FOX 31′s Eli Stokols reported yesterday afternoon:
As much as the prolonged impasse in Washington writ large all the problems plaguing our democracy, the ultimate resolution actually delivered something to Colorado that’s worth celebrating — and sorely needed.
Included in the final legislation that ended the shutdown, as FOX31 Denver first reported last week, is legislation sponsored by Sens. Mark Udall and Michael Bennet, that raised a cap on federal disaster relief dollars available to victims of last month’s catastrophic flooding from $100 million to $450 million.
Both senators, along with Rep. Cory Gardner, R-Yuma, who sponsored similar legislation in the House, and Gov. John Hickenlooper gathered along Highway 72 in Coal Creek Canyon to tout the benefit of the additional federal dollars as the state begins to rebuild its devastated infrastructure…
“In times such as these, when political gridlock seems to paralyze Washington to the core, I am honored to work with my Colorado Congressional colleagues to do the job that Coloradans expect us to do,” Gardner said.
The role of Rep. Cory Gardner in winning timely flood relief for our state, even as the partisan fiscal crisis raged on in Washington, is quite dubious. Colorado Republican members of Congress faced harsh criticism from their counterparts in New York And New Jersey, including members of both parties, for seeking emergency aid for Colorado after having voted against the aid legislation for victims of Hurricane Sandy in January. In fact, the $450 million Rep. Gardner celebrated with Democrats yesterday was originally supposed to come out of the same Hurricane Sandy funding that Gardner and the rest of the GOP Colorado delegation voted against. The hypocrisy of that proved too much for stand-in New Jersey Sen. Jeffrey Chiesa, who blocked the funding until given assurances that it would come from another pot.
So there’s that. Gardner, in contrast to other members of the Colorado delegation who just plain thought the Sandy aid bill was a “porkfest,” says that he only voted no because it was “unfairly” stripped of flood mitigation funds for Colorado. Perhaps fellow Republicans in New Jersey and New York, who hammered the Colorado delegation for its rank hypocrisy in an undifferentiated manner, will be sympathetic to that distinction? After all, Gardner is a young up-and-comer, and certainly doesn’t want to be persona non grata in New York City.
Or, they might hear about Gardner’s celebrating yesterday, and feel like they were right all along.