How Are Southern Colorado’s Legislators Responding To Trump’s Proposal To End The Shutdown?

January 23, 2019
U.S. Capitol buildingU.S. Capitol building Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons
U.S. Capitol building

On Saturday, President Donald Trump proposed a deal to congressional Democrats that would, among other items, protect recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program for three years in exchange for $5.7 billion to fund the border wall. Following that announcement, several Colorado lawmakers in the 91.5 KRCC listening area released statements about the proposal.

In a news release, Republican Senator Cory Gardner made the following statement:

"The government must be reopened. This proposal recognizes that need and is an offshoot of earlier efforts to tie border security funding to immigration reform, but on a smaller scale for both. This is a reasonable proposal – no one gets everything they want. No one gets as much as they wanted. More than anything, though, this proposal does open the government and boost border security. While some may be tempted to stay crouched in their partisan corners, I hope a majority in Congress realize that compromise is a keystone of government and accept this offer."

Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet, a Democrat, issued the following statement:

"If President Trump is serious about fixing our broken immigration system, he should reopen the government, and then engage in an open, bipartisan discussion about real immigration reform. Once federal employees are back to work and receiving their paychecks, there is bipartisan work to be done on a number of proposals—just as we negotiated the Gang of Eight bill in 2013."

Republican Congressman Doug Lamborn released the following statement:

"I applaud President Trump for doing everything that he can to end the Democrat shutdown while increasing border security and addressing the humanitarian crisis at the border. I will carefully review the president's legislative proposal and stand ready to vote to fund increased border security and reopen the government. It is long past time for Democrats to abandon their partisan political agenda and begin to work with Republicans to secure our border, end this shutdown, and pay our federal employees."

Attempts to reach U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton and U.S Rep. Ken Buck by phone for their reactions to the proposal were unsuccessful.

On Thursday, 91.5 KRCC received a statement by email from Buck's office. Buck, a Republican representing Colorado's 4th District, including Douglas, Otero and Las Animas counties, said the following:

"I think President Trump offered a reasonable proposal for DACA recipients in exchange for funds to fix the immediate border concerns and reopen the government. But once again, Democrats refused to even consider the President's compromise proposal which included policies that they have supported in the past. It is time for both sides to come together to reopen the government and secure the necessary funding to protect our nation’s borders."

Tipton, a Republican representing Colorado's 3rd District, including Pueblo, Custer and Huerfano counties, tweeted on the matter:

NPR reported Tuesday that two proposals are set for Senate consideration, but both are expected to fail. 

A breakdown of agencies where federal employees in the state of Colorado work and have filed unemployment claims, according to data released Jan. 22, 2019.Credit Colorado Department of Labor and Unemployment
A breakdown of agencies where federal employees in the state of Colorado work and have filed unemployment claims, according to data released Jan. 22, 2019.

The partial government shutdown started last month. According to the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment, of the 13,550 unemployment claims filed in the state between Dec. 22, 2018 and 10 a.m. Jan. 22, 2019, 2504 have been federal employees. 4 percent of those claims have been filed in El Paso County, 2 percent in Pueblo County, and 1 percent in Fremont County.

A map from the Colorado Department of Labor and Unemployment showing counties where federal employees have filed for unemployment in the midst of the partial government shutdown. Counties shown account for 1 percent or more of the state's total. This map reflects data available as of January 22, 2019.Credit Colorado Department of Labor and Unemployment
A map from the Colorado Department of Labor and Unemployment showing counties where federal employees have filed for unemployment in the midst of the partial government shutdown. Counties shown account for 1 percent or more of the state's total. This map reflects data available as of January 22, 2019.

Editor's Note: This post has been updated to reflect an emailed statement received from U.S. Rep. Ken Buck's office on Thursday.