Kelley & Company, Cory Gardner, January 3, 2013

Station:      KNUS, 710 AM

Show:        Kelley & Company, with Steve Kelley, Murphy Wells, and Bill Rogan

Guests:      C. Gardner


Date:         January 3, 2013

Topics:      Debt Ceiling, Fiscal Cliff, Hurricane Sandy Relief Bill, Speaker of the House, Election, John Boehner, U. S. Senate, President Barak Obama, Debt, Deficit, Spending, Loopholes, Deductions, Pork Barrell Legislation, Media Bias, Fast and Furious, Benghazi, Tax dollars, Gun Control, Immigration, Doug Lamborn, Michael Bennet

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HOST STEVE KELLEY:  Now, because of the pressure they have appropriated the initial nine billion dollars, as Murphy [co-host, Wells] had in her newscast, nine billion dollars, with the remaining fifty-one billion in requested funds in January –January 15th they’re going to vote on that.  So, they’ve got to clean up these bills, though!  I mean, when something is needed, you’ve got to not laden it with pork, or pepper it with pork to try to win the votes!  It’s just the way our system works and I don’t think it’s right.

CO-HOST MURPHY WELLS:  The [World War I] memorial  [funding tied to Sandy Hurricane Relief bill]—how many years?  Ninety-six?

KELLEY:  Yeah, well, the World War I memorial, I mean, why does that have to be part of a Hurricane Sandy Relief Bill?

WELLS:  Right, and why does it keep going on and on?

KELLEY:  Because they need that vote from that representative, wherever they’re building that memorial.  And that’s how it works in Washington.  Well, a guy who knows how it works very well, Congressman Cory Gardner is joining us here, now.  And Congressman Gardner, from the Fourth Congressional District of Colorado, good morning!

U.S. REPRESENTATIVE CORY GARDNER:  Hey, good morning.  How are you?

KELLEY:  We’re doing very well.  Thank you very much.  While we’re on the subject, the Hurricane Sandy bill, um, John Boehner – and I want to talk to you about a leadership vote, will he retain leadership in the house?   But, did he make a big mistake on that one?

GARDNER:  You know, again, I think there was a lot of things that the Senate passed in the Sandy Relief bill that need to be examined by the House.  And so he made a determination that with the Fiscal Cliff bill and the rush to legislate, that that went through—trying to figure out what’s happening with that, and the new Congress beginning and the Old Congress ending, that the House needed a day or two to examine what was happening in the Hurricane Sandy bill.  And I think there’s a lot of things in there that people around the country would wonder whether or not –

KELLEY:  Yeah.

GARDNER:  –they are truly legitimately needed for the people to recover from hurricanes.  And so, I think – from a natural disaster – there is no doubt that this is a crisis.  There is no doubt there will be and ought to be help from all of us across the country.  But, the question is, do we need at least to take a small step and say, “Hey, what exactly is in here?”, so that we know we’re doing right, not only by the people of New York and New Jersey and those affected, [but] by the taxpayers of this country who will be paying the bill.

KELLEY:  Well, a couple things – there’s already been $300 million in private money, from the private sector.  And, in essence, by the way, anything that comes out of Washington, as far as I’m concerned, is also part of the private sector.  That’s our tax dollars.

GARDNER:  Right.

KELLEY:  It should be scrutinized.  But it just looks bad.  Doesn’t it?  I mean, — and the way it is being played in the media, unfortunately, [is] Boehner, this mean guy doesn’t — and you guys in the House — don’t care about those Hurricane Sandy victims out there.

GARDNER:  Look, the media is going to criticize the Republicans every time we turn around, because we are not in lock-step with the President.  And they are going to criticize any time they get a chance.  Now, should this have been handled in a different way?  Uh, there’s always going to be speculation about that.  But the bottom line is this:  John Boehner is not a – nor is the House Republican majority going to turn a blind eye on the victims of a horrible natural disaster.

KELLEY:  Eleven terms.  That’s how many times John Boehner has been – has served in the Congress.  Will he retain his leadership seat?

GARDNER:  He has already been nominated by the Republican conference to be their nominee for Speaker of the House.  That occurred shortly after the election.  There is no one who is going to challenge him, I believe.  There is speculation in the media, of course — the question of palace intrigue around here is more rampant than a high school locker room

WELLS, KELLEY:  [laughter]

GARDNER:  But, so, it’s pretty incredible to hear that speculation.  But today, at the end of the day, John Boehner will be Speaker of the House.

KELLEY:  Okay.

[Discussion follows regarding Gardners vote on Senate bill to resolve “Fiscal Cliff”.  Kelley stated earlier in the show that Gardner voted for the Senate bill, while Rep. Doug Lamborn and Senator Michael Bennet voted against it.  Gardner corrects Kelley, explaining that he voted against the bill, citing a post to his Facebook website which criticized the bill.  Kelley also says his votes can be seen on his official website, as well as the House Journal.  Gardner expands on his opposition, saying that spending isn’t dealt with in this bill, and there are no spending limitations, no deficit plans, and the Senate bill kicks the can down the road two months on spending  cuts.]

[Audio clip is played of President Obama saying he will not debate Congress on extending the Debt Ceiling.]

KELLEY:  […]  All right, so, Congressman, [quoting President’s speech] “We can’t go down that path again.”  You’re expecting a fight here in March, now, on not only the spending – and of course, this president I don’t think is genuinely concerned about spending as much as attacking deductions and loopeholes, but also the debt ceiling battle.

GARDNER:  The president clearly has no clear and firm grasp on what is wrong with this country’s fiscal situation.  There will be a big, big battle ahead when it comes to our nation’s financial standing.  Look, we face the very serious risk of a debt depression.  You thought Greece was bad, Spain, Italy, the European theater, when it came to their debt crisis.  It will pale in comparison to the debt depression the United States is facing.  We have sixteen trillion dollars in debt, and growing.  Our yearly deficits are over a trillion dollars, and growing.  Every man, woman, and child in this country owes $52,000 as their share of the federal debt.  And yet, this bill, from the Senate passed, giving the government hundreds of billions of dollars more money, and the President simply denies that by saying, “Hey, we need to keep going and pay our bills.”  Well, you know what, Mr. President?  We have a message for you.  And that message is that we are not going to imperil the future of this country by doing nothing.  We are not going to imperil the future generations of the country.  It is immoral.  It is wrong.  And he can be on the sidelines if he wants, but we have an obligation to fix it.

KELLEY:  […] This president is going to focus on immigration and gun control now.  Is that going to obscure – and then we still have Benghazi.  And I don’t know where Fast and Furious is.  This – there is so much stuff that hits the wall, if you’ll understand the metaphor, —

GARDNER:  [laughs]

KELLEY:  –we don’t know where to focus our attention, here, as the average American just trying to make a living out here.

GARDNER:  You know, one of the powers of the presidency is that he has agencies and departments that are – have so many personnel who are – you know, their job is to figure out how to not answer Congress.  Their job is to figure out how to ignore a Congressional letter and send something back that absolutely says nothing.  Whereas our committees have eight people who can investigate not only Benghazi, but every issue within the State Department — not only Fast and Furious, but every other issue.  And so, we have a personnel limitation that the President can ignore.  And he knows that if he throws everything up, and commands that bully pulpit to try to change the national media’s attention to this issue or that issue, then he can try to divide and conquer.  We will address the biggest issues of our time, but we must – we have an obligation to address our economy, this fiscal crisis.  To me, this is the most important issue of our generation, is what we are going to do to save this country from financial ruin.

KELLEY:  […]  And again, thank you for – […] Anyway, Congressman, thank you very much.  We look forward to talking with you again.  And just to be very clear, he did vote ‘no’ on the fiscal cliff.  Thank you.

GARDNER:  Correct.  Thanks.

KELLEY:  All right.  Take care.