With a record number of Coloradans looking for work, shovel-ready projects on our public lands and the Arkansas Valley Conduit can benefit everyone in our state.
— Cory Gardner (@SenCoryGardner) June 29, 2020
That’s Sen. Cory Gardner, extolling the benefits in this weekend’s Pueblo Chieftain of two legislative achievements Gardner claims credit for as economic stimulus (emphasis ours) benefiting “a record number of Coloradans looking for work.” Specifically Gardner is referring to the Arkansas Valley Conduit irrigation project in southern Colorado for which funding was recently appropriated by Congress, as well as the Great American Outdoors Act that Gardner and a large majority in the Senate voted to recently approve.
To be clear, we agree on the economic stimulus value of both of these pieces of legislation, and nobody is going to knock Gardner for supporting local funding priorities. It’s as true today is it was in 2009 when the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act provided critical economic stimulus that helped prevent an event great recession than what we know today as the “Great Recession.” But when Cory Gardner uses the words “shovel ready” to describe these projects as job creators in an economic downturn, we can’t help but remember Gardner’s own words back in 2010, when the “failed stimulus” was a mantra every Republican recited verbatim:
[Rep. Betsy] Markey, considered among the most vulnerable of the House Democrats, questioned Republican Cory Gardner’s honesty and defended her support of the stimulus package and the health care overhaul…
Gardner spent most of the debate chiding Markey and ruling Democrats for what he called out-of-control spending. He elicited some of the loudest cheers of the evening when he laid into Markey’s vote for the pricey stimulus package.
“You want a shovel-ready project we don’t need? It’s digging more debt,” Gardner said. [Pols emphasis]
Zing! And the Fort Morgan Times reported in February of that year:
Gardner noted that Wednesday will be the first anniversary of the Democrats’ stimulus package and that, with recent snow in D.C., the Dems at last have a shovel-ready project. [Pols emphasis]
As you can see, Cory Gardner has got a real sense of humor!
But only when a Democrat is President.