Coloradans Demand Gardner Act on COVID Relief as Senate Continues Stalling

Coloradans Demand Gardner Act on COVID Relief as Senate Continues Stalling

Denver Baker: “Senator Gardner, it’s time to stand up for Coloradans. You are responsible to take care of your constituents, not the whims of party leadership, and you must push for more relief.”

Labor Leader: “Sen. Gardner: help us feed our families, protect our workers, and teach our kids. It’s your job.”

Disability Rights Advocate: “I ask … Sen. Cory Gardner to put Coloradans first by calling on Senate leaders to provide additional Medicaid funding and other badly-needed state aid, as well as assistance for struggling workers and families.”

Denver, CO – Coloradans are demanding that Senator Cory Gardner stop playing politics and take immediate action on COVID relief. In separate op-eds and demonstrations this week, Coloradans have called on him to restore the emergency unemployment insurance that expired for 330,000 Coloradans, prioritize the health of vulnerable Coloradans during the pandemic, protect our workers, and aid our local governments and schools. 

This isn’t the first time Gardner has come under fire for his inaction on COVID relief, even refusing to face constituents asking for his help. Last week, Coloradans from across the state demanded that Gardner take action to extend emergency unemployment payments, support the House-passed HEROES Act that passed almost three months ago, provide resources for our students and teachers, and stop attacking Coloradans’ health care. Gardner’s Democratic opponent, John Hickenlooper, has been “hammering” him over Gardner’s GOP failure to deliver COVID relief and restore the emergency unemployment insurance. 

Gardner recently admitted he supports slashing the emergency insurance that hundreds of thousands of Coloradans are relying on to put food on the table and pay rent.

Here’s what Senator Gardner is seeing in his clips as he continues to fail his constituents: 

Dennis Dougherty, Colorado AFL-CIO: Colorado workers need Cory Gardner to do his job and help us feed our families

  • Sen. Cory Gardner went on conservative talk radio last week and expressed his desire to drastically lower the COVID unemployment benefits 330,000 hard-working Coloradans need to pay rent and keep food on the table.
  • This comes after the senator tweeted back in June: “It’s unfathomable that the Senate is going on recess without considering any additional #COVID-19 assistance for the American people. Anyone who thinks the time is now to go on recess hasn’t been listening. Coloradans and Americans alike have been sacrificing and hurting.”  
  • Then, less than 24 hours later, he voted to adjourn.  
  • We need you to do your job, senator. Do it for Coloradans who don’t have one. Support the continuation of the $600 COVID unemployment benefit, along with Senate Democrats, and push Senate Majority Leader — and President Trump — to pass the full relief bill this week.
  • Senator, if you fail to stand up for Coloradans and instead allow Republicans to cut the benefit to $200, which is what the Majority Leader plans to do, it will be a gut punch to our communities and small businesses. And not just in Colorado. Nationally, the $400 per week cut will mean another 3.4 million jobs lost. 
  • True leaders step forward to unite communities in a crisis. And even though Colorado’s workers and working families have been devastated by the bungled and chaotic response to the pandemic by this administration, it’s not too late for you, senator, to do your job.
  • Lastly, Sen. McConnell’s bill has no aid for state and local governments and the U.S. Postal Service and not nearly enough aid for schools. Sen. Gardner: help us feed our families, protect our workers, and teach our kids. It’s your job.
  • Coloradans need you to get back to work.  America does, too.

Rachel Wall, Denver Baker: Sen. Gardner must stand for Coloradans over politics by supporting the HEROES Act

  • I thought things couldn’t get worse when Colorado suddenly shut down on March 24 with little directive from the government on how to proceed. Now, when our government has the opportunity to help its citizens, our senator, Cory Gardner, continues to let us down by not pushing for the next COVID relief bill, the HEROES Act.
  • I look around my community and I see Coloradans scared and hurting, just like me. Small businesses everywhere are trying their hardest to navigate this crisis and safely continue to serve the communities they love. But instead of helping us, Gardner has failed to push for meaningful financial relief and increased testing available through the House relief package, the HEROES Act. Gardner hides behind Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who said the package is dead on arrival in the Senate.
  • Coloradans are in dire need of relief, and that’s what the HEROES Act provides.
  • Senator Gardner, it’s time to stand up for Coloradans. You are responsible to take care of your constituents, not the whims of party leadership, and you must push for more relief. We won’t forget your actions during this pandemic the next time we go to the ballot box.

Julie Reiskin, Colorado Cross-Disability Coalition: Senate “relief” package doesn’t meet the health needs of Coloradans

  • Most Colorado taxpayers across the political spectrum not only support these services but think the government should increase spending to improve quality. Republicans aren’t listening. 
  • Senate Republicans unveiled their roughly $1 trillion stimulus plan last week. This inadequate proposal, ironically called the HEALS Act, will not help Colorado meet the growing need for health coverage amid a massive budget crisis.
  • If additional federal funds are not forthcoming, Colorado will not be able to sustain the health care gains that have been supported by both parties over the past decade. 
  • Coloradans’ need for Medicaid coverage has surged during the coronavirus pandemic as unemployment skyrockets and the economy declines. The Senate Republican proposal ignores this growing need despite bipartisan calls for additional federal Medicaid funding for states. Their plan does not include the funds states need to avert damaging cuts to Medicaid and other critical health services. 
  • That is really a disservice to all of us by not focusing on the needs of our communities and failing to heal the devastation brought by COVID-19. It’s irresponsible and won’t help Coloradans or our state weather and recover from this crisis.

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