Tipton: No reason to attack Syria
Delta crowd applauds congressman's opposition to force
DELTA — Most of the 120 people shoehorned into a Delta County courtroom burst into applause when U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton, R-Colo., declared his opposition to military action in faraway Syria.
Tipton, noting that Secretary of State John Kerry had earlier that day said Saudi Arabia would foot the bill for action in Syria, said he saw no American interest at stake in the civil war there.
“Even Saudi Arabia does not have enough money to equal the value of one American life,” Tipton said.
Many in the audience, which included several farmers and ranchers, were at least as interested in the fate of changes to the nation’s immigration system.
“It’s imperative that we get it done,” farmer John Harold of Tuxedo Farms, the supplier of Olathe sweet corn, said of immigration reform.
The price of taking no action would be “the agricultural industry as we know it today,” Harold said, urging Tipton to press for the House to take up an immigration package already passed by the Senate.
While Tipton urged the crowd to contact Colorado’s two senators, Michael Bennet and Mark Udall, both Democrats, to take up a variety of House-passed measures, the House should also take up the Senate bill, Harold said.
The House is drafting its own measures on immigration, Tipton said, calling for a legislative process that would involve a conference committee to draft a compromise measure that would go to both bodies.
A starting point for handling a guest-worker program could involve a system in which the United States would work with foreign governments to supply its need for those employees, Tipton said.
Jose Abeyta urged Tipton to concentrate on border security in the north and south, noting that the first terror threats after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, came from Canada and that Mexico is a main supplier of illegal drugs.
“We have to secure the borders,” Abeyta said.
Dealing with immigration reform must not only take into account the status of an estimated 11 million immigrants who are not legally in the United States, but the 4.4 million people who are awaiting legal entry, Tipton said.
Some action, however, is needed, he said, or, “In 15 years we’ll be right back where we were.”
Urged by several audience members to vote to defund the Affordable Care Act, Tipton said he wanted to replace it and said he supports legislation known as the Empowering Patients First Act, which is intended to provide coverage with a series of tax credits, deductions and incentives for obtaining coverage and deductions.
Tipton is to address Club 20, the West Slope advocacy organization, on Saturday at Two Rivers Convention Center in Grand Junction.