Gardner supports oil companies over America's seniors
With the hundreds of amendments offered to the GOP spending bill, it's difficult to figure out which of Cory Gardner's votes were the most appalling. There's a lot of bad decisions to criticize in there and I'll have to limit myself to just a few.
It's pretty obvious that he hates Community Health Centers providing underserved population in rural Colorado with affordable and quality health care. It's equally obvious that he hates the Affordable Care Act's state-based health exchanges that will enable individuals and small business to shop for health insurance on a level playing field with others, creating competition in the market and options for those who now have none.
What else can we see from his votes ? Though it may have been clear before, I think it's safe to say that Cory Gardner is more committed to increasing profits for oil companies at the expense of the public than he is committed to protecting and supporting America's seniors.Cory Gardner voted against an amendment offered by Rep. Edward Markey of Massachusetts that would have reduced the deficit by $1.5 billion this year and would save $53 billion over the next 25 years. What did this amendment do that Gardner apparently found so offensive? It would have required oil companies to pay royalties for the oil they pull out of the Gulf of Mexico through leases form the federal government. How horrible!
Republicans once again sided with BP, Exxon and the oil companies, not with the American taxpayer and the poorest Americans most in need of help. This legislation focuses on just the kind of special interest loophole that should be closed before we open attacks on programs for the poorest Americans,” said Rep. Markey. “The biggest oil companies are already getting 100 year-old tax breaks to sell $100 a barrel oil to make $100 billion a year in profits. They don’t need a $53 billion windfall courtesy of American taxpayers and our national deficit.”
Though Gardner voted against this common sense amendment to reduce the deficit, the spending bill that he has cosponsored reduces the budget of the Social Security Administration by $1.7 billion. The Social Security Administration sent a notice to employees that they likely would be furloughed with this budget cut, impeding the ability of seniors and the disabled to receive benefits.
The National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare is upset at this budget cut, saying in a letter to Congress:
On behalf of the millions of members and supporters of the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare, I am writing to share with you the deep concern I have about proposals under consideration in Congress regarding funding for the Social Security Administration (SSA) for the remainder of fiscal year (FY) 2011.
As you know, 54 million Americans receive Social Security benefits each month. The benefits they receive from this program constitute a vital lifeline that is critical to their economic well-being. Given the essential nature of Social Security, I am deeply concerned that Congress is considering plans that will reduce substantially the funding available to the agency for operating expenses for the remainder of this year.
We deplore this penny wise-pound foolish approach to serving the American public, and join you in calling for Congress to provide the SSA with the level of funding the President has requested in his FY 2011 budget. Now is the time for those who are in Congress to show their commitment to Social Security by giving SSA the resources it needs to do its job.
Protecting Social Security and fighting for seniors aren't that important to Cory Gardner. Fighting for oil company profits are much more important to him. He thinks Social Security should furlough workers before we should reduce our massive subsidies to the oil companies. It looks like those massive campaign contributions from energy companies worked.
We all know reducing the deficit is going to require difficult choices, but I refuse to believe that these choices made by Cory Gardner were made with the good of the 4th District in mind. Great for BP, great for Exxon, great for corporate profits, good for Gardner's campaign coffers, but bad for seniors and bad for Colorado.
Of course, I could be wrong about his intentions. It's equally likely that he again got confused again between Betsy Markey and voted against the Massachusetts Congressman out of habit.