WASHINGTON — Members of the Colorado congressional delegation gave mixed reviews to President Obama’s legislative proposals Tuesday night. Their response to the State of the Union address depended on the issue.
Rep. Doug Lamborn indicated support for Obama’s proposal to end the marriage penalty for low-income couples. “That’s something I would like to know more about. I don’t know the details of it, but it could really help working families. And I would support it very strongly,” the Colorado Springs Republican said Tuesday night at the Capitol.
Rep. Ed Perlmutter urged Republicans to embrace Obama’s proposal to avert $85 billion in spending cuts scheduled to take effect in March.
“We can’t continue the partisan politics of kicking the can down the road and bring the country to the brink of shutting down,” the Golden Democrat said in a statement.
Rep. Mike Coffman endorsed Obama’s promise to bring home 35,000 U.S. troops from Afghanistan within 12 months. “I strongly applaud his efforts to bring our troops home,” the Aurora Republican said in a statement.
The three congressmen are not ideological soul mates, yet each struck a few bipartisan notes for one night at least.
Senator Mark Udall (D-Co.) brushed past this reporter Tuesday night when asked his opinion of Obama’s speech, while Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Co.) did not issue a statement.
Like previous State of the Union addresses, Obama’s speech Tuesday night contained a laundry list of legislative ideas and proposals. Tightening federal gun restrictions, spending more on education, and legalizing the estimated 11 million illegal immigrants currently in the country were some of the key measures that the Democratic President endorsed.
Colorado’s U.S. representatives reacted differently to those proposals.
Perlmutter served as host to the mother, cousin, and girlfriend of a victim of the Aurora movie theater shooting massacre last summer. Perlmutter is an original co-sponsor of a House gun control bill that would ban semi-automatic weapons and limit magazine capacity.
Obama did not mention the measure specifically Tuesday night, but he did urge Congress to vote on gun control proposals.
Both Cory Gardner (R-Yuma) and Scott Tipton (R-Cortez) were skeptical of Obama’s plan for another round of tax hikes.
“He talked about bigger government, more regulation, and higher taxes. It’s the same old Democratic approach. I didn’t hear him talk about him less regulations and lower taxes that would create more jobs,” Gardner said in an interview Tuesday night.
“We’ve got a $16.5 trillion debt, and he had no real answer about how to reduce that and create jobs. He talked a lot about energy regulations. Maybe he could have talked about the Keystone pipeline,” Tipton said of the oil-sands pipeline that would run from Canada to the South.
Obama’s fifth State of the Union address was somewhat different from the Inaugural Address he delivered 22 days ago. The latter speech had been aimed at socially and culturally liberal activists and voters thrilled to hear the president urge the country to combat alleged global warming, promote unions for gay couples, tighten gun restrictions and grant amnesty to illegal aliens.
The speech Tuesday was aimed more at members of the political class who could help the president enact a legislative agenda in his second term in office.
Tipton was among those who liked Obama’s tone if not his words. “From a delivery standpoint, it was effective,” he said.