Colorado’s Morning News, Cory Gardner, January 3, 2018

Station:   KOA, 710 AM

Guests:    Gardner, Cory


Date:        January 3, 2018


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KOA 850 AM HOST, APRIL ZESBAUGH: [00:00:00] Senator Cory Gardner has his own goals in this New Year and joins us live to talk about them. Good morning Senator.

U.S. SENATOR FROM COLORADO, AND CHAIR OF NRSC, CORY GARDNER:: [00:00:06] Good morning thanks for having me!

ZESBAUGH:: [00:00:07] Happy New Year!

GARDNER: [00:00:08] Happy New Year! It was one degree when I left home yesterday for work. So, it’s a little bit warmer today.

ZESBAUGH:: [00:00:12] Yikes! Did you spend some time in Colorado?

GARDNER: [00:00:15] Yep. Well, yeah, we were in Colorado the entire time. Yesterday I was in Boulder County in Boulder and Longmont, meeting with businesses, hospitals, and others. So it was a good day yesterday. But it certainly warmed up a little bit, finally.

ZESBAUGH:: [00:00:24] Well let’s talk about what’s happening in the months to come there in D.C.. You’ve got a lot of things on the table: DACA, the CHIP program, infrastructure, health care — all on the table in the coming months for the President to deal with. What do you think is the top legislative priority for the GOP right now?

GARDNER: [00:00:39] Well, clearly there’s a few things that you have to get done in January: the funding issues, CHIP has to be reauthorized. I’m a cosponsor of the bipartisan bill on CHIP. We need to get that done. That’s simply something that cannot wait, cannot delay. It’s unacceptable to allow women and children to go without the certainty that they deserve under CHIP. And so, we’ll continue to work for that, and funding the government — including our men and women in uniform — the certainty that they need around the world. So that’s something that we have to address. After that, of course, we have the ongoing conversations on immigration issues. I believe there’s common ground between Republicans and Democrats, that we can balance security — the need for security, absolutely — with common sense, that we’re not going to hold children accountable for the actions of their parents and we can have a solution on these young kids who were brought here at a young age through no fault of their own. So I think that’s something that can have strong bipartisan support, and the blessing of the White House.

ZESBAUGH:: [00:01:28] What about foreign policy right now? How top of mind are things like what we’ve seen the president tweeting on in this new year: Pakistan, the protests in Iran, North Korea and who’s got the bigger button. I mean, how how top of mind are these for you?

GARDNER: [00:01:41] Well, obviously Pakistan continues to be an ongoing concern. The question of their involvement and commitment to our efforts against terrorism has to be a continued point of conversation. But more immediate, of course, is the challenge of North Korea — the continued threats that Kim Jong un have put the globe under with his nuclear program. Iran, right now, — the fact that they have taken the billions of dollars they got in sanctions relief through the bad policy of the Iran deal, they’ve taken those billions of dollars in large military presence in Syria, in Lebanon, in Yemen, in Iraq. And now we see the people of Iran starting to stand up — and rightfully so — against this tyrannical regime that continues to be the globe’s leading sponsor of terror. So, they’re continuing to be a very important threat to keep an eye on, as well. But, you know, longer term we have a bipartisan chance of an infrastructure bill. I hope that — you know, if you’re driving to work this morning in Colorado you know we’ve had a lot of people move here and we’ve got to fix our roads. We’ve got to expand our infrastructure. That’s something that I think ought to be a top priority.

ZESBAUGH:: [00:02:40] Looking back over the past month, are you happy with tax reform in its final form?

GARDNER: [00:02:46] Look, I don’t know if you saw the news yesterday, Southwest Airlines announced they’re giving bonuses to their employees. Bank of Colorado is giving bonuses to its employees, all because the tax relief bill that we passed. If you’re a family — if you’re a single parent with one child at home and are earning forty one thousand dollars a year, you’re going to pay almost 75 percent less in taxes this year than you did last year. That’s going to help people. That’s going to put more money in people’s pockets, and I think that’s important.

ZESBAUGH:: [00:03:09] What do you think about the closer makeup in the Senate — 51 Republicans, 49 Democrats? After today, two more Democrats will be sworn in. Does that worry you at all?

GARDNER: [00:03:17] What I’ve learned about the Senate is 52-48 is probably just as close as 41-59 –[correctong himself] 49-51. So, it was a tight makeup to begin with last year. It’ll be a tight makeup to begin with this year. But most importantly, as we accomplish things for the American people like addressing infrastructure, like making sure that our men and women around the globe protecting this country have the resources they need to defend us, to protect us, to keep us safe. And of course, you know, this holiday was marred by a horrible, horrible travesty in Douglas County — the loss of a sheriff’s deputy and the others wounded. And our prayers and our thoughts go with them as we continue to make sure that they know they’re part of our Colorado family.

ZESBAUGH:: [00:03:55] Senator Cory Gardner from D.C., thanks for the time and get back to work, as they say.

GARDNER: [00:03:59] [chuckles] That’s right! Thanks for having me, April!