By Liesl Greathouse
DELTA–U.S.(September 17, 2013) Congressman Scott Tipton held a Town Hall meeting in Delta on Sept. 5th. Locals were invited to come in order to have an opportunity to ask questions and get an update on what the Congressman has been working on. The room was filled to standing-room only with County Commissioners, other officials, and locals from Montrose, Delta and Grand Junction.
A common theme that Tipton spoke on was empowering the states and getting control back into the hands of locals. “Not all good ideas come from Washington,” He said, bringing laughs to the room. “One idea out of Washington D.C. may not really make sense in Colorado or other Western states,” He added.
The issue that has recently been uniting Americans is the issue of Syria, and Tipton was quick to address it. “I see no interests of the United States being threatened by Syria,” He said. “My vote is no.” That brought a round of applause from the audience.
Concerns over Obama Care (Affordable Care Act) were raised and Tipton talked about the impact that it is already having on small businesses. “Small business owners do not know what it will cost, or the rules of it, which change daily,” He said. “What did everyone originally agree on? That insurance was too high and that people wanted access to affordable care. But did we achieve that? No.” Tipton is working on a piece of legislature to replace the ACA, effectively defunding it and putting in something that he believes will work better. He encouraged people to look at his bill and give feedback on it.
Immigration was brought up multiple times, from talking about the 4.4 million people waiting to enter the nation legally to the need for workers in the agricultural industry. “We either import the labor or import the produce,” as one local put it.
One tool that Tipton is supporting is the Red Card, a system for temporary immigration involving a smart card that could verify biometric and demographic information, that he believes would be good for employers. “It is not perfect, but it is a starting point,” He said. Tipton believes that there needs to be a thoughtful solution to the immigration issue and not just a temporary fix. “We need to fix it, so we can finally put this issue behind us,” He said. “There are a lot of uncomfortable scenarios to deal with and we have to go through this in a thoughtful and compassionate way.”
One woman asked when we would see a solution to the immigration issue on a piece of paper rather than just talked about.
“As a nation we have ignored [immigration] far too long,” Tipton said. “But there are steps that we have to go through.” He compared immigration reform to building a house: “First you have to buy land, then build the foundation, the walls, etc., and as you are going through the process, when someone suggests a good idea, you then apply it to make it better.” Tipton emphasized that it is time to actually fix immigration reform for good, not just create a quick fix.
Tipton encouraged that if people are frustrated that they contact the Senate and encourage them to work with the House on a multitude of issues, including immigration. He said, “It is time that we roll up sleeves and for Congress to do its job.”