Curtis Issues Clean Air Challenge in Natural Resources Climate Change Hearing

Curtis Issues Clean Air Challenge in Natural Resources Climate Change Hearing

February 16, 2019

Washington, DC – Congressman John Curtis (R-UT), member of the Natural Resources Committee, delivered the following remarks at the National Parks, Forests and Public Lands subcommittee hearing regarding climate change.

“If any of you have been to Utah, you’ll understand why I believe Utahns have it in their DNA to be good stewards of this earth. It comes quite naturally. As a boy scout, I was taught to leave my campground cleaner than I found it. I actually believe that both Republicans and Democrats believe that to be true. I regret the stereotypes that are often formed around this issue. Somehow, all Republicans hate the environment and all Democrats are alarmists. I don’t believe either of those stereotypes are true.

I hope we can find common ground as we talk. You’ve heard from a lot of my colleagues today, on how important the forests are in this issue. I’d like to add to that: clean air, natural disaster resiliency, and the impact of local and state governments and elected officials. I believe personally, having been a former mayor, that if you want to reduce it by two degrees, mayors know how to solve this. I think it’s a mistake when we feel like there is somehow one magic fix at the federal level that we can mandate, a one-size-fits-all, to solve this problem.

I want to give a quick example. In Utah, in Salt Lake City and in Utah County, we have a unique problem; we’re surrounded by mountains on all sides. Particularly in the winter months, we get what’s called an ‘inversion’ where a high pressured system comes in and traps the air in those valleys. If you ask Utahns what the largest environmental crisis is, they’ll say clean air, and they’ll say it about 15 times a year. Otherwise, we enjoy beautiful mountain clean air. 

In response to this, our Governor, in his last state of the Union just several weeks ago, increased the money in his budget, not two times, not three times, but 117times for clean air. Introducing initiatives with transit,  we have big issues with wood burning stoves and that was a big part of it, electrical vehicle charging stations, and things like that were part of his plan. I mentioned that I was mayor before I came here, and our city recognized the need to take responsibility and we produced something called the Provo Clean Air Toolkit.

I would hope that you would all search on the internet for the Provo Clean Air Tool Kit and in it, I think you’ll see a masterful plan for cities about what individuals can do, what municipal government can do, colleges can do, businesses can do, to improve quality. We also introduced transit; we worked on walking and biking. As the major, I committed to riding my bike to work 100 times in a given year to try and inspire my residents to do the same. We introduced renewables. We’re a municipal power city, we were 70% coal when I took over, we introduced renewables and gave our residents the chance to buy as much as 100% of their energy from renewables.

We also recognized that no matter what we did as a government, unless the hearts and minds of our residents were in tune with this need, that we would accomplish nothing. We came up with what we called the “Provo Clean Air Challenge Pledge” and we had several points that we challenged our residents to do.

Before my time expires, I would just like to really emphasize how important it is that as members of Congress, we are personally doing what we can do before we ask other people to do it. Are we changing our lightbulbs, are we not using plastic bags, all of those things. The second thing is to remember the power of local government in solving this problem, and make sure we’re empowering them and not ignoring them.”

Background

In September of 2018, Congressman Curtis wrote an op-ed in the Daily Herald about Utah environmental issues and collaboration on potential solutions. Click here to read.

Provo Clean Air Challenge:

  • Change must start with us on a personal level
  • I would challenge my colleagues to take the pledge with me
  • I will consolidate vehicle trips and reduce my family’s total driving
  • I will park and walk instead of using drive-up windows
  • I will not let my vehicle idle for more than 30 seconds, even on cold mornings
  • I will ride my bike, car-pool, or use public transportation

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CURTIS FOR CONGRESS:
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Mailing Address:  P.O. Box 296   Provo, UT  84603-0296

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CURTIS RESPONDS TO PRESIDENT TRUMP’S 2019 STATE OF THE UNION ADDRESS

CURTIS RESPONDS TO PRESIDENT TRUMP’S 2019 STATE OF THE UNION ADDRESS

February 8, 2019

Washington, DC – Congressman John Curtis (R-UT), released the following statement after attending the State of the Union Address, delivered by President Donald Trump.

“As I listened to the speech tonight, I was reminded that we can do extraordinary things if we work together as a Congress, across the aisles in a bipartisan fashion. I’ve seen that happen. I saw it with opioids, I saw it with justice reform: two great accomplishments this last year. As we look forward, I’m hopeful that we can do the same thing on critical issues: lowering the cost of health care, taking care of our national security, building our infrastructure, and dealing with the difficult issue of immigration. I hope as all of us listened tonight, we affirmed our commitment to work across the aisle to accomplish great things for this country.”

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Mailing Address:  P.O. Box 296   Provo, UT  84603-0296

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CURTIS PROTECTS UTAH PRIORITIES WITH NEW TARIFF SAFEGUARD LEGISLATION

CURTIS PROTECTS UTAH PRIORITIES WITH NEW TARIFF SAFEGUARD LEGISLATION

February 6, 2019

Washington, DC – Today, Congressman John Curtis (R-UT), member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, released the following statement after introducing the Bicameral Congressional Trade Authority Act of 2019 with a group of bipartisan legislators. The bill would require the president to submit to Congress any proposal to adjust imports in the interest of national security under Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962. A companion bill was also introduced in the Senate.

“I am a firm believer that Congress has a pivotal role to play in determining America’s trade policies. I’m proud to introduce this bipartisan bill that would require the President to obtain Congressional approval on any proposal to adjust imports in the interest of national security. It also allows the Defense Department to a greater role in the process,” said Curtis. “I consistently hear from my constituents that they’re concerned about how the possible ways that tariffs may negatively affect their businesses and make result in more expensive products for Utah families. This bill ensures their priorities will be incorporated.”

Background

Under the new bill, Members of Congress have a 60-day period following submission to review the president’s proposal. A joint resolution to approve the proposal would qualify for expedited consideration in both chambers. The requirement would apply to all future Section 232 actions, in addition to those taken within the last four years. The bill would restore the national security intent behind Section 232 by transferring national security investigatory authority from the Department of Commerce to the Department of the Defense. Click here for a copy of the legislation.  

In November of last year, Rep. Curtis held a trade conference with Utahns and local business leaders to outline his vision for a responsible trade policy and his views on tariffs, including seven tariff alternatives. 

National groups that support the bill:

American Apparel & Footwear Association, American Beverage Association, American Chemistry Council, American Commitment, American Exploration & Production Council, American International Automobile Dealers Association, Americans for Prosperity, Americans for Tax Reform, Associated Equipment Distributors, Association for Print Technologies, Association of Equipment Manufacturers, Association of Global Automakers, Auto Care Association, Beer Institute, Campaign for Liberty, Can Manufacturers Institute, Center for Freedom and Prosperity, Club for Growth, Coalition of American Metal Manufacturers and Users, Competitive Enterprise Institute, Digital Liberty Farmers for Free Trade, Flexible Packaging Association, Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce, Grocery Manufacturers Association, Here for America, Heritage Action for America, Industrial Fasteners Institute, LNG Allies, Midwest Food Products Association, Motor and Equipment Manufacturers Association, National Confectioners Association, National Foreign Trade Council, National Marine Manufacturers Association, National Retail Federation, National Taxpayers Union, National Tooling and Machining Association, Niskanen Center, North American Association of Food Equipment Manufacturers, North American Die Casting Association, Pet Food Institute, Precious Metals Association of North America, Precision Machined Products Association, Precision Metalforming Association, Printing Industries of America, R Street Institute, Secure America’s Future Economy, Specialty Equipment Market Association, Taxpayers Protection Alliance, & U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

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CURTIS FOR CONGRESS:
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Mailing Address:  P.O. Box 296   Provo, UT  84603-0296

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CURTIS APPOINTED DEPUTY REPUBLICAN LEADER OF NATURAL RESOURCES SUBCOMMITTEES

CURTIS APPOINTED DEPUTY REPUBLICAN LEADER OF NATURAL RESOURCES SUBCOMMITTEES

February 5, 2019

Washington, DC – Today, Congressman John Curtis (R-UT) released the following statement after receiving his House Natural Resources subcommittee assignments. He will serve on the Subcommittee for the Indigenous Peoples of the United States, and has been appointed as Deputy Republican Leader of the National Parks, Forests, and Public Lands Subcommittee.

Rep. Curtis will serve as Deputy Republican Leader of the National Parks, Forests, and Public Lands Subcommittee

“I am thrilled for the opportunity to ensure Utah priorities are accounted for in the Natural Resources Committee by serving on two crucial subcommittees: Subcommittee for the Indigenous Peoples of the United States’ and ‘Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests, and Public Lands,’ as Deputy Republican Leader, said Curtis. “Both of these subcommittee address matters of utmost importance to Utah’s culture and economy.”

Background

With roughly 66% of Utah’s lands federally managed, it’s crucial that Utah has a seat at the table. The Natural Resources Committee oversees public lands management policy across the federal government. The Committee ensures responsible energy and resource development, outdoor recreation, agriculture, and conservation. The Committee also has responsibility for overseeing the National Parks System which includes “Utah’s Mighty 5,”—important drivers of Utah’s tourism economy. For more info, click here.

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CURTIS FOR CONGRESS:
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Mailing Address:  P.O. Box 296   Provo, UT  84603-0296

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CURTIS ASSIGNED TO ASIA & WESTERN HEMISPHERE FOREIGN AFFAIRS SUBCOMMITTEES

CURTIS ASSIGNED TO ASIA & WESTERN HEMISPHERE FOREIGN AFFAIRS SUBCOMMITTEES

February 5, 2019

Washington, DC – Today, Congressman John Curtis (R-UT) released the following statement after receiving his House Foreign Affairs Committee subcommittee assignments.

“I am honored to remain on the House Foreign Affairs Committee and to be serving on two very important subcommittees: ‘Asia, the Pacific and Nonproliferation’ and ‘Western Hemisphere, Civilian Security and Trade,’” said Curtis. Central to these assignments will be working on the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, pushing back on Chinese unfair trade practices and theft of American intellectual property, supporting democratic institutions in South America—including Venezuela—and the modernization and improvement of NAFTA and other trade agreements.”

Background

The Foreign Affairs Committee has significant responsibility for the nation’s foreign policy and diplomatic efforts around the world. The Committee includes oversight of the US Department of State, American embassies and diplomats, and US foreign humanitarian aid and investment. For more info, click here.

Noteworthy: Rep. Curtis is fluent in Mandarin Chinese.

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CURTIS, BICAMERAL LAWMAKERS INTRODUCE STUDENT LOAN TRANSPARENCY LEGISLATION

CURTIS, BICAMERAL LAWMAKERS INTRODUCE STUDENT LOAN TRANSPARENCY LEGISLATION

February 4, 2019

Washington, DC—Today, Representative John Curtis (R-UT) and Senator Mike Enzi (R-WY) introduced theTransparency in Student Lending Act, legislation that would improve the information provided to students and families taking on federal loans to finance higher education. The bill was also cosponsored by US Senators John Barrasso (R-WY), Joni Ernst (R-IA), and US Representatives Tedd Budd (R-NC), and Bill Posey (R-FL).

“As our global economy grows ever more competitive, education is key. Unfortunately, costs—including hidden costs—can be crippling,” Curtis said. “As the primary provider of the vast majority of student loans and education financing options, the federal government should provide a transparent and full accounting of associated costs and fees for borrowers. I represent the youngest Congressional district in the country with an average age of 26 years old; these students must be equipped to make the right decisions for their families and their futures.”

“Borrowers of federal student loans need transparent information when considering loan options and federal student loans should have to be upfront about their true costs,” Enzi said. “This bill would provide more transparency so families can be better informed about their financing options.”

Statements of Support

David A. Feitz, Utah Higher Education Assistance Authority Executive Director (full letter)

“The UHEAA fully supports the Transparency in Student Lending Act. UHEAA agrees that full disclosure of annual percentage rates (APR) and terms on all student loans should be required, especially on those originated by the federal government. As the largest lender in the nation, the federal government has already disbursed $30.4 billion on 8.5 million loans in the first quarter of FY 2019. All student borrowers deserve a full disclosure of accurate rates and fees they are being charged.”

Richard Hunt, Consumers Bankers Association President and CEO (full letter) 
“The 
Transparency in Student Lending Act will empower federal student loan borrowers with the information necessary to make informed decisions about higher education financing … CBA strongly believes better disclosure of federal student loan costs will promote informed decision-making and discourage the over borrowing that is fueling the high cost of college. We commend you for introducing legislation to demand the same level of transparency from the federal government as our member banks provide in the private student loan market.”

Debra J. Chomry, Education Finance Council President (full letter)

“On behalf of Education Finance Council (EFC), I am writing to endorse the Transparency in Student Lending Act. EFC supports this legislation and your efforts to require the disclosure of an annual percentage rate (APR) on federal student loans. EFC agrees that the federal government, as the originator of more than 90 percent of all education loans, should be required to provide a more complete accounting of the costs of these loans to enable families to make fully informed higher education financing decisions. Your bill will greatly improve transparency by prominently disclosing, when the loan is disbursed, the amount of the loan; the stated interest rate on the loan; the standard term of the loan; any fees or additional costs associated with the loan; and any capitalization of interest on the loan.”

Background

The Transparency in Student Lending Act would require disclosure of the annual percentage rate (APR) for federal student loans. The APR assists borrowers by showing the true cost of a loan, helping students and their families make more informed financial decisions. Currently, borrowers of private student loans receive this information, but borrowers of loans issued by the Department of Education do not.

The APR is expressed as a single percentage number that represents the actual yearly costs of funds over the term of the loan and takes into account the stated interest rate of the loan and any fees or additional costs associated with the loan.

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CURTIS FOR CONGRESS:
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Mailing Address:  P.O. Box 296   Provo, UT  84603-0296

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