U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton, R-Cortez, took questions from students at a forum at Cortez Middle School on Friday afternoon.
Students asked the representative from the 3rd Congressional District questions on health care, foreign policy, education and other topics during a town hall-style meeting at the school library.
Tipton told students he attended the school when it was still called Cortez Junior High. He said he looks forward to visiting schools and that it’s important for students to learn about how government impacts their lives because they will have the opportunity to participate in government as the next generation.
“You’re the future,” he said.
Responding to a student’s question on school choice, Tipton said he is an advocate for choice. He said he values public education because his daughters went through public schools.
Above all, though, he said local control of schools is critical. Federal mandates can get in the way of that, Tipton said.
“No one knows our kids better than our local teachers and administrators,” he said.
On foreign policy, Tipton said Congress should be involved in a decision about military action in Syria. President Donald Trump ordered an airstrike on a Syrian airfield on April 7 without congressional approval.
The country’s most precious resource is its people, Tipton said. If some of those people might be sent into harm’s way in the Middle East, Congress needs to be able to weigh in, he said, adding that he’s hopeful for a diplomatic solution.
“There’s no winner in war ... but sometimes you have to fight,” he said.
On other current issues, Tipton said:
Refugees from Syria and other countries in the Middle East should be vetted. He was confident that U.S. leaders could work with allies in the region to find safe zones for refugees and other solutions for the region’s refugee crisis.President Donald Trump’s travel ban rollout this year could have been handled better. The ban called for a halt on allowing people from Syria and six other Middle Eastern countries to enter the U.S., but has been held up in federal court.It was “wise” not to bring the American Health Care Act to the House floor for a vote earlier this year. The legislation was designed by House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wisconsin, as a potential replacement for the Affordable Care Act but was withdrawn before the House could vote on it. He added that the American Health Care Act wasn’t ready, but he was hopeful that a lower cost solution could be found.At the end of the hourlong talk, Tipton applauded the students for their earnest questions. He said it was good to see middle school students thinking deeply about current events and issues.
“These are very thoughtful questions,” Tipton said. “Government impacts our lives.”