Tipton in hot seat at chamber event
From the federal Affordable Care Act to the recent government shutdown, a handful of area business people had a few choice words for U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton on Thursday.
The 3rd Congressional District Republican was at the Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce to tell them what business-related measures he’s pushing in Congress and to hear what business-related ideas they had.
Instead, most of the comments and questions centered on the impacts of the health care act and the government shutdown.
While some told the congressman the shutdown was extremely bad for business, others said it might have been better had the federal government gone bankrupt.
Tipton, who initially supported the shutdown as a way of getting some compromises on the health care act, expressed his frustration over both, saying some of the things the Republicans were asking for are now being requested by Democrats.
“It’s well worth remembering that before the government did shut down, the bill we had said Congress gets no special treatment and let’s suspend the penalty phase (on health care) for individuals, which is exactly what we’re talking about right now,” he told the business people.
“We saw the process not work when the Senate just says, ‘No.’ I hope, no matter who is in control on which side of the two houses, that we just don’t stifle that discussion.”
The business leaders complained about the lack of cooperation among members of Congress and the constant politicking from both sides, adding that the local, state and national economies would be better if there weren’t as much uncertainty, particularly when it comes to government regulations.
Tipton agreed, adding that one of the biggest things that Congress still needs to address is the nation’s $17.8 trillion debt.
“In business, we do this all the time. It’s for sustainability,” he said. “If you continue to spend more than you take in, you will reach a threshold where it will come down.”
Tipton said he’s working on a few measures that he hopes will help bring some certainty for some industries and create jobs in others, including such things as a measure to prevent the federal government from taking private water rights and protecting the state’s forests from devastating fires.