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March 26, 2024 12:27 PM UTC

What Does Blue Do for You in 2024?

  • by: Colorado Pols

We first started taking note of Congressional funding requests from Colorado’s delegation back in 2021, when rules were relaxed on so-called “earmarks” after a 10 year moratorium on the process.

Sens. John Hickenlooper and Michael Bennet always make sure to take care of their home state on funding requests.

As we noted in May 2021, Colorado received $123.3 million in “Member Designated Projects” and “Community Funding Requests” for local communities — every dime of which came from Democrats. Colorado’s three Republican Members of Congress — Lauren Boebert, Ken Buck, and Doug Lamborn — all sat on their hands and made ZERO funding requests that would benefit their constituents. Colorado Republicans refused to participate in the “earmark” process again in 2022.

But in 2023, Boebert had an epiphany that requesting federal funding for important local projects is something that her constituents would actually appreciate, which she realized would probably be helpful in her efforts to get re-elected after almost losing to Democrat Adam Frisch in 2022. After years of deriding earmarks as a corrupt process that led America toward bankruptcy, she started submitting her own requests to be included in federal budgets…which, of course, she always voted against anyway.

After the Senate approved a second federal funding bill last Friday, the office of Sen. John Hickenlooper celebrated some important victories for local communities in Colorado. From a press release:

Today, U.S. Senator John Hickenlooper celebrated Senate passage of the second and final set of federal funding bills for fiscal year 2024 (FY2024), including over $27 million in congressionally directed spending (CDS) for 40 Colorado projects. Between the two rafts of federal funding for FY2024, the Colorado congressional delegation secured over $157 million for 160 CDS projects. The funding bills were passed as two packages, with CDS projects split between the two. In total, Hickenlooper secured over $111 Million for 114 projects this year of the 160 projects Colorado secured as a whole.

The legislation already passed the House and will now become law.

“Another round of home-grown Colorado projects are getting make-or-break funding! Together they address our state’s biggest needs, from fixing roads to beefing up rural health care and workforce training,” said Hickenlooper.

Caitlyn Kim of Colorado Public Radio broke out the various Colorado-related funding requests that were included in federal funding bills that finally made it through Congress this month (HERE and HERE). We added up the various funding requests by each member of Colorado’s congressional delegation for comparison, and once again you can thank Democrats for getting things done:


Colorado Republicans are an interesting mix when it comes to federal funding requests and votes. Buck always voted no on federal funding bills — even those that were needed for things like COVID-19 relief — but at least he didn’t submit separate funding requests only to vote against the final spending bill.

Boebert, meanwhile, keeps taking credit for things that she ended up voting against; as we wrote on Monday, she’s finally speaking out about her hypocrisy and trying to explain it away as critics grow louder.

And then there’s Lamborn, who doesn’t submit any funding requests for his constituents but does normally vote in favor of passing the final spending bills.

The bottom line, as always, is that Colorado Democrats do the bulk of the work in securing federal funding for important local projects while Republicans just…don’t.

Perhaps that will change in 2025, when all three of Colorado’s Republican-held Congressional districts will be getting new leadership. The more likely outcome will be that Colorado Democrats continue to represent the interests of Coloradans while Republicans worry more about pretending to be “fiscal conservatives.”


2 thoughts on “What Does Blue Do for You in 2024?

  1. Let's see if I understand this chart.

    You submit earmarks' requests.
    You vote against them to secure your "anti-gubmit" bona fides.
    You let others vote for them so they pass.
    You take credit for bringing home the bacon.


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