Amy Oliver Show, Cory Gardner, August 9, 2013

Station:     KFKA, 1310 AM

Show:        Amy Oliver

Guests:     Gardner, C


Date:         August 9, 2013

Topics:      Fourth Congressional District, Recess, Town Meetings, Space Coalition, Aerospace, Satellite Companies, Telecommunications, Repeal, Affordable Care Act (ACA) Tom Price, Rep. Tom Graves (Georgia), Defund Obamacare, Delay Implementation, individual Mandate, Veto, Mainstream Media, Continuing Resolution, Entitlement Reform, Mandatory Spending, Governor Hickenlooper, Transparency, Non-Profit Status, IRS scandal, Tea Party Groups, Darryl Issa, House Ways and Means Committee, Whistleblowers, Unions, Collective Bargaining, Congressman Jared Polis, Weld County, Daily Camera, Boulder, Fracking, Drilling, Vince Carroll

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HOST AMY OLIVER:  All right, let’s get right to our Congressman, Cory Gardner.  Good morning, Congressman, representing the Fourth Congressional District.

U.S. REPRESENTATIVE CORY GARDNER:  Good morning, Amy!  How are you?

OLIVER:  I’m good.  So, you’re on recess.

GARDNER:  We, uh–This is the August chance for us to get out and do town meetings, and meet with constituents and we’ve been busy doing just that.

OLIVER:  So, where are you today?  Where can folks find you?

GARDNER:  We just actually had a meeting with the Space Coalition, a group of people – well, it’s actually a group of people from across the state who are talking about trying to bring more aerospace jobs to Colorado.  The 4th Congressional District now has a lot of aerospace presence in it, actually.  And we’re just about, oh, a hop, skip, and a jump across the South Platte river to Lockheed Martin’s Waterton Canyon manufacturing facility.  And of course, headquartered in the the 4th Congressional District is telecom business, aerospace, satellite companies like Dish Network and then Direct TV has a huge presence.  So, that’s who we just finished meeting with, and this afternoon we’ve got some other meetings out in the eastern plains.

OLIVER:  Excellent.  And then when do you get back to Washington D.C., right after Labor Day?

GARDNER:  Yes, after Labor Day.  I’m trying to – I think it’s right around the 9th.   There’s a Jewish holiday right at the beginning of September that the Congress does not go into session for, and that’s right after that.

OLIVER:  So, I want to ask you about a couple of things.


OLIVER:  I think the biggest news over the last few days, how come Congressional staff gets to keep subsidies – gets special treatment under Obamacare?

GARDNER:  Well, this is something that I knew was going to be a major problem with Obamacare early on, and that’s why I opted out of the federal insurance.  I do not take federal health benefits.  That’s a decision that I made when I first got elected.  And so, the decision made by the Obama administration, I think, needs to be visited by Congress in terms of making sure that everyone is being treated fairly and equally, that nobody is treated any different than anybody else.

OLIVER:  Here’s what irritates me as a private citizen, as a taxpayer, is that they just get – you know, they were all concerned about ‘brain drain’ on Capitol Hill, because of these—of  the impact of Obamacare on staffers in Washington D.C. .  Just out of curiosity, why don’t they think that same effect – or that businesses won’t have the same impact?  I mean –

GARDNER:  That’s exactly – exactly right.  In fact, that’s why the President did delay his Obamacare implementation on the business side of thing by a year, because he recognizes that it’s not ready – that it’s going to be a disaster.  I mean, this is a – Max Bacchus said it, Harry Reid has said it – a train wreck!  And it’s got — the whole thing has got to be stopped, got to be repealed.

OLIVER:  So, how do we stop it from going into effect in two months?  Or three months?  What is it?  No!  two months.  October 1!

GARDNER:  Yes, so we just – the House just passed a bill to make sure the IRS is no longer has anything to do with healthcare.  So, we passed that bill.  That was Tom Price’s bill, to get the IRS out of our healthcare.  We have passed legislation to repeal it, to replace it.  We — I have supported efforts to defund it.  I’m co-sponsoring a bill with Tom Graves of Georgia to defund Obamacare.  We have got to stop this bill from taking place.  And you know, we also passed a measure – and this is what’s amazing, we passed a measure to – two measures, actually, out of the House.  One to delay the healthcare implementation for a year, just like the President did on the business side.  And another one to delay it for individuals for a year, the reasoning being, “Hey, if businesses have it delayed for a year, shouldn’t individuals have it delayed for a year?”  The President threatened to veto both of those bills. Now, they passed the House with strong bipartisan support.  The president said he would veto them.  One of them is something he is already doing!

OLIVER:  Why are we losing the narrative on defunding Obamacare?  When I say that, um, all — here’s what mainstream media – and you know this probably better than anybody.  Mainstream media out there, say, “Oh, shut down the government!”  What is going to happen if you – if this comes to an impasse, because the Senate isn’t going to support defunding Obamacare?  What happens then October 1?

GARDNER:  Well, if you mean – are you – in terms of funding, are you talking about, or in terms of actual implementation?

OLIVER:  Yeah, funding Obamacare.  I mean, how far are we willing to go?

GARDNER:  Well, here’s the challenge with defunding.  If – the CR [continuing resolution] defunds it.  And I hope that the CR can defund as much of it as it can.  But most of the Obamacare spending is on the entitlement side.  And this is where I talk all the time about the need for entitlement reform, meaning  that even if it gets zeroed out in the continuing resolution, it basically moves forward, because all of it is mandatory spending.  Not all of it, but a huge portion of it is mandatory spending.  And so, even if you address it through the normal appropriations process, most of it still goes forward – the mandates, etc. –because of the entitlement, the mandatory nature of it.  And that was what they passed.  And that’s why we’ve got to pass legislation to repeal it.  And that’s why the Senate in 2014, it’s so absolutely critical to us, so that we have a branch of government, in addition to the House, that is willing to stop this thing.

OLIVER:  What do you think about Governor Hickenlooper’s recent comments, and I think he was referring to Washington when he said, you know, “It used to be that we elected these people to make hard decisions,”  and then, now, they have to do it in the light of day – God forbid, instead of going behind a door and shutting it and going behind – you know, closed doors, making a decisions and then coming out and telling everybody else what they’re doing?

GARDNER:  Uh, transparen – thank goodness for transparency.  I wish we had more, not less.  Look what happened with Obamacare.  Obamacare was, to a great degree, done behind closed doors.  Look at the stimulus bill.  Decisions were made without the input of Republicans, and look what happened.  The more we do things in the light of day, the better it’s going to be.  If you – if you – if we – if any of us had said, “Hey, we should have less transparency,”  we’d be laughed out of town, and rightfully so.

OLIVER:  Where is the investigation into the IRS, right now, and their extra scrutiny on – investigations into Tea Parties by —  denying them non-profit status?  And I ask this because – you know, I’m not somebody who says, “Get rid of the IRS completely!”  Because you need something that – some agency needs to be able to collect revenue, some how, some way.  I don’t know what it looks like, but some how, some way.  But clearly, the IRS – there’s an abuse of power, and it could very well go all the way to the White House.  So, where’s that investigation?

GARDNER:  Right, it — Absolutely.  It’s continuing.  Darryl Issa, the House Ways and Means Committee, continue to investigate it, continue to interview employees and get information from whistleblowers.  I’ve introduced two bills on the whistleblower – oh, excuse me – two bills on the IRS debacle.  One, to make sure that employees of the IRS know that they have protection, so that when they come to Congress and talk about it, they know that they have protection –that they’re not going to get retaliated against for telling the truth.  And the other one is a bill that I introduced a couple of weeks ago that said that IRS employees are forbidden from joining unions that have collective bargaining power.  Because, again, that’s a political decision that they’re going to be able to influence, politically, their investigations the IRS takes on.  So, trying to make sure that we de-politicize the IRS — that these investigations continue.  We have passed a number of bills last week that would give the administration the power to fire employees of the IRS who do the wrong thing.  Because right now, they don’t have – now, obviously President Obama  is not going to do that, but the next administration would be able to.  We had to pass a bill that gives you and I the right to record a conversation with an IRS auditor, because we didn’t have that right in law.  And we’ve also continued to use the appropriations process to take away the additional agents needed because of Obamacare.

OLIVER:  I have one more question before we go to break, and this is from a listener.  Will you pass another continuing resolution if money goes to Obamacare?

GARDNER:  Well, I think we need to defund Obamacare and I would support amendments that would take that money out.

OLIVER:  So, they– But right now, we haven’t even passed a budget, right?

GARDNER:  Right.  The House has passed a budget but –.

OLIVER:  Everything’s going on continuing resolutions.

GARDNER:  The House has passed a budget, right.  But it’s looking more and more toward a continuing resolution, which is just the wrong way to continue governing this country.

OLIVER:  What about the 17 trillion [dollars] in debt?

GARDNER:  And that’s got to be addres–.  Absolu–!  That’s the overarching problem, is the debt load that this country faces.  And that’s what this healthcare bill is going to make worse.

OLIVER:  Yeah, and most Americans don’t even like it.

GARDNER:  You know, it’s– the amazing thing in the polling information is that some people don’t even realize what’s coming yet.  But they’re about to find out.

OLIVER:  Well, sometimes –.  I guess elections have consequences.  “You’re about to find out.”  Hey, Congressman, we have to take a quick break.  Coming back, I’d like you to react to Congressman Jared Polis’s – what I would consider to be a rather melodramatic over-reaction to – he says his Colorado dream is now gone.  Well, actually, I didn’t know he vacationed in Weld County, which I think is funny in and of itself, but we’ll have this conversation in just a moment.  9:46, the time.

[commercial break]

OLIVER:  Nine minutes before the top of the hour, on Newstalk 1310 KFKA.  Amy Oliver Show, coming up in just a moment, Wining with women, Wines with a Cause.  […]  Let’s get right back to Congressman Cory Gardner, representing the 4th Congressional District.  Did you know that Congressman Jared Polis comes to the banana belt, Weld County to vacation?


OLIVER:  Did we lose – did we lose him?  Ooop!  Well, we’ll see if we can get him back!  [laughing]  But I will say this, there is Congressman Jared Polis, this melodramatic – the worst part, he wrote a — there was a column that appeared in the Daily Camera, which is the Boulder newspaper, one that appeared in The Denver Post, but by far the worst and one that was deserving of ridicule was the one he put on ColoradoPols, where he is obviously trying to appeal to the whacked out Leftist base, and he – it’s titled “I’ve Been Fracked”.  [It] turns out he wasn’t, because the fracking hadn’t begun on that site that is near his vacation spot in the banana belt, which is also known as Weld County.  Who knew that he came here for vacation?  Apparently his Colorado dream was centered in Weld County.  Of course, it was! Where else would it be. And, I don’t know – is that —   part of Weld County is in the 2nd Congressional District.  Is that part of it in the 4th or the 2nd?  I’m talking with Congressman Cory Gardner.

GARDNER:  Hey, Amy, I’m sorry I got disconnected earlier.  I had it on ‘mute’ and then I ended up hanging up trying to switch it off of ‘mute’.  So, I’m sorry about that!  It is — actually, now, all of Weld County is in the 4th Congressional District.  So, while –

OLIVER:  So, he vacations in the 4th Congressional District.

GARDNER:  And I thought most people vacation in Yuma County, but evidently, Weld County is up there, too.

OLIVER:  Well, they just come to the 4th Congressional District.

GARDNER:  That’s right.  Just to the 4th.  Just to the – I think you said it, the banana belt of the 4th Congressional.

OLIVER:  [laughing]  And that, — that’s his Colorado dream is in Weld County and the 4th Congressional District.  Funny it’s not Boulder!  The other thing is he goes on to say his in-laws are refugees, living on his couch in his apartment in Boulder.  To me, this was so over the top and so ridiculous and obviously, — I mean, finally The Denver Post today had “Fracking versus Drilling:  the Story behind a Denver Post correction”.  And they identified the equipment as incorrect .

GARDNER:  That’s right.

OLIVER:  And this is the thing, people don’t know the difference between hydraulic fracturing and drilling.  And so, it makes me wonder:  Is Congressman Jared Polis opposed to drilling?  Or is he opposed to fracking?

GARDNER:  Well, what clearly shows that there is opposition to, is property rights.  And that is the fact that his neighbor exercised a property right.  A mineral rights are a property right.  And to accuse the neighbor of utilizing their property rights, and thereby destroying his Colorado dream, is a scary proposition for anyone in this state who is a property owner, a homeowner, a farmer, rancher, — you name it.  Because if by utilizing the land that is your Colorado dream destroys somebody else’s Colorado dream, and they can sue and win, what do we have left?

OLIVER:  Right.  He also goes on to say this horrible, smelly, awful, industrial process.  He doesn’t know about the chemicals.  He does—.  He was so over the top, melodramatic in this.  And obviously, he is trying to appeal to his base, but it certainly doesn’t help with the dialogue of –.  He then goes to Vince Carroll and tells him, “Oh, I just want some reasonable dialogue and reasonable regulations.”  That isn’t what he was putting forth when he said his Colorado dream had been turned into a nightmare.

GARDNER:  Well, imagine how that –you know, in The Denver Post they had a picture of a rig worker climbing up the derrick.  Imagine how that person felt when he opened up The Denver Post and was accused by a United States Congressman of ruining his Colorado Dream.  That rig worker is probably trying to figure out how to pursue his or her Colorado dream, how to put food on the table for their family, how to affort college education for their kids — Heck,  how to pay off  his own college education, or even pay for a college education that he may or may not have.  But when you start accusing somebody for doing their job – to me, this whole debate has boiled down to, “We don’t like those kinds of jobs in this country, and we don’t want them here anymore.”

OLIVER:  Yeah, this is going to be a ban – I think — they use the word “fracking”, but I think it’s really a ban on drilling, is where some of these folks are headed.  You’re right, it would be probably the largest takings in Colorado history if a ban on hydraulic fracturing were to pass in the state of Colorado

GARDNER:  [inaudible]

OLIVER:  Hey, Congressman, thanks for being on the show!  Second hour, coming up.