Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary, Dr. Tom Price, recently announced that the agency will provide $485 million in federal grants to states to combat the opioid abuse epidemic. The state of Colorado will receive a grant totaling $7,869,651. The grant is the result of the 21st Century Cures Act, a bipartisan bill that was signed into law on Dec. 13, 2016.
Congressman Scott Tipton (CO-03), who helped pass the 21st Century Cures Act, said the announcement is welcome news.
“Over the last year, I have visited communities across the Third Congressional District that have been deeply impacted by the opioid abuse epidemic that is sweeping our nation. Many of our rural communities simply don’t have the resources to fight this epidemic and have called on the federal government for help,” said Tipton. “Our health care providers, law enforcement officers, educators, and community support groups are committed to saving lives and bringing an end to prescription drug and heroin abuse, and this grant will be extremely helpful for our state.”
The grant will be administered by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and can be put towards prevention, treatment, and recovery services. The grant allocations were determined by the rate of opioid overdose deaths and unmet needs for opioid addiction treatment in each state.
Secretary Price has asked state governors for assistance in identifying the best practices in opioid abuse prevention and treatment. In a letter, he wrote:
“I understand the urgency of this funding; however, I also want to ensure the resources and policies are properly aligned with and remain responsive to this evolving epidemic. Therefore, while I am releasing the funding for the first year immediately, my intention for the second year is to develop funding allocations and policies that are most clinically sound, effective and efficient. To that end, in the coming weeks and months, I will seek your assistance to identify the best practices, lessons learned, and key strategies that produce measureable results.”
Tipton said his office is available to assist Colorado state agencies in navigating the federal grant process.Read More
The months following the 2008 financial crisis were devastating for many Americans. Hardworking men and women lost their jobs, their savings, their pensions, and their homes. But instead of taking steps to strengthen consumer protections and bring stability to the financial system, Congress and the Obama Administration responded with the Dodd-Frank Act.
This piece of legislation and its associated financial regulations made an already complex regulatory environment even more complicated, made “too big to fail” the law of the land, and ultimately created new barriers for individuals and families seeking to better their lives.
To understand the negative impact that the Dodd-Frank Act has had on communities across the country, we must look at the effect that the law and its associated regulations have had on the U.S. gross domestic product (GDP), which is the aggregate measure of economic growth. In May 2015, the American Action Forum (AAF) estimated that Dodd-Frank would reduce GDP by $895 billion between 2016 and 2025. In 2016, the U.S. saw only 1.6 percent GDP growth, and the Congressional Budget Office has predicted long-term average GDP growth of only 2 percent.
What does this mean for the average American? The GDP is directly related to the U.S. standard of living, which is defined as the “degree of wealth and material comfort available to a person or community.” An analysis by the AAF shows that 2 percent GDP growth combined with 1 percent projected population growth translates to only 1 percent per capita GDP growth. At only 1 percent per capita GDP growth, it will take the average person roughly 70 years to double their standard of living.
This projection is startling, especially when we think about young adults who are entering the workforce in their twenties. In 2015, an analysis by the Economic Policy Institute showed that on average, young high school graduates working full-time had an annual income of $21,600. Young college graduates working full time had an average annual income of $37,300. With only 2 percent GDP growth, the average young person would have to work well into their nineties to double their income.
It doesn’t sound like we are setting our kids on a prosperous path, does it?
Under the leadership of Chairman Jeb Hensarling, the Financial Services Committee has developed the Financial CHOICE – creating hope and opportunity for investors, consumers, and entrepreneurs – Act to help jumpstart our economy and create more jobs and opportunities for families and individuals across the country.
Among the many provisions included in the Financial CHOICE Act is my bill, the Taking Account of Institutions with Low Operation Risk (TAILOR) Act. The TAILOR Act will help reform one-size-fits-all regulations and restore job creation on Main Street by ensuring community banks in Colorado aren’t regulated the same way as the big banks on Wall Street.
Additional provisions in the CHOICE Act:
It is well past time that Congress remedy the consequences of Dodd-Frank and our overly complicated financial regulatory system. The Financial CHOICE Act will help individuals and families say goodbye to the policies that are holding them back, and I’m looking forward to delivering these important reforms to Coloradans and all Americans.Read More
Coloradans are feeling the effects of a broken health care system now more than ever. A recent article in the Glenwood Springs Post Independent profiled a woman in Garfield County who is now choosing to forgo health insurance rather than pay for a plan that costs $1,000 in monthly premiums and comes with a $6,500 deductible. She says, “You add it all up and that’s almost $20,000 a year. Health insurance for someone in my situation – I’m in good health, I have some savings – is just not a smart economic choice.”
This woman’s situation is not unique.
As the House has worked towards a plan to repeal and replace Obamacare, my focus has been on the cost of health care, because monthly premiums that exceed mortgage payments and $6,000 deductibles are not sustainable. My Republican colleagues in Congress agree that we must fix the health care system and lower health care costs for our constituents, but there are varying viewpoints about how to proceed. This is why the American Health Care Act (AHCA), one part of the three-pronged strategy for repealing and replacing Obamacare, was not brought to the House floor for a vote a few weeks ago.
Since the AHCA was originally introduced, we have been working to improve the bill to ensure the final product reduces health care costs, provides options for the most vulnerable individuals in our communities, and produces better health outcomes for our families. As this work continues, there are a number of policies that I would like to see included:
Additionally, I believe that giving associations and small businesses the opportunity to band together to establish health plans will help provide consumers with more health care options. For example, many people in the West are part of a rural electric co-op – why wouldn’t these co-ops be able to join together and establish an association health plan? That’s a good question, and the House recently passed two bills to help make this happen: the Competitive Health Insurance Reform Act (H.R. 372) and the Small Business Health Fairness Act (H.R. 1011). The bills will help associations establish health plans that can be offered to members in multiple states.
I have said since the beginning that repealing and replacing Obamacare will not happen overnight—and it should not be rushed through under an artificial deadline – but I will not sit idly by while families in Western Colorado continue to face exorbitant health care costs. Coloradans deserve better, and I will not stop working until they get it.Read More
Congressman Scott Tipton (CO-03) has introduced two bills to protect the rights of private land owners: the Land Adjacency Notification and Disclosure (LAND) Act (H.R. 1965), and the Resurveys Entitle Adjacent Landowners (REAL) Protection Act (H.R. 1966).
The LAND Act brings more transparency and oversight to U.S. Forest Service (USFS) land exchanges by requiring the federal government to provide written notification to each adjacent landowner of any parcel of land that is set to be exchanged.
“With the federal government controlling such a substantial amount of land in the West, it is vital that the process by which it acquires and conveys property is transparent and includes a consistent public notification process,” Tipton said. “By increasing transparency and notification in this process, we can better ensure that the public interest is being served in federal land exchanges and that owners of adjacent private land receive timely and comprehensive notifications of the pending changes.”
The REAL Protection Act requires that, in the event of a Bureau of Land Management (BLM) land resurvey, the BLM must notify all property owners with land that neighbors the federal land identified for a resurvey at least 30 days before the process beings. The bill also protects landowners if the BLM determines that the property that was previously believed to be private property should be reclassified as federal land.
“We’ve heard from farmers, ranchers and others across the West who have faced fines and criminal charges, or have been forced to relinquish property they believed to be their own following BLM resurveys and reclassifications of federal land,” said Tipton. “Families who in some cases have lived and worked on the land for multiple generations shouldn’t be punished for surveying errors that were originally made by the federal government, and the REAL Protection Act is a common sense policy that protects these landowners.”
The bill would give the private landowner the right of first refusal to purchase the land for fair market value or be reimbursed for the fair market value of any significant improvements they made to the land. Additionally, the private landowner may not be charged with trespassing unless they used the property after they had knowledge that the land was owned by the federal government.Read More
Congressman Scott Tipton (CO-03) announced that his office is now accepting submissions for the 2017 3rd District Congressional Art Competition. Students in grades 9 through 12 are eligible to participate. Students must submit their entries no later than May 1.Read More
Though President Donald Trump’s proposed federal budget calls for elimination of Essential Air Service – which would hurt Cortez – airport manager Russ Machen said recently that there’s no cause for alarm.Read More
The Honorable Richard Cordray, Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), recently appeared before the House Financial Services Committee to deliver the Bureau’s 2016 Semi-Annual Report. During the hearing, Congressman Scott Tipton (CO-03) questioned Cordray about findings from recent American Action Forum (AAF) report on the Bureau’s pace of rulemaking.
Tipton cited the AAF report’s finding that CFPB regulations take 197 days to complete on average. The median rulemaking pace of the CFPB is 3.5 faster than other executive agencies. Tipton also asked Cordray about the CFPB’s rulemaking error rate.
“American Action Forum also noted that you’ve issued 13 corrections on 49 rules sampled. This is a 25 percent error rate effectively. In the private sector, would you be happy with a 25 percent error rate when you are moving forward with rules?” Tipton asked.
Following the hearing, Tipton said, “It is clear that Director Cordray has no clue how the CFPB’s regulations impact American families and businesses. The Director cited three different iterations of mortgage regulations as an example of the Bureau’s efforts to ensure regulations serve their intended purpose. Unfortunately, pushing rules out quickly – only to make multiple changes later on – creates hurdles for job creators seeking credit for growth and families seeking opportunities to better their lives. This ‘get it right eventually’ mentality is unacceptable.”
Watch the full exchange and hearing here .Read More
Congressman Scott Tipton (CO-03) has introduced a bill that will preserve consumers’ access to prepaid financial products. In Oct. 2016, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) finalized a regulation for prepaid products that would have made it harder for consumers who need prepaid account products to access them. The regulation was set to take effect on Oct. 1, 2017. In March 2017, the CFPB announced it would extend the effective date for its prepaid account regulation by six months.
Tipton’s bill, the Prepaid Account Compliance and Extension Relief (PACER) Act of 2017 (H.R. 1801), would delay the effective date of the CFPB’s rule until Oct. 1, 2018.
“Prepaid card products provide consumers with new ways to access, spend, and manage their money. The CFPB’s original proposed effective date of Oct. 1, 2017, was unrealistic given the new disclosure and packaging requirements and operational changes necessary to comply with the rule. While the CFPB has delayed the rule for six months, I believe that a delay until 2018 will be necessary to help ensure a balance between protecting consumers and supporting the continued growth of prepaid financial products,” Tipton said.
The CFPB’s final prepaid product rule requires consumers to complete two separate pre-acquisition and fee disclosures and subjects overdrafts to Regulation Z. The rule would also be applied to products outside of the prepaid products sphere, such as mobile wallets and person to person transfers.Read More
Over the past several weeks, my team and I have received questions from many constituents about the Congressional Review Act (CRA). The CRA was established in 1996, and the law gives Congress the authority to disapprove of a regulation within 60 days of the date the regulation is finalized. Either the House or Senate can introduce a resolution of disapproval, which when passed by a simple majority in both chambers and signed by the president, will void the regulation. If a regulation is finalized within the last 60 legislative days of a Congressional session, the 60-day time period for which a resolution of disapproval can be introduced resets in the new Congress.
Prior to the 115th Congress, the CRA had only been used successfully one time, and this was in 2001 after outgoing President Clinton issued a midnight regulation – a regulation issued in the last 60 legislative days of an outgoing president’s term – called the Ergonomics Rule. President George H.W. Bush signed a congressional resolution to void the Ergonomics Rule on March 20, 2001.
Many of our callers over the past few weeks have asked why Congress has used the CRA so many times this year. The answer is because we are in a unique position to roll back the federal overreach that grew out of control under the Obama Administration. In an effort to finalize as many regulations as possible before the end of the 114th Congress, the Obama Administration pushed through many ill-conceived regulations within the last 60 legislative days of the session. The 60-day window for voiding these regulations reset at the beginning of the 115th Congress.
So far this year, Congress has sent the president 11 resolutions of disapproval to roll back unnecessary, overly burdensome federal regulations. To date, the president has signed 7 of these resolutions, voiding a few of the regulations that constituents submitted to my Cut The Code Project.
You may remember that at the end of the 114th Congress, I asked constituents to help me cut down the 75,000 page-long code of federal regulations by sharing their experiences with unnecessarily burdensome or downright ridiculous federal regulations. I heard from constituents on a variety of issues, and some of these issues have now been addressed through the CRA.
For example, on Feb. 16, the president signed a resolution of disapproval to void the Department of the Interior’s (DOI) stream buffer rule, which could have eliminated one-third of U.S. coal mining jobs. When the DOI initially proposed the stream buffer rule, it was only supposed to apply to coal mines in Appalachian states. According to the Department’s own investigative report, nearly all coal mines around the country have no off-site impacts. Yet, despite this study and the fact that the rule was originally intended to apply to a handful of mines, the DOI finalized 1,640-pages of regulations that would have applied to every coal mine in the country.
Another example is the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) Planning 2.0 rule. On March 27, the president delivered a big victory to the West by signing a resolution that voids the Planning 2.0 rule. The Planning 2.0 rule would have significantly altered the way the BLM manages federal land, diminishing the role that state and local governments – whose communities are most directly impacted – have historically played in the planning process. The rule would have increasingly shifted decision-making ability from those local communities and their local BLM officials to unelected officials in Washington. Land management decisions should be made by the people who know the land best – not Washington bureaucrats.
Overregulation by the federal government has grown because the separation of powers between our three branches of government has eroded over the years. Using the CRA allows us to roll back some of the most harmful regulations from the Obama Administration, but we cannot stop there. In order to restore the separation of powers, Congress must legislate in a way that prevents ambiguity in the law. This is the lens through which my colleagues and I will write laws in the 115th Congress.Read More
Congressman Scott Tipton (CO-03) announced that his office is now accepting submissions for the 2017 3rd District Congressional Art Competition. Students in grades 9 through 12 are eligible to participate. Students must submit their entries no later than May 1, 2017.
“The Congressional Art Competition gives every high school student in the 3rd District an opportunity to share their artistic abilities with the community. It’s great to see the hard work and skill that students put into their pieces of art each year, and I look forward to meeting this year’s participants and seeing the talent in our communities,” Tipton said.
Guidelines for the 2017 competition:
Artwork that will be accepted:
All submitted artwork will be put on display in Alamosa, CO, from May 2-9, 2017. A reception will be held Tuesday, May 9, 2017, from 5:00 pm until 6:00 pm in Alamosa at the Kavleys Business Center lobby located at 609 Main Street.
For more information, please visit: https://tipton.house.gov/serving-you/art-competition.
The Congressional Art Competition began in 1982 to provide an opportunity for members of Congress to encourage and recognize the artistic talents of their young constituents. Since then, over 650,000 high school students have been involved in the nationwide competition.
Teachers, students, and parents with questions can contact Brenda Felmlee, 3rd Congressional District Art Competition liaison, at 719-587-5105, or email: Brenda.Felmlee@mail.house.gov.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.