Election Guide 2016: Scott R. Tipton Q&A
Bio: Scott Tipton grew up in Southwest Colorado, attending Fort Lewis College before settling in Cortez where he was a small business owner for 30 years before going into public service. He was elected to Congress in 2010 where he currently serves as representative for Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District.
Q. What is your position on gun control? Are there any measures you would support to help reduce the incidence of gun violence in the U.S.?
A. Our shared goal is to ensure public safety and protect communities from horrific acts of violence. The rush to restrict law-abiding citizens’ access to firearms and ammunition is not an effective way to prevent the tragedies we have seen, and raises serious constitutional concerns. I urge our elected officials at every level to join me in working towards policies that appropriately analyze and address the causes of violent acts — including focusing on expanding access to mental health care and strengthening our national security — to prevent mass acts of violence.
Q. It has been suggested that big money plays far too large a role in U.S. elections. Would you support comprehensive campaign finance reform? If so, what form would you like to see such reform take?
A. I share some of the same frustrations with campaign finance that many Coloradans do. The Supreme Court has settled the matter of campaign finance by defining freedom of speech to include corporations and unions, allowing them to make campaign contributions. That said, we can continue to have the conversation in this country about how we best achieve the desired outcome of ensuring that Americans’ free speech rights are protected and campaign contributions are transparent.
Q. What should the U.S. do differently to combat the rise in global terrorism and ensure that future attacks do not take place on American soil?
A. Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton have been asleep at the wheel in terms of the fight on global terrorism. We cannot win this war on our own and convincing our NATO allies to play a bigger role in the War on Terror is an important step in escalating our fight against global terror. We also must ensure that we have thorough screening and vetting of everyone who is coming into our country, whether that’s an H1 B visa or someone seeking refugee status. Homegrown terrorism is a very real threat and we must remain vigilant, both at home and abroad, to confront and defeat this unique threat.
Q. Do you support a repeal of the Affordable Care Act, as has been attempted numerous times in the U.S. House of Representatives? If so, how would you propose replacing it, and if not, what changes might be made to improve the American health care system?
A. I do support a repeal of the Affordable Care Act, and if you look at the recent news that health insurance premiums in Colorado will rise an average of 20 percent next year, 40 percent in many rural areas, that is unacceptable. For the first time, there will be 14 counties in our state with only one health coverage option. We must ensure that all citizens have access to health care in our country, that we have a proper social safety net for those that cannot afford coverage and beyond that we need to let the free market back into health care. Getting rid of some of the excessive taxation in Obamacare will be a part of reducing costs, and cutting regulations that will open up the exchanges to more providers, driving down costs and providing better options for consumers.
Q. The jobless rate has fallen in the past eight years, but employment remains depressed, and while economic output seems to have rebounded since the Great Recession, household income continues to lag. What should be done at the federal level to spur employment and boost household income?
A. While some parts of our country, particularly our major metropolitan areas, have rebounded well from the Great Recession, many people are still struggling. This is most noticeable in our rural areas where the president’s Clean Power Plan has taken a toll on coal communities across our country. We have seen time and again that this administration attempts to implement one-size-fits-all regulation from Washington that is unable to adapt to local conditions on the ground. Obamacare and Dodd-Frank are the two best examples of this. Both have drowned out competition and entrenched systems that have failed us. Creating a common sense, business-friendly regulatory environment that works with local authorities and jurisdictions instead of against them is the best way to ensure we have equitable growth that spreads outside of major cities.
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