As Colorado Public Radio’s Caitlyn Kim reports, the march to passage of the Great American Outdoors Act, which passed the U.S. Senate with wide bipartisan support and Sen. Cory Gardner’s earnest election-year blessing, went a little sideways yesterday after all of Colorado’s Republican members of Congress voted against the bill:
Republican Reps. Ken Buck, Doug Lamborn and Scott Tipton all voted against the bill, which represents one of their Republican Senate colleague’s biggest wins in office.
Buck praised his friend Gardner’s work on the measure but said he couldn’t vote for it. While “laudable” in its goal, Buck said, “this bill will convert the LWCF’s funding stream to mandatory funding, much like Medicare and Social Security spending, which will allow this program to continue expanding in perpetuity.”
And that’s not all, Cliven Bundy!
Buck added he has concerns that LWCF will be used to purchase more land and prevent other uses on it, from recreation to mineral development.
“The federal government already owns 35.9 percent of Colorado, and controls 28 percent of the total landmass of the United States — this bill gives the federal government even more power to control land and set federal standards,” he said. [Pols emphasis]
Kind of curious, isn’t it? The exact thing the Great American Outdoors Act principally does, provide a permanent funding stream for the Land and Water Conservation Fund, is the heart of the problem for Colorado’s Republican congressional delegation! The 105 Republicans who voted against the bill were not enough to stop it, of course, and the next stop is President Donald Trump–who after allegedly being sweet-talked with outlandish comparisons to Theodore Roosevelt by Gardner intends to sign it.
The opposition of all of Gardner’s GOP colleagues in the House naturally gives rise to questions on the right about Gardner’s conservative bonafides, which is already a problem for Gardner evidenced in tepid support from Gardner’s own Republican base. As for the positives for Gardner in taking credit for this bipartisan legislation, sure–it gives him something to talk about with swing voters. But any goodwill Gardner manages from this bill is offset and then some by the much greater dissatisfaction with Republicans on the part of voters motivated by environmental issues.
For good or ill, Reps. Ken Buck, Doug Lamborn, and Scott Tipton kept it real.
And “keeping it real” makes Cory Gardner look bad every time.