Economy is job one, Tipton says

Representative-elect one of 60 new faces

Scott Tipton

Reviving the national economy and boosting employment will be the key task of the next Congress, according to U.S. Rep.-elect Scott Tipton, R-Colo.

Tipton, who takes his post in Congress next month among more than 60 new representatives, told Garfield County officials on Tuesday his first priority is the economy.

He is hoping to carry legislation that would require the federal government to consider the economic effects of decisions, Tipton told about 20 people, including county and municipal officials.

A “regulatory impact statement” should be used to take into account the consequences of government decisions, including their effects on employment, Tipton said.

In addition to looking at the cost of regulations of industries such as energy, the new Congress should look closely at such techniques as mark-to-market regulations that can make it appear that loans to homeowners who are current on their payments are nonetheless considered to be nonperforming assets. That makes the lenders appear weaker than they might otherwise to regulators, Tipton said.

Congress is going to have to cut spending and find ways to deal with the national deficit, Tipton said.

“There is no magic money out there” to pay for new programs or pay off debts, he said.

Rifle will be looking to him to help find a way to steady out its uneven dependency on the energy industry, City Councilman Keith Lambert told Tipton.

“Our economy fluctuates considerably,” Rifle City Manager John Hier said.

Tom Jankovsky, who takes office next year as a Garfield County commissioner, urged Tipton to work with county officials on the national level to deal with energy-related issues.

“We will be a constant and loud voice,” Commissioner John Martin said.

Tipton has applied to serve on the Agriculture, Natural Resources and Oversight committees, but he hadn’t heard on which one he’ll sit.

Tipton, the owner of a pottery and art store in Cortez, ousted U.S. Rep. John Salazar, D-Colo., in November in the contest to represent Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District, which includes most of the Western Slope and much of southern Colorado.


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