Udall, Bennet Land Flood Relief Dollars In Shutdown Settlement

UPDATE #2: The over two week-old shutdown of the federal government and accompanying debt ceiling crisis ends, for a couple of months anyway, as FOX 31's Eli Stokols reports:

In the end, all but one member of the Colorado congressional delegation voted in support of the legislation to re-open the government and avoid a potentially catastrophic default on the nation’s debts, which passed both the House and Senate Wednesday night.

Rep. Doug Lamborn, R-Colorado Springs, voted against the legislation, which passed the House on a vote of 285-144, with nearly all Democrats and roughly half of the House Republicans voting yes.

You'll recall that Lamborn had allegedly given up the fight well over a week ago, but with passage assured, it looks like he took the safe-seat opportunity to cast a protest vote. No doubt the 18,000 federal employees in his district appreciate his conviction. And please try to be understanding next time Lamborn's district catches fire.

Having voted to reopen the shuttered federal government and extend the debt limit, with only the most token of concessions compared to their original strident demands to "delay or defund" the Affordable Care Act, we'll leave our readers to debate the extent of the GOP's failure tonight. We'd say somewhere between epic and total.

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UPDATE: Sen. Mark Udall's statement a short while ago:

Mark Udall welcomed the passage today of a bipartisan deal to avert a destructive government default and end the ongoing federal government shutdown, which has hurt Colorado communities, Main Street businesses and middle class families for more than two weeks. The bipartisan agreement includes a Udall-championed provision to help Colorado rebuild flood-ravaged roads, bridges and highways.

"One of Congress's top duties is to support job creation, strengthen our nation's economy and help middle-class families thrive. But for several weeks, an extreme faction of one political party in one house of Congress manufactured a crisis and held our economic recovery hostage," Udall said. "It comes as no surprise that Coloradans overwhelmingly have rejected this extremist brinksmanship and instead implored members of Congress to collaborate on a bipartisan path forward. I’m proud that this bipartisan agreement finally will reopen our federal government, avoid a default on our nation's obligations, and deliver much-needed aid to Colorado's flood-ravaged communities — a provision I fought for."

"In the coming weeks, I look forward to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to address issues that I've pushed for years: reducing our nation's debt, passing immigration reform and a farm bill, putting in place more sustainable energy policies and making the federal government more accountable to taxpayers. But we must responsibly tackle these issues in inclusive ways that reject brinksmanship and political games."

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Image via Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-Golden)

Image via Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-Golden)

9NEWS' Raju Chebium:

A Senate deal aimed at ending the partial government shutdown and averting a debt default includes a nice chunk of change – $450 million – to help Colorado fully recover from the recent floods.

Aides to Sens. Mark Udall and Michael Bennet say the Democratic lawmakers worked to include language in the deal to lift the $100 million annual limit on emergency highway funds Uncle Sam is allowed to provide to help states recover from natural disasters…

The Senate is scheduled to vote on the deal later today but the House's plans are unclear.

9NEWS omits this detail, but this is the same money that the entire Colorado delegation sought prior to the shutdown in the wake of last month's devastating Front Range floods. You'll recall that officials from both parties, including New Jersey's Republican Gov. Chris Christie, hammered Colorado Republicans for their "hypocrisy" (Christie's term) in seeking these funds after voting against relief for victims of Hurricane Sandy in January. The Washington Post reported that New Jersey Sen. Jeff Chiesa blocked the funds until given assurances that they would not be paid from the Hurricane Sandy relief money Colorado Republicans voted against–which they originally would have been. Local officials will be greatly relieved to see these funds fast-tracked as part of the deal to reopen the government, as opposed to waiting for another vote down the road.

There is still a chance, of course, that some or all of our Colorado House Republicans will vote against the Senate's bill to end the shutdown. The deal isn't expected to garner much conservative support, and will likely pass the House with the support of Democrats.

Given everything that's happened, we would strongly recommend Colorado Republicans swallow their ideological pride (or shame as the case may be) and vote yes. And then apologize to New Jersey.

21 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. n3bn3b says:

    I expect them to vote their conscience. Spare me the self serving outrage from Rockefeller Republicans.

    • ModeratusModeratus says:

      You should settle down and let them do their jobs. Sometimes you need to know when to hold them and when to fold them, my friend.

    • langelomisteriosolangelomisterioso says:

      N3bbish- why does their "conscience"only come to the fore during this sort of crisis creation?I still want to introduce you to my ex-Ranger friend. Could you spare us your extremist ranting and raving,although it is mildly entertaining at times. Is "rockefeller Republican" the latest bagger exclusionary phrasing?Noone but those who agree with your radical rightist interpretations, eh?

  2. davebarnesdavebarnes says:

    Pork always creeps into bills. What else snuck in?

    Why not have a standalone bill?

    • Gilpin Guy says:

      Why not help people in need Dave.  My mother-in-law and sister-in-law were air evacuated out of Jamestown and it is still cutoff from the east.  They need help getting their roads and lives back together.  This is important to the economic health of our state and can speed the recovery process instead of waiting until next July to get the funds.  Why not not be an asshole and let Colorado rebuild with these funds?

      • davebarnesdavebarnes says:

        I did not say I was/am against flood aid. I said: have it in a standalone bill.

        • Gilpin Guy says:

          And I said that time is of the essence in this matter.  If you are going to fund the government than expedite what needs to get done.

          • horseshit GOP front grouphorseshit GOP front group says:

            This is a Congress that has passed the least amount of legislation in, well, the history of Congress.  You have to take the opportunity when something is actuall happening, which is quite rare with this body right now. That is why no standalone bill.

        • BlueCatBlueCat says:

          It would be nice if everything was stand alone instead of the kitchen sink bills that get passed with so much stuff nobody even knows what's in them but we all know that's not the way it works. This is the way it works in the real as opposed to non-existent ideal world so I'm at a loss as to why you would complain about somethiing this good being included in the not just usual but only real world possible way.

    • Gray in Mountains says:

      I'd have preferred a clean bill as well. OTOH; we CO voters can thank Udall and Bennet, rather than some tea bagger congessman for getting aid. Additionally, and I have mixed feelings here, it gives Tipton, Gardner and Coffman something they can get cover for fro their vote of yes

  3. Gilpin Guy says:

    This is welcome news.  I hope there was emergency funding to help all those ranchers in North Dakota who lost thousands of cattle in the freak once in a hundred years October snow storm.  Who knew so many once in a hundred catastrophic climate events would all happend in the span of a few years.

    • Diogenesdemar says:

      . . . Al Gore??

      . . . 99% of reputable climatologists??

      . . . the majority of Americans with at least a 6th-grade science education??

      • mamajama55mamajama55 says:

        Lucky us. ALEC is pushing legislation to require teaching climate change denial in schools in Colorado, Oklahoma, and Arizona. The new religious overreach into education strikes again.

        I'm already seeing the chilling effect of this. Good teachers are hedging a bit – saying that the science shows that climate change is real, but allowing the climate-change deniers credibility by saying that this is "controversial".

        And people wonder why USA scores 17th in math and science worldwide.

        • Littletonian says:

          That ALEC story is messed up.

          But to be fair, we score 17th in math and science worldwide because we take K-12 education way less seriously than the countries ahead of us on that list. I spent last year teaching in China's public school system: students attend school six days a week (or more), eleven months a year, and, in many cases, 12+ hours a day. Teachers are paid relatively high salaries and teaching is a desirable profession. So yeah, of course their test scores are better.

          • BlueCatBlueCat says:

            12+ hours seems a little excessive. Bet many of the other countries ahead of us are a bit less draconian. They probably also don't have as many silly new "new math" curricula constantly being trotted out as we do. And they probably don't have the kind of anti-science right we have here either. 

            • ajb says:

              BC, did you see this?

              http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/03/science/applying-new-rigor-in-studying-education.html?_r=0

              The Dept of Educations is actually doing "clinical trials" to see which math curricula work best. 'Bout time somebody did it, eh?

              • BlueCatBlueCat says:

                Agree. So many of the flaky ed theories that have come and gone have had no basis in anything even vaguely tied to empirical evidence. remember the whole self esteem movement where giving kids stars and rewards no matter how crappy their work was was supposed to make them feel so good about themselves they'd just naturally become great students? Based on nothing and just taught them to feel entitled to stars and rewards for  showing up.

                • mamajama55mamajama55 says:

                  It's worse than that. The curriculum publishing and educational consulting industries can make millions by putting out this dubious research, as you said. It goes something like, "Well, this SHOULD work with your school population, based on this study.." Then the district becomes the guinea pig for the curriculum. If it gets the desired results, they can use it to sell to another district somewhere. If it doesn't get the desired results, they just bury it.

                  Kids and teachers are usually the losers.

  4. JeffcoBlueJeffcoBlue says:

    I hope some Republicans actually lose their fucking seats for this. Let the hammer of justice fall. That is all.

  5. Sunmusing says:

    Our "republican" reps in DC and in Denver are our worst nightmare…they have no loyalty to Colorado, USofA, and most of all to us…NONE…they are corrupt, and deserve to be prosecuted as seditionists…It is good we have sane and stable Senators in DC willing to help Colorado residents, regardless of political affiliation…tee peers…BE GONE…

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