Colorado’s Morning News, Cory Gardner, January 24, 2019

Station:     KOA, 850 am

Show:       Colorado’s Morning News

Guests:    Gardner, Cory


Date:       January 24, 2019

Topics:      Government Shutdown, Walk and Chew Gum, Fund Border Security, The Wall, Continuing Resolution, Kevin Hasset, Council of Economic Advisors, Senate Election 2020, Re-election

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CO-HOST MARTY LENZ:  [With] the longest ever government shutdown, now into its second month, lawmakers in Washington [are] working on proposals to end it. Colorado’s Senator Cory Gardner [is] introducing a bill to pay federal workers who miss paychecks. And right now, the Senator joins us on the live line. Good morning, Senator.


LENZ:  You have finally, I think, taken a stand to say, “Look, we’ve got to get this open. Let’s get something passed, and then work on our problems afterwards.”  Is that your stance, and are other people following suit with you?

GARDNER:  Well, that’s been my stance from day one.  That’s was my statement from day one.  That’s the position I’ve taken over the last several years. So, this is nothing new.  And we’ll continue to say we can walk and chew gum at the same time, around here:  fund border security and open the government and do the people’s work.

CO-HOST APRIL ZESBAUGH:  What do you say, though, to some in your party who feel like you’re just helping the Democrats with their argument, and hurting the President’s ability to get this wall built?

GARDNER:  Well, I’ll be voting for the President’s proposal today. It re-opens the government [and] provides $5.7 billion in border security. And I hope it’s the only vote we take today, because it would re-open the government. If that fails, then there will be another vote that has the President’s 2018 border security request in it, through the Continuing Resolution. I’ll support that because I don’t think the shutdown is going to help the American people. I think we can – again — do two things at the same time:  fund border security, fight for more, and make sure that we are responsibly governing this great nation.

LENZ:  I know the last time we had you on, you said you had been hearing from constituents.  I imagine they’re getting a little more upset and even a little more nervous as this persists.

GARDNER:  Well, you have a lot of people who are very worried about it.  Kevin Hasset, the chairman of the President’s Council on Economic Advisors, said he wouldn’t be surprised if there is zero economic growth in the first quarter of 2019 as a result of this.  And so, that’s not good for this country. We’ve been very excited about the work that has taken place on economic progress, growth – wage growth. But to see that kind of a reversal is disappointing. And that’s just one of the many reasons why this needs to end.

ZESBAUGH:  Just to be clear, are you also supporting a clean funding bill, that doesn’t tie the government re-opening to the border wall?

GARDNER:  I’ll be supporting both measures because I think it’s important that we have border security. The second vote would re-open the government through February 8 in a Continuing Resolution. That Continuing Resolution also contains part of the 2018 budget request from the President for border security.

LENZ:  When you talk to your fellow colleagues in the Senate, are they feeling like you are?  Or are they just in different positions because they’re in different states, and so their constituencies have – I guess – different agenda?

GARDNER:  You know, I can’t speak for any of my colleagues about what they are doing and why they are voting this way.  I just think, as a Coloradan, it’s important that we accomplish what we set out to accomplish — that’s provide border security, fund a government that can govern maturely and responsibly, and get to work for the American people.  We’ve got firefighters that need to be trained. We’ve got a Forest Service that needs to be out, taking care and preventing the next forest fire.  We’ve got farmers who are starting to get production loans, who are worried about what is going to happen to the Farm Service Agency. So, we need to get this taken care of.

ZESBAUGH:  What do you say to those people who say you’re just looking toward 2020, and worried about your seat?

GARDNER:  Well, they haven’t looked at what we’ve been doing over the past several years which is making sure that we avoid these kinds of situations. This [is the] position that I’ve taken since 2013 – opposing the shutdown then.  I’ll continue to oppose them.

LENZ:  Senator Gardner, thank you for your time

GARDNER:  Thanks

ZESBAUGH:  Thank you