Washington, DC – Congressman Cory Gardner (CO-04) voted today to pass legislation that will provide students participating in the federal loan program with individualized financial counseling each year. H.R. 4984, the Empowering Students Through Enhanced Financial Counseling Act, passed the House with strong bipartisan support in a vote of 405-11.
“Tuition costs are continuing to rise at colleges across the country,” said Gardner. “As a result, more and more students are relying on loans to help cover the expenses of a college degree and many of these students sign off on loans without receiving any type of financial literacy counseling. As someone who is still paying off student loans, I understand how important and long-lasting the impacts of these decisions are, and I want to give students the best chance at success possible. This legislation empowers students by giving them access to the tools they need to make informed decisions about their financial futures. The more we can do to help students navigate these complex decisions, the better off they will be upon graduation.”
Congressman Gardner has also introduced several pieces of legislation to ease the burden that the cost of higher education places on students and families, including the Making College Affordable Act. This legislation increases the tax exempt contribution that can be made to a Coverdell Education Savings Account, as well as raising the age limit of the beneficiary.
Washington, DC – Monday, the House of Representatives passed bipartisan legislation to reauthorize the Satellite Television Extension and Localism Act, or STELA, which allows subscribers access to satellite television. This legislation also includes an amendment authored by Congressman Cory Gardner (CO-04) that would further examine why two counties in southwest Colorado do not receive local Colorado TV programming.
“The passage of STELA will ensure that the millions of Americans who are satellite subscribers will continue to receive the programming they pay for,” said Gardner. “The passage of this legislation is particularly important to Colorado, where many rely on satellites to reach subscribers in mountainous and rural areas. The addition of my amendment to further study why two counties in Colorado do not have access to local TV programming is also a victory for Colorado. It is important that all Coloradans have access to the local news, emergency and safety information, and of course, the Broncos games. I’m glad this bipartisan legislation passed with unanimous consent in the House, and I look forward to the its swift passage in the Senate.”
Washington, DC – Today, Congressman Cory Gardner (CO-04) spoke in favor of H.R. 4450, the bipartisan Travel Promotion, Enhancement, and Modernization Act of 2014. The House of Representatives later voted to pass this legislation, which was co-sponsored by Congressman Gardner, by a vote of 347-57. This legislation uses Brand USA, a public/private partnership, to promote the United States to international travelers at no cost to taxpayers. Over the last three years, Brand USA has generated approximately $1 billion in new tax revenues for the United States.
“Brand USA has proven to be a valuable tool to generate travel to the United States,” said Gardner. “In Colorado, we have so much to share with visitors. From the eastern plains, to our growing Denver metropolitan area, and to our national parks, ski and hiking areas, and mountain towns – we’ve got it all. And because this program is funded by a small fee assessed to certain international visitors, there is no cost to American taxpayers. Colorado is an incredible place to call home. I hope this bill encourages more people to come share in what this beautiful state has to offer.”
To see Congressman Gardner speak on this legislation, click here.
Washington, DC – Today, Congressman Cory Gardner (CO-04) announced his cosponsorship of the SAVE Medicare Home Health Act of 2014, legislation introduced by Reps. Greg Walden (OR-02) and Tom Price (GA-06) to restore funding to Medicare’s home health services. These cuts, which were included in the President’s healthcare law, will total a 14 percent reduction in home health services over the next four years.
“Home health services are an incredibly important part of our healthcare system,” said Gardner. “More than 3.5 million Americans receive home healthcare provided by Medicare, and many live in rural areas where the nearest hospital is farther than they are able to travel for routine medical assistance. In addition to the convenience of seniors being able to receive care at home, home health services are also less costly than expensive trips to the doctor’s office. These cuts that will take place under the President’s healthcare law are not the answer. By supporting the SAVE Medicare Home Health Act, we can protect our loved ones and the taxpayer’s dollar.”
Washington, DC – Today, Congressman Cory Gardner (CO-04) joined an overwhelming bipartisan majority of the House of Representatives to pass H.R. 5021, the Highway and Transportation Funding Act of 2014, by a vote of 367-55. This legislation directs $10.8 billion in extra funding to the Highway Trust Fund to finance surface transportation projects such as roads, transit and safety programs.
“The Highway Trust Fund is incredibly important to ensuring that Colorado’s transportation needs are met,” said Gardner. “I recently had the pleasure of hosting House Transportation Committee Chairman Bill Shuster in Denver to discuss the projects in Colorado that will benefit from additional funding, such as the I-25 expansion project and the C-470 improvement project. The allocation voted on tonight will keep the Highway Trust Fund programs funded through May of 2015, which will give Congress the time to develop a long-term solution. I look forward to continuing my work with Chairman Shuster on that solution.”
Washington, DC – Today, Congressman Cory Gardner (CO-04) and Congressman Mike Coffman (CO-06) sent a letter to the Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) expressing strong concerns over anomalies that have occurred on taxpayer-funded space launch vehicles, and the lack of public disclosure or transparency of these anomalies. The letter expresses concern over an epidemic of anomalies that have occurred during SpaceX launches or launch attempts, and communicates frustrations with NASA’s refusal to provide insight into those mishaps.
“In the interest of full disclosure and accountability to the American taxpayer, we request that NASA publicly release all anomalies and mishap information, un-redacted, so that Congress can gain a better understanding of what has occurred and ensure full transparency. Because the development of the vehicles and capsule in question were funded by NASA dollars, we request that you provide Congress with the information you have on the various aspects of risk and reliability from these programs, including contractual, management, technical, manufacturing, cost, schedule and safety,” wrote Coffman and Gardner.
According to recent news reports, SpaceX launch attempts have resulted in wide ranging problems, including multiple helium leaks, loss of capsule control, multiple thruster issues, avionics issues, capsule contamination issues, and three consecutive seawater intrusions on ISS Cargo Resupply (CRS) missions. SpaceX contracted or planned 24 Falcon 9 flights for its NASA, DOD and commercial customers through 2013 and flew seven. They list approximately 30 flights for this year and next, yet have only flown three times.
“Because the vehicles in question were funded by American taxpayer dollars, there should be no issue making this report publicly available. This information is critical to Congress’ understanding of these programs and the associated risks,” wrote Coffman and Gardner.
The letter to NASA can be found here.Read More
Washington, DC – The House passed the 2015 Energy and Water Appropriations Act (H.R. 4923) which includes an amendment by Reps. Cory Gardner (R-CO) and Scott Tipton (R-CO) to ensure the completion of vital projects to deliver clean drinking water. The amendment directs $3 million in the Bureau of Reclamation budget to be made available for ongoing projects, including the Arkansas Valley Conduit, the final piece of the Fryingpan-Arkansas Project which once completed, will ensure the delivery of clean drinking water to Southern Colorado. The amendment was adopted by voice vote and passed with the final bill out of the House.
Watch Gardner and Tipton speak on the House floor in support of their amendment HERE
“The Arkansas Valley Conduit will supply Southeastern Colorado with a constant, safe water supply for families, farmers, and businesses, which is critical for healthy communities and economic growth,” said Gardner. “Increasing funding for the Water Conservation and Delivery fund will provide projects, such as the Arkansas Valley Conduit, with the resources they need to serve the surrounding communities. In Colorado, water is a driving force. We need to do all we can to ensure that the people of Colorado have access to the water for both municipal and agricultural uses.”
“This Amendment provides the Bureau of Reclamation the flexibility it needs to allocate funds to advance and complete ongoing work that will provide efficient delivery of water from an existing multi-purpose reclamation project as authorized by Congress in 1962,” said Tipton. “Among the eligible projects within the Water Conservation and Delivery fund, the Arkansas Valley Conduit is the final component of the Fryingpan-Arkansas Project - a water diversion and storage project in the lower Arkansas Valley. Once constructed, the Conduit will deliver clean drinking water to families, producers and municipalities throughout Southeastern Colorado. It is our hope that Reclamation prioritizes projects that resolve water shortage issues in the West while enhancing regional development and promoting job growth.”
Washington, DC – Congressman Cory Gardner (CO-04) sent a letter today to House Leadership requesting that the House take up legislation to address the Highway Trust Fund. If no legislative solution is passed, the Highway Trust Fund will be exhausted before the end of the current fiscal year.
The letter, which was addressed to Speaker Boehner, Leader Cantor and Whip McCarthy, comes after House Transportation Committee Chairman Bill Shuster visited Colorado and met with Congressman Gardner and local stakeholders about proposed highway projects for the state.
The letter reads:
On August 1st, the Highway Trust Fund will become insolvent. As you work to establish the House Floor schedule for the remainder of July, I request that you include legislation to address the Highway Trust Fund. It is vital that this legislation produces a long-term solution to provide our state Department of Transportation as well as our construction industry with the certainty to move forward with critical infrastructure projects.
The uninterrupted funding of the Highway Trust Fund plays a crucial role in the growth of the Colorado economy. If there is a lapse in funding, Colorado’s Department of Transportation will only be able to finance projects until October 1st. This will lead to job loss and many difficult project cuts. With our economy still recovering, this type of immediate decline in economic activity will have consequences for the foreseeable future. We must act quickly to fix this problem while simultaneously being mindful of our country’s current fiscal situation.
House Transportation and Infrastructure Chairman Bill Shuster recently visited Colorado to hear from stakeholders, community leaders and the Colorado Department of Transportation about proposed highway projects for the state. The projects presented to the Chairman ranged from expansion of our current highways to upgrades in order to improve safety. The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee cannot do its work rewriting a highway authorization bill unless we come to a solution on the fiscal solvency of the Highway Trust Fund. We have an obligation to provide these projects with the funds to be built. That can only happen when we repair the Highway Trust Fund.
Addressing this issue should be a top priority for the House of Representatives. I ask that you bring a bill to the floor for consideration as quickly as possible. Thank you for your attention to this matter and I appreciate your prompt response.
To view a PDF of the signed letter, please click here.
Washington, DC – Today Congressman Cory Gardner (CO-04) introduced legislation to make reforms and improvements to the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) program, the Earnings Advancement and Recovery Now Act, or the EARN Act. By its own estimate, the federal government made $14.5 billion in improper EITC payments last year alone, which accounts for 24% of the program. Congressman Gardner’s legislation will reduce that wasteful spending, and dedicate the savings to expanding the credit for working families.
“The Earned Income Tax Credit is a valuable tool for those who continue to struggle in an economy that simply isn't working for Colorado families,” said Gardner. “By eliminating the wasteful spending and fraud within the EITC program, we are able to use those savings to increase the average payment for hardworking families. Right now, Coloradans are working harder than ever and still earning less. The EITC can help make ends meet for those families and lift them out of poverty.”
This legislation has received a great deal of support from tax advocacy organizations:
“Representative Cory Gardner’s Earnings Advancement and Recovery Now Act represents a thoughtful step toward the much-needed goal of fixing the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). By creating additional enforcement mechanisms, the bill could help combat fraud and reduce the EITC’s astonishingly high rate of improper payments, which was 22 to 26 percent in 2013 according to the IRS. Further, the bill would set the table for more comprehensive EITC reform by creating a panel to improve the efficiency of the program.” - National Taxpayers Union
“The Earned Income Tax Credit has proven to be one of the most effective ways to lift hard working families out of poverty. Representative Cory Gardner's Earnings Advancement and Recovery Now Act takes important steps towards curbing the recognized problem of improper payments, which is an essential part of making the credit work for more Americans. We applaud Rep. Gardner's willingness to address this issue, and encourage his colleagues to both support these reforms and to think creatively with regards to protecting and expanding this crucial anti-poverty tool for those who need it most.” - R Street Institute
“The EITC has a high error rate. The IRS itself admits that, in 2013 alone, 22 to 26 percent of all EITC payments were made in error. These measures are simple reform tools for an EITC which has completely failed in its mission. No private sector business could tolerate payment errors to a quarter of their payees, but that's exactly what's happening at the IRS with the EITC. ATR urges all Congressmen to co-sponsor and support this common sense EITC reform package.” - Americans for Tax Reform
“One of the biggest issues with the EITC is its high rate of error. Representative Gardner’s bill seeks to reduce errors by approaching both fraud and waste. The EITC isn’t perfect and its high level of error is concerning. Reducing error—as this bill aims to do—is a positive thing. It will increase the efficiency of the program and makes sure the tax dollars are going to those they were meant to reach.” - Tax Foundation
Washington, DC – Today Congressman Cory Gardner (CO-04) and Congressman Steve Daines (MT-AL) sent a letter to the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior and Environment requesting that authorized federal funds from the National Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) program be transferred to states working to implement local conservation plans for the greater sage grouse. Gardner and Daines both voted to authorize those conservation funds in the 2014 Farm Bill. This letter follows Gardner and Daines’ introduction of the Sage Grouse Protection and Conservation Act, which seeks to prevent a federal listing and ensure state governments work to safeguard the species.
The letter reads, in part:
The United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) is currently considering listing the greater sage grouse under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). In an effort to prevent a federal listing, states are working to develop and implement conservation plans of their own. We write today to ask that you direct previously authorized National Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) funds to states pursuing these local plans in order to ensure the responsible conservation of this species and prevent a federal listing.
The greater sage grouse has a habitat extending throughout the West and across more than 150 million acres in states including Colorado and Montana. For months, this collection of states has cooperated to produce locally-based conservation plans that will protect the sage grouse. We believe that experts with local knowledge and experience in the region are best equipped to devise these conservation plans.
You can read the full text of the letter HERE.
213 Cannon HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Congressman Cory Gardner has been a leading conservative voice in Colorado where he served in the state legislature for five years prior to being elected to Congress to represent the state’s 4th Congressional District.
Always an advocate for limited government and lower taxes, Cory is never one to shy away from tough choices. His first order of business after being sworn-in as a member of the United States House of Representatives was to co-sponsor a balanced budget amendment and vote to cut 5 percent from his congressional office budget.
Since first getting elected to Congress in 2010, Cory has introduced and passed legislation to expand the development of the nation’s domestic energy resources, which he believes is essential to our national security. He is a primary advocate for the approval of the Keystone XL pipeline, which will create tens of thousands of high paying jobs. Cory has also introduced legislation to help small businesses grow and families save for college.
Cory has always been a strong voice for rural families and small business. He has earned a reputation for fighting onerous government regulations that hurt farmers and hinder job growth. After growing up in the arid west, Cory has also become a leading voice in the campaign to build more water storage to support our growing communities and the nation’s agricultural industry.
As a member of Congress, Cory serves on the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, which has jurisdiction ranging over national energy policy to interstate and foreign communications.
Cory graduated summa cum laude from Colorado State University with a bachelor’s degree in political science, moving on to law school at the University of Colorado to earn his Juris Doctor. Prior to joining the House of Representatives, Cory served as General Counsel and Legislative Director for U.S. Senator Wayne Allard. Cory has also worked for the National Corn Growers Association.
Cory is a fifth-generation Coloradoan with family roots dating back to 1886. He grew up working in his family’s farm implement dealership where he did everything from sweeping the floors to managing the books and ordering inventory. Cory lives with his wife, Jaime, and their two children in Yuma, CO in a house that once belonged to his great-grandparents.
A big congratulations to Carolyn, one of my staffers, for WINNING the Aspen Women's Marathon this weekend! http://t.co/XTvXDoqlcy
Home health services are critical to many Coloradans, which is why I'm supporting a bill to restore funding http://t.co/oViohBz2nl
Had a great time meeting with two FFA state officers today to talk about the future of agriculture in Eastern Colorado!
Home health services are critically important to many Coloradans, especially in rural areas, but these services were cut drastically under the
Wheat harvest is underway! Nearly 96% of the state’s wheat is grown in the 4th Congressional District. Wishing everyone across the plains a
Today, the House of Representatives approved an amendment I offered with Congressman Scott Tipton to increase funding for the Arkansas Valley
This morning, I had the honor of attending a naturalization ceremony in Greeley. Congratulations to those who are now citizens of the United