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June 20, 2017 01:51 PM UTC

Does Cory Gardner Even Know What's In The Bill?

  • by: Colorado Pols

UPDATE #2: Via Talking Points Memo:

Rank-and-file Senate Republicans had one thing in common with their Democratic counterparts in the health care debate Tuesday: Most did not know exactly what is going to be in the GOP Obamacare repeal legislation expected to be unveiled Thursday and put up for a vote as soon as next week.

“Nobody really has a finalized health care bill. I don’t think anybody’s seen any kind of final text,” Sen. John Thune (R-SD), the No. 3 in Senate GOP leadership, told reporters Tuesday…

…Asked Tuesday morning if lawmakers would see the text of a bill later this week, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) said, “I don’t know.”

Asked if she knew who is drafting the bill, Sen. Susan Collins (R-MN) said, “I do not.”

If a tree falls in the forest, and nobody is around to hear it…


UPDATE: Local activists who have been in touch with Sen. Cory Gardner’s office recently, Tweeting since we posted this blog, would seem to confirm that Gardner is not in the loop for the latest iteration of the GOP’s Obamacare repeal effort despite allegedly being a member of the working group:

Seems like a really good question for the next reporter who gets Gardner on the line…


Sen. Cory Gardner (R).

Sen. Cory Gardner of Colorado, as our readers know, is one of a group of thirteen select Republican U.S. Senators who are allegedly crafting the Senate’s version of legislation to repeal the Affordable Care Act behind closed doors–this despite repeated and explicit promises from Sen. Gardner that they would not do so.

All this time, we’ve been operating under the assumption that, as one of the small group of Senators tasked with writing up this new bill to replace the House’s “mean” and dead-on-arrival ACA repeal bill, that Sen. Gardner knew what was in it–and was keeping voters in the dark for political reasons.

But based on new public complaints from Sen. Mike Lee of Utah, another member of the “select group” allegedly authoring this bill, we’re wondering if Gardner has even seen the legislation he’s touting:

“Even though I’ve been a member of this working group assigned to help narrow some of the focus of this, I haven’t seen the bill. It has become increasingly apparent over the past few days that even though we thought we were going to be in charge of writing this bill within this working group, it’s not being written by us. It’s apparently being written by a small handful of staffers for members of the Republican leadership in the Senate. [Pols emphasis] So, if you’re frustrated by the lack of transparency in this process, I share your frustration wholeheartedly.”

Got that? Here we have a U.S. Senator, like Gardner in the small group allegedly working on this bill, who claims he has not seen the bill. Lee says the Senators publicly fronting this effort are not writing the bill at all, but that staffers for Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell are the authors. And that presents a very straightforward question: how “in the loop” is Cory Gardner, really? For all of Gardner’s insistence that the bill “he’s” working on will be better than Obamacare, does he even know what’s in it to know if that’s true?

If it turns out that Gardner has been lying about his role in this process, it’s a severe hit on his credibility. And if it’s true that he hasn’t been involved in the drafting, he could be in the highly uncomfortable position of having to sell a bill that fails to meet his own stated benchmarks–like protecting the Medicaid expansion population.

Like we said last week, Gardner is rapidly approaching the moment of truth in terms of his years of factually-dubious demonization of Obamacare against the growing certainty that the GOP’s “replacement” is a disaster that will hurt millions of people.

If Gardner is flying blind like Mike Lee while insisting everything is fine, it’s going to end very badly for him.


20 thoughts on “Does Cory Gardner Even Know What’s In The Bill?

      1. He already knows. He is simply demonstrating his capacity for mendacity…hoping to impress Andrei Carnegski for a cushy job representing the interests of Mother Russia and his man crush…Little Vladdy.

    1. Here you go Moldy.  Plain English — hopefully not above your reading level:

      Those ten seconds, immortalized by Fox News leave out what Pelosi said in the lead-up to those infamous words:

      You've heard about the controversies within the bill, the process about the bill, one or the other.  But I don’t know if you have heard that it is legislation for the future, not just about health care for America, but about a healthier America, where preventive care is not something that you have to pay a deductible for or out of pocket.  Prevention, prevention, prevention—it’s about diet, not diabetes. It’s going to be very, very exciting.

       The key line is the first one. It’s easy to forget the tumult of that time. There was a lot of frustration with the Senate version of the health care reform bill and consternation over the proposed process to get it through the chamber with minimal Republican votes, reconciliation.


      “In the fall of the year,” Pelosi said today, “the outside groups…were saying ‘it’s about abortion,’ which it never was. ‘It’s about ‘death panels,’’ which it never was. ‘It’s about a job-killer,’ which it creates four million. ‘It’s about increasing the deficit’; well, the main reason to pass it was to decrease the deficit.” Her contention was that the Senate “didn’t have a bill.” And until the Senate produced an actual piece of legislation that could be matched up and debated against what was passed by the House, no one truly knew what would be voted on. “They were still trying to woo the Republicans,” Pelosi said of the Senate leadership and the White House, trying to “get that 60th vote that never was coming. That’s why [there was a] reconciliation [vote]” that required only a simple majority.

      “So, that’s why I was saying we have to pass a bill so we can see so that we can show you what it is and what it isn’t,” Pelosi continued. “It is none of these things. It’s not going to be any of these things.” She recognized that her comment was “a good statement to take out of context.” But the minority leader added, “But the fact is, until you have a bill, you can’t really, we can’t really debunk what they’re saying….”

      1. That passage is way too long for the attention span of Moldy or the average GOP voter. Better to go with a 10 or 12 word slogan than all that stuff. Reading, like math, is hard.

        1. Yeah, I know.  I really just wanted to take the opportunity to confront ignorance and lies with reality and the actual truth of what happened.  

          It's not Moldy's eyes that I care that reads it, but all the others that might wonder what the truth is, and will share this with others.

    2. I'd like to say that Moldy is the dimmest of bulbs. But, that would be an affront to all the bright bulbs that fought for their right to displace candles. Moody's just a candle in the wind. In his world, making us great again would be a world where whale oil and buggy whips rule the day. 

  1. Gardner sightings will be scarce in Colorado if this goes through with the draconian cuts to the national safety net.  You have to figure his staff is lying for him.  They probably had to take a loyalty oath to work for the little man.

      1. He never has in any situation, GG. I have known Cory since he was a freshman state legislator and have continued to watch his career since. To my knowledge, he has never cast a vote that would benefit anyone but his financial backers (notably the O&G industry.. and the Koch brothers specifically). Cory is the quintessential corporate whore. 

      1. Nah mama, that crusade is over. I just get a giggle watching you all freak the fuck out about shit the republicans learned from watching you. 

        1. You're saying Degette is Gardner's role model. That might surprise him! I thought his role model was Phillipine strongman Rodrigo Duterte.


    1. Difference between not deeply understanding the technical details and being shut out of the process when you're on the team, IMHO. I don't expect Gardner to know the nitty-gritty details of, say, every single pre-existing condition; that kind of detail is why Congress has staffers and access to experts and the CBO.

      1. Agreed, but lacking the basic knowledge of any  particular bill is egregious. Kinda like saying wait till next year to apply for insurance because that pre-existing condition will go away. 

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