Another Offramp Cory Gardner Didn’t Take

President Trump and Sen. Cory Gardner.

As AP via the Colorado Springs Gazette’s political blog reports, the U.S. Senate attempted yesterday to override President Donald Trump’s veto of a resolution to terminate the national emergency declared to allow Trump to divert Department of Defense funds from projects across the globe to construction of a wall along the southern U.S. border–a wall Sen. Cory Gardner of Colorado has repeatedly claimed he doesn’t support:

The 53-36 vote — 53 for overturning the veto and 36 for sustaining it — was well short of the two-thirds required to overturn the veto.

In Colorado, Democratic U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet voted in opposition to Trump’s veto and Republican U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner voted to sustain it.

“The minority is once again refusing to provide funding for border security,” Gardner said in a statement. “Even though Senate Democrats have finally admitted the humanitarian crisis at our border is real, they still refuse to do anything about it.”

Sen. Gardner’s former position against the construction of a wall on the southern border has always been what we’d call passive opposition, not delivered with anything like the same vigor that Gardner goes after Democrats. Gardner has more recently tried to present a moderate face on immigration after years of safe-seat demagoguery, while generally voting the GOP hard line on both immigration reform legislation and (more importantly) the GOP leadership who ensure gridlock on the issue persists no matter what Gardner claims he supports.

Gardner likewise claimed to oppose Trump’s national emergency declaration giving him the power to divert the funds to wall construction, but that claim didn’t survive the three votes Gardner has taken now to back Trump and turn back the attempt in the Senate to terminate the national emergency. At this point, Gardner isn’t even trying to reconcile what he said before about both the wall and Trump’s emergency with what he says today, because there’s simply no way to do it. Gardner has 100% caved on his previous opposition, and is meekly parroting a line he would have rejected before.

There’s no excuse, it looks terrible, and it contributes directly to Gardner’s freefalling approval. But Gardner can’t blame anyone else after so many chances to change course. All the damage now is self-inflicted.

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2 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. JohnInDenverJohnInDenver says:

    The next month ought to be interesting. 

    Budget "negotiations" continue, trying to resolve spending issues before the November 21 continuing resolution expires. Fiscal Times article says:

    funding for Trump’s border wall – the issue that sparked a 35-day partial government shutdown earlier this year – remains unresolved. The House version of the Homeland Security bill provides no funds for a wall, while the Senate version provides $5 billion. And Senate Republicans plan to “backfill” the $3.6 billion in military construction funds the Trump administration is redirecting to the border, but Senate Democrats say they will oppose doing so.

    Add in the distinct possibility of Trump "continuing" the emergency and grabbing funds from the 2020 budget, and we have one more instance of the Executive trying to make the Legislature irrelevant.

    And Cory will continue to be concerned but unable to do anything — even if another multi-million dollar military project won't happen in Colorado.

  2. kwtreekwtree says:

    I get Cory Gardner’s weekly email newsletters. This week’s edition pissed me off., because Gardner is taking credit for two Democratic accomplishments he opposed: Colorado’s reinsurance waiver, and student loan forgiveness for disabled people. The man has no shame. From his newsletter:

    Colorado Health Insurance Premiums Drop More Than 20%

    I applaud the recent announcement that health insurance premiums on the individual market will drop 20.2 percent across Colorado, due to the reinsurance waiver that I helped secure for our state. Colorado’s Western Slope, where families pay some of the highest health insurance premiums in the country, will see savings up to 34 percent. This is great news for the people of Colorado, and exactly why I worked with the Governor and federal officials to help secure this reinsurance waiver. Because of this waiver, Colorado families will see immediate relief from high health insurance costs. Great things are possible for Coloradans when we work together.

    Discharging Student Loans for Permanently Disabled Americans

    I am proud to have joined my colleagues in urging the Department of Education to automatically provide federal student loan borrowers the relief they are entitled to receive. Under federal law, individuals who are totally and permanently disabled are eligible to have their federal student loans forgiven. The 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act made clear that federal student loans that are discharged by the Department of Education due to the total and permanent disability of a borrower are no longer required to be included in the gross income of the borrower. Since Congress has removed the potential tax consequence associated with this type of loan forgiveness, I have been urging the Department to automatically discharge outstanding federal student loans for totally and permanently disabled Americans, including veterans.

    Gardner did sponsor a bill to have a tax deduction for employers who pay off employee student loans. But in general, Gardner follows rather GOP line on student loan debt; the more the merrier, the more privatized and least regulated the better.

    Then on foreign policy, supposedly in Cory’s wheelhouse since he’s on the foreign relations committee, he’s scolding China for being a dictatorship, and anti-democracy, but zero zip nada about Ukraine or China being asked to provide dirt on Biden, nothing about Trump abandoning Kurds and American troops to Erdogan’s attacks, nothing that reflects poorly on the Big Chump.

    Strengthening US-Taiwanese Ties

    In an op-ed published in The Hill, the Foreign Minister of Taiwan and I made it clear that China is the largest threat to Taiwan’s democracy. Over the past three years, China has induced – through outright bribery, false promises, and debt-trap diplomacy – the switch of seven of Taiwan’s diplomatic allies. Taiwan has now been left with just 15 countries with formal diplomatic recognition. Rather than become more circumspect in the backdrop of the US-China trade war, their slowing economy, and growing international criticism against its human rights record, China’s ambitions in the Pacific have only grown in recent years. Taiwan, the U.S., and other democratic actors share similar interests in ensuring that the Pacific remains open and free, and that we uphold the existing regional order that has sustained peace and stability over past decades; it’s time we start working together to act on those interests.

    Standing up to China's Oppression

    I spoke out about the recent controversy of the National Basketball Association (NBA) censoring itself on behalf of China. If the world thinks China’s suppression of free speech ends at its borders, don’t be fooled. By continuing to bow down to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), the NBA is further empowering the CCP to force companies across the world to abandon free speech. Let this be a lesson about putting profits above core values when dealing with the CCP. Every time an American company places freedom of speech on the negotiating table with China, democratic values and human rights suffer as a result. As Americans, we must take a firm stand against censorship and oppression that enables a failed communist ideology.

    Thank you for taking the time to read my weekly update. If I can be of any assistance to you, please contact my Washington, D.C. office at (202) 224-5941.

    Sincerely,

    Cory Gardner

    United States Senator

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