lands,” said Executive Director Laura Skaer. “Our members are hopeful that their congressional colleagues will join them in supporting this pragmatic approach.”
# # #Read More
The U.S. House of Representatives passed two measures this week honoring two fallen law enforcement officers — Mesa County Deputy Derek Geer and Montrose Police Sgt. David Kinterknecht — by naming two area post offices after them.
The measures were introduced by U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton, who represents Colorado's 3rd Congressional District.
The Grand Junction post office located at 241 N. Fourth St. will be named the "Deputy Sheriff Derek Geer Post Office Building," while the Montrose office at 3025 Woodgate Road will be named the "Sergeant David Kinterknecht Post Office."
Geer was killed Feb. 8, 2016, while trying to arrest then 17-year-old Austin Holzer, who was sentenced to 70 years in prison for murder earlier this year.
Kinterknecht was shot and killed while responding to a domestic violence call. The suspect in that shooting, who also wounded two other officers, committed suicide.
Kinterknecht, 41 when he was killed, had worked in the Montrose department for 10 years. In the nine years prior to that, he worked for the Telluride Marshal's Office, the San Miguel County Sheriff's Office and the Montrose County Sheriff's Office.
He left behind a wife, two daughters, three stepsons and a sister.
Geer, 40 at the time of his death, was a 16-year veteran of the Mesa County Sheriff's Office, though he spent 30 years in law enforcement. In that office, the U.S. Navy veteran also worked as a victim's advocate. He was a 1994 graduate of Central High School.
He left behind a wife and two children.
"They put their lives on the line every day for their communities," Tipton said in a statement. "Tragically, they were both taken far too soon, giving all in the line of duty. While we will never be able to repay either of these men for their selfless acts or fill the void left by their loss, naming post offices in their respective communities will honor their lives and ensure that their memories live on."
Both measures cleared the House on unanimous consent. They head to the Senate for final action.
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.
Retweeted by reptipton
Today we reflect on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s message of compassion and mutual respect for others. #MLKDay
Retweeted by reptipton
The President’s proposal today is a good starting point and I urge Speaker Pelosi to put politics aside and come to… https://t.co/d7h7ORVtVI
Retweeted by reptipton
I have long advocated for a comprehensive immigration reform solution that includes increased border security and f… https://t.co/NBZXCyieSQ
Retweeted by reptipton
Emergency ambulance fees are a huge financial burden for veterans. That's why I've introduced the bipartisan Vetera… https://t.co/HQi5OkHAjE