Gov. John Hickenlooper and President Obama.
WASHINGTON – Democrats and Republicans don’t agree on much, but neither side is satisfied with President Obama’s response to the border crisis and demand for $3.7 billion he says would stem the tide of unaccompanied child immigrants from Central America.
The president was also criticized during visits to Texas and Colorado on Wednesday for political fundraisers, but refusing to visit the southern border where 60,000 children are being held in overcrowded immigration facilities.
“There is nothing that is taking place down there that I am not intimately aware of and briefed on,” Obama said. “This isn’t theater, this is a problem. I’m not interested in photo ops.”
Obama drew fire from a member of his own party for strolling down 15th Street Tuesday in Denver, playing pool and sharing a beer with Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper during a photo op instead of visiting the border. Read more »
Sen. Mark Udall
WASHINGTON – Sen. Mark Udall attempted a delicate balancing act between his environmentalist supporters and pro fracking forces during a recent campaign appearance on the Western Slope but his comments drew barbs from both sides of the fray.
The Colorado Democrat said at an event in Montrose Tuesday that fracking should be legal in some areas of the state, but illegal in other parts
“There are places where we should and could use hydraulic fracturing to produce natural gas, but there are other places that we should not. And for me, the areas that are questionable would be wildlife refuges, parks, subdivisions, places like the North Fork where there are other values that are equally important,” Udall said.
Ballot initiatives would be a “clumsy tool” to regulate fracking, but the industry should take additional steps to make it safer, Udall told Laura Palmisano during an interview with KVNF. Read more »
Sen. Mark Udall
WASHINGTON – Senate Republican strategists say Sen. Mark Udall’s record of legislative accomplishments is thin and undistinguished but political observers here say most voters don’t care how many bills a lawmaker has passed.
In an interview last week, one Senate Republican aide noted the Senate has not voted on an amendment that the Colorado Democrat has sponsored since 2012.
“What does he do here? Why does he show up? He doesn’t do anything,” the aide said on background to discuss the matter candidly.
A look at Udall’s legislative record confirms the upper chamber has not taken a recorded vote on an amendment he has sponsored in two years. Read more »
WASHINGTON — The Obama administration’s efforts to legalize the status of certain illegal immigrants has contributed to the border crisis and recent influx of 60,000 kids and teenagers who have overwhelmed detention centers in Texas, key lawmakers say.
Colorado Republican Rep. Doug Lamborn said the flurry of activity from the White to deal with the crisis has only been patchwork.
“I’m not sure they’re addressing the root cause: the belief that minors from other countries can come here and stay,” Lamborn said in an interview this week.
Rep. Beto O’Rourke, a Texas Democrat, said the administration’s endorsement of an immigration-reform bill and a 2012 executive order has had unintended effects.
“And I would acknowledge, I do think that the president’s piecemeal administrative approach to this when it comes to DREAMER’s or through DACA might contribute to the perception that there are permissos that are available in the United States,” O’Rourke said at a hearing of the House Committee on Homeland Security Tuesday. Read more »
Rep. Cory Gardner
WASHINGTON — The federal approval process to export liquefied natural gas would speed up considerably under legislation authored by Rep. Cory Gardner that was passed by the House Wednesday on a bipartisan vote.
The passage of the Domestic Prosperity and Global Freedom Act was a victory for the Colorado Republican who is running against Democratic incumbent Sen. Mark Udall and whose own version of the bill is stuck in the Senate.
Gardner sponsored the bill less than a week after he announced March 1 he would challenge Udall, and weeks before Russia annexed Crimea, a region formerly part of Ukraine. The conflict has prompted both sides of the political aisle to work together to find a solution to Ukraine’s dependence on Russia for energy. Read more »
Rep. Doug Lamborn
WASHINGTON — The day after he fended off a primary challenge from his right, Rep. Doug Lamborn called out a gun-rights organization that opposed him while also questioning the integrity of his rival, a retired Air Force general.
“They need to get their act together,” Lamborn said of the Gun Owners of America, a national conservative organization known for their unwillingness to compromise on gun legislation. The group endorsed Bentley Rayburn just weeks before the election.
“They endorsed him but they gave me an ‘A’ rating. They need to get their act together,” Lamborn said during a phone interview Wednesday.
Lamborn was defiant too in questioning the character of Rayburn. Contrary to a KRDO report that Rayburn had called to congratulate him, Lamborn said he had not received any message from his perennial rival. Read more »
WASHINGTON – Sen. Mark Udall said one word Wednesday during the highly anticipated debate and vote on legislation to bypass President Barack Obama and approve the Keystone XL pipeline.
When the clerk called the name of the Colorado Democrat to ask how he would vote, the seated Udall craned his neck upward to address him: “No,” he responded firmly.
The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee voted 12 to 10 to allow construction of the pipeline so Udall’s vote was not sufficient to defeat the measure.
But it was enough to put Udall on record as an opponent of binding legislation that would approve the application from TransCanada Corp to build the pipeline across the northern U.S. border.
Udall refused to take questions from reporters before or after the vote, admonishing one who approached him that he was in the middle of a briefing, and then he ducked inside a nearby bathroom. Read more »
WASHINGTON — Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid hinted on Tuesday that he made a mistake when he called Rep. Cory Gardner a “real loser” in a secretly recorded conversation two weeks ago.
“Well, I regret a lot of things I’ve said over the years,” Reid said at his weekly press conference at the Capitol.
He spoke in a wistful tone and did not elaborate on those regrets, but the Democratic leader from Nevada has been criticized for several outlandish comments over the years including his statement that President Barack Obama had “no negro dialect unless he wanted to have one.”
Reid has also claimed “coal makes us sick” and called House Republicans “crazies.”
Reid publicly remarked at the official visitor center opening that he was grateful folks would no longer have to wait in lines outside in Washington’s scorching heat because “You could literally smell the tourists coming in the Capitol.” Read more »
Sen. Mark Udall
WASHINGTON — Sen. Mark Udall defended President Barack Obama’s controversial prisoner swap for Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl in exchange for five high-level Taliban detainees but added that the administration will have to answer for its actions.
“We don’t leave anyone on the battlefield, and we should have a full accounting,” Udall said during a rare interview Monday night.
The Senate Armed Services Committee, on which Udall is a subcommittee chairman, was briefed by the administration during a closed-door session Tuesday. The first public hearings begin Wednesday in the House Armed Services Committee.
Udall’s comments represent the first time Colorado’s senior senator has weighed in on the prisoners swap with the Taliban, which has sharply divided Congress. Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet on Tuesday declined to discuss the issue.
Members of Colorado’s Republican delegation in the House have publicly criticized the administration’s actions. Rep. Cory Gardner, who is challenging Udall for the Senate seat, released a statement Tuesday calling on the Democrat to use his position and demand an investigation. Read more »
WASHINGTON – Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid inserted himself inadvertently into Colorado’s Senate race after a national publication reported that the Democrat disparaged Rep. Cory Gardner at a private fundraiser last Thursday.
Reid said the Colorado Republican was a “real loser,” according to Politico, which got hold of an audio recording at the event in support of a Senate Democratic hopeful. Reid concluded that Democrats would retain their majority in the upper chamber if the election were held today and criticized a few Senate Republican candidates by name, reporters Manu Raju and Burgess Everett wrote.
In addition, a political action committee made up of former Reid aides is paying $1.2 million for attack ads already on the air in Colorado against Gardner, who is running against Democratic incumbent Sen. Mark Udall, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Read more »