‘Get your job done, get out of the way, and let America work.’

Cory Gardner - finalSenator Gardner Talks About the Message of the Last Election and Why Republicans Must Govern Responsibly Over the Next Two Years

WASHINGTON, DC – In a speech yesterday morning to a breakfast meeting of The Ripon Society, U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner (CO) said it was critical for Republicans to listen to the message voters sent in the last election and “govern responsibly” over the next two years.

“When the people of Colorado went to the polls in November,” he stated, “they went not as voters who were blue or voters who were red.  They went as voters who were crystal clear in their message – ‘Get your job done, get out of the way, and let America work.’  If we can prove to the American people that we can govern responsibly and maturely, in 2016 we will be rewarded once again with a majority in the United States Senate, a growing majority in the United States House, and a Republican in the White House.  If we fail to put ideas on the President’s desk even if they’re vetoed, then the American people are going to look for someone else.

“That’s a consequence of the 2008 wave election, it’s a consequence of the 2010 wave election, and it’s a consequence of the 2014 wave election.  The American people are tired of a Washington, DC, that hears their problems, but does nothing about them. So the next two years are absolutely critical as we convince the American people that we can govern.”

Gardner was elected to the U.S. Senate last fall after serving two terms in the U.S. House of Representatives.  A former Senate staff member and member of the Colorado State Legislature, he opened his remarks by talking about his first five months in office and the increased productivity in the chamber this year.

“In the first 30 to 40 days, we voted on more amendments than in all of 2014,” he pointed out.  “If you look at the action that has taken place on the Senate floor as of today, we have now voted on more amendments than they did in the entire 113th Congress.  We’re starting to see passage of things like: the SGR – something that has been kicked down the road for 20 years –  and entitlement reform as part of the SGR that is opening the door to greater solvency of so many important social safety net programs in our country; an Iran nuclear bill – the Corker-Menendez bill – that came out of committee 19-0 with bipartisan support; and, a budget that passed both chambers for the first time since 2001 and the first time in six years we passed one through regular order.

“We’re starting to see Washington work.  Sure, we have a lot of dysfunction that’s left to be shaken off.  But maybe we are starting to break through a little bit.  I think the leadership of the House and Senate is doing a good job moving us forward to the kinds of ideas and solutions we can actually achieve.”

One of those ideas, Gardner noted, involves trade and opening up new markets in the Pacific Rim.

“I’m strongly supportive of providing Trade Promotion Authority to the President,” the Colorado lawmaker declared.  “Every President with the exception of Richard Nixon has had the authority to expedite trade negotiations.”

With regard to the TransPacific Partnership that the U.S. is currently negotiating with 11 other countries, Gardner was equally emphatic.  “I can’t think of a more critical issue on trade than the Asia region,” he declared.  “If you look at the amount of trade volume, 40 percent of world trade occurred in the region.  China already has 17 free trade agreements amongst nations in the region.  We have to start stepping up.  There is no doubt – and this is from a study by a DC think tank – that nations in the region prefer a U.S.-led world order over a world order that is led by China.  The problem is if we sit back and allow China to secure its footing economically and from a military standpoint throughout the region, then those attitudes are going to start changing.

“There is no other region of the world that wants the United States to show up.  The TPP and the TPA are avenues to do just that.  Now, this is not going to be an easy lift.  Somewhere in the neighborhood of 12 Democrats are supporting Trade Promotion Authority.  We have to make sure we also get all of the Republicans, or as many as we can.”

In addition to opening up new markets through expanded trade, Gardner said that energy development is another area where Republicans are working to find solutions.  A Member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, he also pointed to his home state as an example of why his party must find common ground.

“If you look at the recession that hit the country a few years ago,” he stated, “one of the reasons Colorado did not suffer as much as other states is because of our incredible energy development and energy opportunities. We produced almost 89 million barrels of oil in Colorado alone last year. We’re the sixth biggest oil producer in the country.  Two hundred and fifty thousand people are employed in energy-related jobs in Colorado, and there is 25 billion dollars of economic activity in oil and gas.  It creates opportunities not just for Colorado, but for the rest of the country.”

One other issue that would create opportunities for Americans, Gardner added, is tax reform.

“I can think of no other issue that would have a greater impact on the American taxpayer, the American family and American businesses than tax reform that would simplify, flatten and make the code more fair,” he said.  “We spend more money preparing our taxes in America than the entire GDP of New Zealand.  There’s a better use of that money.  If we could allow families and businesses to keep it, think about the jobs we could create.”

“Now, are we going to get there this year?  We know this is going to be a fight.  But the end goal is to allow all of us to keep the money that we have earned.   We can’t give up on the fight.  Because if we give up on it, then we’re waiting for the next presidential election.  And after that happens, the person in the White House may or may not be the person we like, so we may have to wait again.  Eventually, it’s another decade before we do something good for the American people.  I think it is time.  We can’t wait.”

The Ripon Society is a public policy organization that was founded in 1962 and takes its name from the town where the Republican Party was born in 1854 – Ripon, Wisconsin. One of the main goals of The Ripon Society is to promote the ideas and principles that have made America great and contributed to the GOP’s success. These ideas include keeping our nation secure, keeping taxes low and having a federal government that is smaller, smarter and more accountable to the people.