During a visit with Pitkin County Republicans on Tuesday, U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton immediately stirred the crowd with partisan remarks.
There’s good news in the nation’s capital, said Tipton, R-Cortez, who has represented the sprawling 3rd Congressional District since 2011.
“Nancy Pelosi and the House of Representatives are not in session – America is safer,” he said to about 35 local GOP stalwarts at Hickory House restaurant in Aspen. “It’s a fascinating time to be in Washington, D.C. Not a lot is being done, and actually, that’s a blessing often times, for back home.”
Tipton quickly commented on the House impeachment of President Trump, which he opposed. The process to remove Trump from office is now in the hands of the Republican-controlled U.S. Senate, where it is expected to stall.
He said he read the full whistleblower report suggesting that Trump attempted to bring Ukraine officials into a partisan political investigation involving Democratic presidential contender Joe Biden’s son.
“For the first time in American history, we’re having a president impeached without a crime. This is just fact. There is no stated crime in two articles of impeachment, yet they’re proceeding with removal when we have an election this coming November. I think this is far better left in the hands of the American people, but as (Texas Democratic Congressman) Al Green has noted, if we don’t get him removed with this impeachment, we’ll just impeach him again.”
Continuing on the thread of anti-Democrat sentiment, Tipton noted that he sits on the House Financial Services Committee, which is chaired by U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters, D-California, and whose members include Democrats such as Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York. Tipton made a point of singling out the four congresswomen.
“It is a fascinating exercise intellectually, to see what they are proposing,” he said.
Tipton pointed out that the Export-Import Bank, the official export credit agency of the United States, is up for reauthorization, and that “Pressley and [Ocasio-Cortez] have put forward amendments … that no loans could be made to any business anywhere involved with extracting fossil fuels.”
He said as a supporter of energy independence, including hydroelectric power and oil and gas extraction, with environmental safeguards, he’s dedicated to keeping energy costs low.
“If you care about the environment, no one in the world will do [energy production] better than we will. We’ve got one method of doing that, and it’s the right way,” Tipton said.
“Can we have mistakes? Certainly we can. But our industry is dedicated to try to be able to remove any instances that they can of harming the environment and make sure that they’re delivering for America.”
Tipton said that regardless of President Trump’s removal of the U.S. from the Paris Climate Accord, the U.S. remains more committed to reducing greenhouse-gas emissions than most other countries that are part of the pact.
“Why is that? Because we actually incorporate technology, the ability to be able to create not win-lose, but win-win in this country,” he said.
Tipton said he remains committed to Western Slope water protections that benefit winter resort towns and their snowmaking efforts. He said he heard that Aspen Skiing Co. donated $60,000 to a political action committee to try to defeat his re-election bid.
“Guess what? I’m still going to stand up for protecting their water, for their access to those public lands, to be able to recreate in those areas,” he said.
Tipton spoke of national and state economic improvements, and said he’ll continue to stand up for policies that promote job creation. He said the U.S. jobless rate is 3.5 percent and Colorado’s is 2.5 percent.
“When I was in business, if the nation had 4 percent unemployment it was deemed full employment in the country,” he said. “We now have more jobs available than we have people to be able to fulfill those jobs.”
Trump’s trade policies will continue the economy’s forward momentum, Tipton said.
“President Obama was telling us this is as good as it’s gonna get,” he said. “We’re the United States of America. We have led the way and we can continue to lead the way, if we just kick open the doors for opportunity and for freedom.”
Tipton said the upcoming election will be tough for Republicans. He referred to the “blue wave” of the last two years in which Democrats made strides by taking control of the U.S. House and winning gubernatorial seats in states that traditionally side with GOP candidates.
“It’s important to turn out every vote that we have in Pitkin County,” he said.