Some call it negativity bias–we would argue it’s a natural consequence of limited resources and a target-rich environment–but we’re regularly accused in this space of focusing on political misdeeds and deplorable behavior from one side of the aisle, at the expense of coverage of the positive work being done by the majority of Colorado’s federal elected lawmakers.
In 2023, the unheralded workhorse of the Colorado congressional delegation so far has been freshman Democratic Rep. Yadira Caraveo. In just a few short months, Caraveo has enjoyed above-average success in moving legislation even as a minority member. We wrote earlier this month about Rep. Caraveo’s co-sponsorship of legislation to protect interstate abortion rights. A bill co-sponsored by Caraveo to research the threat of the narcotic “tranq” passed the House earlier this month. At the same time, as Colorado Public Radio reported last week, Caraveo’s seat on the House Agriculture Committee places her front and center in the debate over the next Farm Bill:
Agriculture is big business in Colorado, generating $47 billion annually for the state’s economy and employing more than 195,000 people. And as Congress begins writing the next iteration of the Farm Bill, Colorado lawmakers like Caraveo are doing their best to make the case for the state in this massive piece of legislation.
As a member of the House Agriculture Committee, Caraveo will have a more direct role than most of her colleagues. She said meetings like this are vital as she helps craft the nation’s food policy for the next five years…
There are a lot of members from the Midwest, the Southeast and California on the House Agriculture committees, but hardly any from the Rocky Mountain West or even the greater Southwest.
In addition to agriculture policy, Caraveo is also co-sponsoring with most of the delegation the newly-reintroduced Colorado Outdoor Recreation and Economy (CORE) Act, a long-sought effort to protect hundreds of thousands of acres of public land in Colorado:
Sen. John Hickenlooper and Rep. Diana DeGette, Jason Crow, Yadira Caraveo and Brittany Pettersen will co-sponsor the legislation.
Previously, the House of Representatives has passed the CORE Act five times with bipartisan support, but the bill has been unable to get through the Senate. Sen. Bennet and Rep. Neguse first introduced the CORE Act to Congress in 2019…
The dynamics in the current Congress are different than when the CORE Act was last up for a vote. Republicans have a majority in the House, while Democrats hold a narrow majority (51-49) in the Senate. In previous votes, support for this public lands legislation has followed party lines, with Republicans, including Rep. Lauren Boebert, voting against it.
Rep. Lauren Boebert couldn’t care less about protecting some of the most iconic mountain wilderness areas in her district, but the CORE Act enjoys solid bipartisan support in polling. It’s not the first time we’ve noted the irony of the majority of the delegation stepping in to do what should be Boebert’s job–much like they did with appropriations requests that Boebert refused to vote for in the previous Congress, but still took credit for with constituents.
The antics of unserious politicians like Boebert do tend to hog the limelight, particularly now that she’s been proven to be one of the most vulnerable Republicans in Congress. It’s the polar opposite of Rep. Caraveo’s growing list of understated accomplishments. Most of the news coverage about Caraveo in the past few weeks has focused on Republican spending on her competitive seat and the silly proposition of 2022 U.S. Senate loser Joe O’Dea running against Caraveo–not the productive work Caraveo is doing every day in Congress.
We can all try harder to give credit where due, and we should.
Good coverage Pols. Having Congresswoman Caravoe on the agriculture committee was good organization by the Dems. She and Neguse add to Colorado influence in Washington.