AM Colorado, Cory Gardner, May 23, 2013
Station: KFKA, 1310 AM
Show: AM Colorado
Guests: Gardner, C.
Date: May 23, 2013
Topics: IRS Scandal, AP Scandal, Benghazi Scandal, Cover-up, Fifth Amendment, First Amendment, Homeland Security Committee, Judiciary Committee, Lois Lerner, Speaker of the House Boehner, Special Investigator, Investigative Committees, Comprehensive Immigration Reform, Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX), Gang of Eight, E-verify, Border Security, Pathway to Citizenship, Representative Bob Goodlatte, Representative Lamar Smith, House Judiciary Committee, Michael McCall, Healthcare, Illegal Aliens, Undocumented, Border Fence, Impasse
HOST TOM LUCERO: And speaking of electoral politics, joining us on the phone right now, Colorado’s fourth Congressional district, Congressman Cory Gardner. Cory, how are you this morning?
U.S. REPRESENTATIVE CORY GARDNER: Hey, Tom and Devon! I’m doing great. In fact, I am walking onto the House floor to vote, and then you may hear a little background noise and then I’ll be in the cloak room visiting with you guys.
HOST DEVON LENTZ: Fabulous! Okay, Cory, there are so many topics surrounding Washington, I don’t even know where to start. So, let’s dive in with one: the IRS issue and Lois Lerner, specifically, will she be called back?
GARDNER: Well, it certainly sounds like yesterday’s testimony where she started to talk about her innocence and then invoked the Fifth Amendment. I believe she will be called back and I believe she should be called back.
LUCERO: So, where do you think –and let’s take all of them, we can lump them all together, right now,– Benghazi, IRS, and the AP, what are you hearing from your leadership, Cory– from Speaker of the House Boehner? Are any of these going to elevate themselves to the point where he is going to appoint special investigative committees for all of them, one of them, two of them, none of them?
GARDNER: Well, no, I think you are going to see a special prosecutor appointed particularly on the IRS. We’ll see how long that takes. But again, When you have somebody who invokes the Fifth Amendment, admitting that there may be some episode of self-guilt, there’s a lot more information that needs to be obtained.
LUCERO: Well, and I think the one – and we’ve been talking about this, because we started with it last week — was Benghazi, and disappointed that the Speaker was not at that particular point going to appoint an independent investigative committee, and then of course, the IRS and the AP stories broke on top of it. It just seems like the Benghazi scandal is getting lost in the background on the IRS and the AP. What are you hearing there?
GARDNER: Well, I actually think the Benghazi hearing and the Benghazi investigation is actually picking up steam. In fact, the Washington Post yesterday had a poll that showed six out of ten independent voters believe that the administration is covering something up. I saw a poll this morning that, I think, said that 58% of people believe administration is covering something up about Benghazi or disapprove of the handling of Benghazi. And so, I think this is one of those things that has been an incredibly devastating week for the American People, watch[ing] this administration, you know, mislead at best, lie at worst for way they’ve handled the IRS, the way they’ve handled Benghazi, and how they are treating reporters under our First Amendment rights. So, I think Benghazi will continue to be an investigation at the top of people’s minds. But right now, we can’t even get answers from the IRS. People are going to be run into the healthcare bill [???]about what they did to target American citizens for their political, philosophical [inaudible]. And they wanted to know the content of people’s prayers were at their meetings!
LUCERO: Yeah, its’ absolutely just flabbergasting. Although I do appreciate the humor in when one of the Tea Party groups, when they said, “Please submit your paperwork and documents that, you know, support your organization,” and they sent them a copy of the Constitution.
GARDNER: [laughs] Well, you know what, I doubt that that was read, unfortunately.
LUCERO: Yeah, exactly. Hey, Cory, switching gears a little bit […] So, getting lost in all the media coverage right now because of all of the scandals going on, it certainly looks like the immigration reform bill from the Gang of Eight is going to clear the Senate. Senator Ted Cruz yesterday talking about the fact that he doesn’t trust Republicans related to the budget and some of these other issues on leadership, tried to offer a number of amendments to put some safeguards in the immigration reform bill. So, likely it will clear the senate in pretty much the form it is in right now. What is going to happen when it gets over to the House?
GARDNER: Well, the Senate bill cannot pass the House of Representatives. It is a start of a conversation but that is it. It is not the end of the conversation. And so, as the Senate bill is written, there are not the votes for that bill to move in the House of Representatives. So a couple of things could happen. There’s a bipartisan working group in the House that is focused much more on border security than the Senate bill is, and they are working to try and come out with their package. People like Raul Labrador from Idaho are working on that legislation. Republicans and Democrats, right now, they are hung up on the issue or question of healthcare and whether or not certain people in this country who are not, you know – certain illegal aliens will be given healthcare or not. That’s the hang up right now, on that particular piece of legislation. Bob Goodlatte, who is – and Lamar Smith, both members of the House Judiciary committee, have their own approaches, that are sort of a ‘single shot’ rifle approach to immigration. Those are possibilities if the bipartisan working group doesn’t come up with something. But I think Michael McCall, chairman of the Department of Hom – excuse me, the chairman of the Homeland Security Committee has a border security package that passed, I believe, nearly unanimously out of his committee and that will be a good start in terms of border security we’ll see that move, I believe, this summer.
LUCERO: So, what is it going to take for you to support a bill coming out of Congress, because I know that the people we are talking to and hearing from, the only thing they care about is border security and no chance at citizenship for the illegals in the country, right now. And they definitely don’t want to see them participating in food stamp programs, welfare related programs, housing subsidy programs. So, you know, as you talk to your House colleagues and they are trying to craft this legislation, what input are you giving them about what you’re willing to support.
GARDNER: Well, we have to hold two values and measure everything by these two values. Number one: maintaining the US as a nation of hope for the world. Most of us are immigrants, and so we have to maintain the ability to come to the United States legally. Number two: we have to – we are a nation of laws. And the laws need to be enforced. And the laws need to be so that 30 years from now we don’t have the same kind of situation that we’re dealing with today, because of what happened 30 years ago, when it came to immigration reform. And so, how do we make that work? Number one: border security. We have to have meaningful border security, and that’s not just on border itself. That does mean additional personnel on border. That does mean additional security – a fence, you name it, on the border. But it also means an e-verify system within the United States so that the magnet for illegal immigration is not here, that people who are working are legally eligible for work in this country. So, those are sort of the numbers one and two components. Number 3, we’ve got to have a guest worker program that meets the need of agriculture, that meets the needs of labor who want to be here legally, and back and forth travel between their home country and this country in a legal process. You put those three things in place, and I believe we will have a very good system going forward, for people who want to come to the United States and who are here who want to do so in a legal way.
LENTZ: Cory, my only concern, and I’m not saying that they’re good or bad ideas, by concern is, right now, I think the public, and myself is definitely included in this, Washington is making the laws and Washington is the one disregarding the laws. So even if –
GARDNER: Devon, you’re exactly [inaudible] – that’s why it has to start with border security and some kind of a proof or trigger on border security so that it doesn’t happen unless you can actually prove that we have done the – taken the steps and components necessary to implement meaningful security measures.
LENTZ: Okay, so –
GARDNER: The Senate version has a trigger, but it’s like five years into the program [and]then it doesn’t stop anything. It just says, “Okay, study it in a committee and work harder on it. No. We’ve got to prove to American people that, thirty years from now, this system still works.
LENTZ: But I don’t feel like the Senate is getting that. So, are we going to be at an impasse with immigration, then?
GARDNER: Well, I don’t think we have to be at an impasse. I think we have to convince the Senate that if they are truly interested in immigration reform, this is the way it needs to be done.
LUCERO: [laughing] We appreciate your optimism on that one, Congressman Cory Gardner! Hey, Cory, before we run out of time, any final thoughts you want to share with our listeners, what’s going on over and above the scandals and immigration right now?
GARDNER: Well, I – again, if you have been subject of one of these targeting scandals or schemes by the IRS, please let us know. Call my office. We’d like to hear from you. If your organization or group has been scrutinized, you believe unfairly, by the IRS, call us and we’re trying to gather that information up so that they can be a part of this investigation, as well.
LUCERO: Excellent. Thank you so much, for what you’re doing, Congressman!
GARDNER: Hey, thank you, guys! Take care!
LENTZ: Thank you!
LUCERO: This is Colorado News Talk, thirteen-ten, KFKA, with your hosts, Tom and Devon! Now over to Troy with a look at sports.