(Promoted by Colorado Pols)
Given the fragile recovery of the economy, it looks like avoiding a government shutdown is way up there in terms of important news stories in the coming months. The stakes are high, and everybody is invested.
So utterances by Colorado's congressional delegation on the topic should catch the ears of reporters, especially if such utterances sound particularly extreme or intransigent.
That's how Rep. Cory Gardner sounded during an Aug. 23 radio interview on Greeley's KFKA radio. He acted as if he'd do whatever it takes during the budget process to defund part of Obamacare, and then Gardner said he'd look for ways to defund the mandatory parts of the program later. Negotiations didn't seem to be on his radar screen.
Host Tom Lucero set up the issue in the most one-sided fashion, saying "Sen. Cruz has been out there advocating to defund Obamacare."
"We do not want to shut the government down," Lucero told Gardner. "But once this final step is completed of funding Obamacare, we're never going to be able to reel it back in."
How could Gardner possibly not want to shut down the federal government, if you look at the history of this issue, if he says he wants to take on Obama and the Senate? Lucero skipped that question, and Gardner said:
Gardner: I think we use the budget, this chance we have before us, to defund the discretionary portion of the health care bill. I supported amendments to do that. I support a bill that did that. The question that we have is how then do we get to the rest of Obamacare that is then mandatory, because the continuing resolution, the budget appropriations bills that we pass, only deal with a small portion of Obamacare. The rest of it’s embedded in mandatory spending, just like Medicare or Medicaid is embedded in mandatory spending. So we do that, but then we have a lot more work to do. So, the job would not yet done. But I’m committed that this bill is dismantled bit by bit, piece by piece, in its entirety, and we put something in its place that will actually work to help the American people address this rising health care costs, something the President’s bill is doing nothing to do…
Gardner: If we're going to have a Constitutional republic that embraces three separate but equal branches, the legislative branch, regardless of who is in power, regardless of whether their party is in the White House or not, has to assert their authority and say, 'You know what Mr. President, I'm sorry, not only no because it's bad policy, but no because you don't have the right, power or ability to do it. And that's what we've got to stand up and do. Obviously the Senate is obviously going to think otherwise on this. I wish they wouldn't.
Reporters should fill in the gaps aren't addressed on talk radio, including asking Gardner about the risks of a government shutdown and the details of what he thinks should replace Obamacare. Listen to Rep. Gardner say he'll use budget negotiations to stop Obamacare KFKA 08-23-13