AM Colorado, Cory Gardner, June 27, 2013

Station:     KFKA, 1310 AM

Show:        AM Colorado

Guests:     Gardner, C.   


Date:         June 27, 2013      

Topics:      Immigration Reform, Senate Immigration Bill, Gang of Eight, Border Security, Border Enforcement, Benghazi, Associated Press (AP), Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Scandals, National Security Administration (NSA), Colorado Youth Outdoors, July Fourth, Mainstream Media, President Obama, Europe, Africa, House Ways and Means Committee, Armed Services Committee, US Ambassador Stephens, Libya, Overreach, White House, Danny Werfel, Political Beliefs, Targeted, Conservative Groups, Pathway to Citizenship, E-verify

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HOST TOM LUCERO:  Joining us on the phone right now, Colorado’s 4th Congressional District Congressman Cory Gardner.  And Cory, how are you this morning?

U.S. REPRESENTATIVE CORY GARDNER, CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT 4:  I’m doing great, Tom!  How are you doing?

LUCERO:  I’m doing awesome.  Hey, Devon is away on vacation this week and joining me in studio, I know you know him, my good friend, Bob Hewson, the executive director of Colorado Youth Outdoors.  

GARDNER:  Hey, Bob!  How are you?

GUEST HOST BOB HEWSON:  I’m good, Cory!  Good morning to you! 

GARDNER:  Good morning! 

LUCERO:  So, hey, Congressman!  Let’s start off.  It seems like the scandals have been kind of put to the back burner with the mainstream media – a lot of focus on the US Senate right now with the immigration, but I know that there are still hearings going on, whether it’s Benghazi, AP, IRS, et cetera, et cetera.  Can you give us an update on what is happening over in the House right now. 

GARDNER:  Absolutely, and a lot of the reasons the media takes their attention off the President, it’s a little bit like a shiny light. The president has gone over to Europe and Africa for an extended visit and so whenever the shiny light leaves the room, the press is off onto something else.  And so you’ve got them focusing over in the Senate right now.  But you’re exactly right.  The House Ways and Means Committee is continuing to hold hearings on the issue of the IRS.  In fact, I believe that the IRS chief Mr. Werfel is testifying today before the Ways and Means Committee, as we speak.  Yesterday, the House Armed Services Committee held a hearing on Benghazi to try to get to the bottom of what happened with — that led to the deaths of four Americans, including the US ambassador.  We continue to look into the IRS and concerns of whether they may have taken our personal health information as part of an IRS investigation into health insurance companies.  So, this issue will continue, whether it’s the NSA trying to figure out why Grandma’s buying 2% milk at the grocery store and calling Grandpa about it, or whether the Benghazi soldiers were told something to stand down, issued an order.  And we’ll continue to look into the AP about why the President is trying to chill free speech.  So, these issues, these scandals , this overreach by the President  will not be forgotten or left unchecked. 

HEWSON:  Congressman, if you could maybe help me understand.  You know, how long do these things get drawn out?  I mean, can we expect this to go – you know, is this what we’re going to be following through the summer and into the fall?  And at what point does this – you know, where do we seean end to these –and  obviously multiple scandals—but, is there an end in sight? Are decisions really going to be made?

GARDNER:  Well, in the case of several of these scandals, the information was only brought to light after months and months, if not years of hearings and investigations.  The administration has hundreds of people who are able to try to obfuscate the work that Congress is doing to investigate their activities.  Committees only have maybe a handful – a dozen or less people to investigate, while the administration has hundreds, just within the White House alone, let alone around the various departments and administrations throughout the country and Washington DC itself.  So, these will continue until the White House is absolutely transparent and accountable with the American people. 

LUCERO:  So, Cory, it sounds like though, at the end of it, the next natural step in this process would be, if Congress unearths enough information, that would be a call – it’s Congressional authority, right, that is needed, to call for a special prosecutor? 

GARDNER:  Well, that’s right.  In certain instances, I think you will see a special prosecutor come forward.  I mean, just look at the IRS scandal in and of itself.  We now know it wasn’t just conservatives that were targeted, it was other people that were targeted for their political beliefs.  So, the investigation grows and more people – as we’ve said all along, ought to be outraged about what happened.  Because if it could happen to them, it can happen to somebody else, as we now know that it did.  So, the case for a special prosecutor needs to be rock solid, because, as you know, if we do something that just looks overtly – or is overtly political, that’s not the right thing for the country.  And that shouldn’t be done for overtly political reasons.

LUCERO:  Excellent.

GARDNER:  If we have the solid information on it, we should go forward. 

LUCERO:  Excellent.  […] All right, Cory, switching gears.  Immigration vote looks like it’s going to come up in the US Senate, here, in the next couple of days.  Can you give us an update?  One:  what’s going  on over in the US Senate, and two:  how the House is reacting to what’s going on in the Senate and what are you hearing, or what is going to happen over in the House, as it relates to the Immigration debate?   

GARDNER:  Well, the Senate, I believe by the end of the week, will indeed vote on the Senate immigration bill.  And I think they will approach close to seventy votes.  I don’t think they’re quite going to get there. I think they’re going to get around 69 votes for the Senate package.  I personally think that this debate needs a different bill than the Senate bill. I think the House will not have the votes for the Senate package, and I would not vote for the Senate bill, as it stands today.  And so, the House is going to focus on several things that we need to.  First of all, it’s the border security — focusing on border security first.  Border enforcement:  putting those things together that will actually secure the border and create a step by step process in this country to prevent the kinds of things that led to the failure of the 1986 bill, the last time this issue was addressed in a large order.  So, I mean, if we have a border security first,  enforcement, like e-verify system, we can find a system that actually brings people to this country, that – and keeps people in the country that are contributing to a healthy economy in the United States and actually has a willingness – a people’s willingness to pledge allegiance to this country.  Those are the things we need in a strong immigration bill

LUCERO:  Well, and it’s interesting that you talk about border security and I guess the question we ask, and the information we get – or the feedback that we get from listeners on this one, Congressman, for what it’s worth, is, “Why can’t we have a single piece of legislation that deals with border security, border security alone?”  And I know a lot of conservatives out there say, “Listen, we would be willing to talk about what to do with 11, 15, 20 million illegals in the United States if we had confidence that the border was secure.  We would be more than open to a discussion about what to do with them, and how to get them on a pathway to citizenship, and get them above ground here, because it benefits the economy and there’s more value to the economy if that happens.  But you’re a hundred percent right, everybody is looking at this as a replay of 1986.  So, the question is, how come we can’t just deal with the single issue right now of just border security? 

GARDNER:  And I believe that’s the direction the House will take.  The House is working on a strong border security package that deals with border security and enforcement.  That’s what the bill does, it doesn’t do anything else.  It deals with border security and enforcement.  It includes an e-verify component.  We are a nation of immigrants but we are also a  nation of laws. And that’s what this package – this first bill will focus on.   And I think we need immigration reform in this country.  But it’s got to start first where we can create that step by step process, beginning with border security. 

LUDERO:  Congressman, we’ve got about thirty seconds left.  Any final thoughts you want to get out there for the listeners?

GARDNER:  Well, I just – again, the Fourth of July is coming up.  It’s a great time to reflect on the freedom this country stands for  and the Constitution that that day means for us.  So, the Constituion is derived from that great day, over 200 years ago. 

LUCERO:  Excellent Cory!  Always appreciate the time!

GARDNER:  Thanks!  Thanks for having me on!