Q&A with Scott Tipton: Republican candidate for U.S. House of Representatives in Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District
Q. What would be your top three legislative priorities if elected?
A. I’m a lifelong resident of Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District and fight hard every day in Washington to put our fellow Coloradans back to work and improve the quality of life in the 3rd District. Our economy is moving in the right direction, but there’s still more work to do in our district, and I’m committed to keeping taxes low, decreasing regulations, supporting an all-of-the-above energy policy and increasing affordability and choice in healthcare.
Q. The cost of healthcare in Routt County is higher than the state and national averages. How can the federal government lower healthcare costs?
A. We can’t afford a government-run healthcare system, and that’s exactly what my opponent wants to force on the people of Colorado. Although she won’t give any details on how she plans to pay for her government takeover of healthcare, we know that doubling personal income taxes and corporate taxes wouldn’t come close to covering the price tag. Coloradans can’t afford that cost-of-living increase, and it would devastate our economy. That’s why I’m dedicated to fighting for solutions that lower costs and increase affordability, such as increasing market competition, allowing people to form groups to get better rates, purchase across state lines and ensuring those with pre-existing conditions have access to affordable healthcare.
Q. What is your position on immigration? Do you support a clean DREAMERS bill? Do you think the U.S. should pursue building a wall on our border with Mexico?
A. We need a compassionate solution that takes care of children who were brought here through no fault of own while also addressing border security and ensuring a strong guest worker program.
It’s important that we address these two issues in tandem, whether in the same bill or separate bills that move together. Without solving the underlying challenges to our immigration system and addressing border security in the long term, we will continue to see the same problems replay decade after decade. I support securing our border through a variety of options, including a physical wall and technological solutions in areas where it makes more sense than a physical barrier.
Q. Wildfires have been a big issue across Colorado and the West this summer. Do you have a plan to prepare for and reduce the impact of forest fires?
A. Wildfires are a part of life in Colorado, but decades of Washington’s mismanagement of federal forests has led to fires that burn unnaturally hot and fast. In Washington, I’m working to give the Forest Service the tools it needs to start to be proactive rather than reactive. In the 115th Congress, I helped pass a fire-borrowing fix, which will allow wildfires to be treated the same as other natural disasters and give the Forest Service the ability to focus more of its resources on managing the forests — for example, removing dead and diseased timber, performing prescribed burns, eliminating threats around utility lines — rather than fighting fires. I have also written and introduced legislation — H.R 6799 — that would protect the communities that are impacted by fires that burn primarily on federal land. Under current law, communities and businesses that experience secondary impacts of wildfires burning on federal lands, like mudslides and rock slides, are not eligible for federal assistance. My bill would create a new presidential disaster declaration that would make impacted communities and businesses eligible for disaster assistance loans and disaster recovery grants.
Q. Do you believe climate change is happening and if so, is it caused by human activity?
A. I believe the climate is changing and man has a role, but destroying our economy or putting thousands of Coloradans out of work with radical regulations and policies is not the solution. That’s why I believe in an all-of-the-above energy policy that includes traditional energy sources as well as wind and solar, and ensuring that we are utilizing all available technologies to produce and consume energy resources responsibly.
Q. Do you support the current trade tariffs? Why or why not?
A. I do believe we need to be more strategic with trade and tariff policies to ensure we aren’t hurting jobs in the 3rd Congressional District. I will always put the needs of Coloradans first and will push back against any policies that I think have a negative impact on our citizens, while advocating for those that will help create jobs and quality of life.
Q. Washington D.C. has become a place of extreme partisanship. Do you see value in finding common ground with the other party? And what efforts would you propose to reach across the aisle to get things accomplished?
A. I absolutely believe we need to find common ground with members of every party, and I have a demonstrated track record in Congress of making that happen. Whether it’s securing needed resources to combat the opioid abuse epidemic, or enhancing veteran healthcare through common-sense VA reform, I’ve demonstrated my ability to deliver results.
Q. Who do you believe owns our public lands? Do you think previous presidents have misused the Antiquities Act?
A. I believe the American people own our public lands, and I’m committed to protecting them. The original intent of the Antiquities Act was to provide immediate protections to imminently endangered lands, but what we’ve seen more recently are attempts to lock up vast swathes of already protected lands and limit use of those lands against the wishes of local communities.
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