Earlier this week Congressional Republicans rammed through a tax plan that ranks as the most unpopular piece of legislation to pass through Capitol Hill in literally decades. Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Denver) opposed the measure — as did all Senate Democrats — and has not been shy about voicing his concerns. Colorado’s other Senator, Republican Cory Gardner, voted YES on the tax plan but isn’t really all that interested in talking about it.
Senator Bennet spoke with Colorado Public Radio (CPR) on Thursday and did not mince words about his disgust with the legislation:
“…the way I look at this is that they’ve been kind enough to spread some crumbs around for middle America to make it appear like there’s a middle-class tax cut, when the reality is they’re borrowing money from the middle class to finance these massive tax cuts for the wealthiest people the country. I don’t think that’s satisfactory. In fact I would say this is the worst piece of legislation that I’ve seen in the nine years that I’ve been in this job.” [Pols emphasis]
There’s certainly no mistaking Bennet’s position here, but why is Sen. Gardner supporting a tax plan that offers little help to middle-class Colorado families? That’s a good question…without much of an answer. As radio host Jo Ann Allen explained after Bennet’s interview on CPR:
“We’ve asked Republican Senator Cory Gardner numerous times for an interview on the tax bill and other topics. So far, he has not set aside the time.” [Pols emphasis]
Gardner isn’t just ducking Colorado Public Radio — he’s been noticeably silent on the tax plan since it really started picking up steam in November. Gardner issued a generic statement of support after the vote this week, but otherwise he hasn’t been very eager to talk about his enthusiasm for legislation that the entire country dislikes.
It’s not a huge political mystery as to why Gardner supported the GOP tax plan. Gardner is the head of the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC), and his anemic fundraising is setting off alarm bells all over Washington D.C.; he is absolutely desperate to win back the support of major Republican donors before his entire political career goes up in flames, and if that means supporting legislation that his constituents don’t like…well, whatever, right?
Still, is it really too much to ask for Gardner to actually defend his position on the only significant legislative accomplishment for Congressional Republicans in 12 months?
Don’t answer that.