ICYMI: “The Pressure is Mounting” As Gardner Fails to Deliver COVID Relief, Dodges Questions on Pendley & Trump’s Attack on USPS

ICYMI: “The Pressure is Mounting” As Gardner Fails to Deliver COVID Relief, Dodges Questions on Pendley & Trump’s Attack on USPS

Denver Post: “Senator has few direct answers on mail problems or BLM director”

Colorado Sun: “The Senate has packed up their bags and left to go campaign,” said Hickenlooper

Denver, CO – Two new reports from the Colorado Sun and the Denver Post have senator Cory Gardner in the hot seat after failing to provide COVID relief and continuing to dodge questions on the Trump administration’s crusade against the USPS and anti-public lands leader at the Bureau of Land Management.

The Colorado Sun writes that Gardner is “fac[ing] pressure” from Coloradans after he failed to “fill gaps in the coronavirus response, address the high unemployment rate, provide money for the U.S. election and start the school year.” Gardner left Washington for a month-long vacation to campaign instead. 

Gardner’s refusal to answer questions on Postmaster General DeJoy comes as Salon reports that while Gardner served as its chair, Mitch McConnell’s campaign arm received the max donation – more than $68,000 – from the controversy-riddled Postmaster General. And Gardner is still refusing to take a position on William Perry Pendley, after Trump decided to pull his formal nomination yet still let him ”lead” the agency.

See highlights below or full articles HERE and HERE.

Colorado Sun: Cory Gardner faces pressure to deliver on stimulus bill as he touts his coronavirus response in campaign
Democratic rival John Hickenlooper supports the Democratic-led U.S. House bill and blasts U.S. Senate for taking recess
By John Frank and Jesse Paul | August 18, 2020

Gardner acknowledged the unfinished work but offered few specifics about what he sees as a path forward. 

For Gardner, the political stakes for a stimulus deal are significant and the pressure is mounting. The first-term lawmaker faces reelection challenge in 12 weeks and he’s pinned his campaign in large part on his response to the pandemic and his ability to deliver relief to Colorado in his reelection bid. 

In May, days after the Democratic-led U.S. House approved another aid package, Gardner demanded that the Republican majority in the U.S. Senate take action before recessing for the Memorial Day break. At the time, he called the break “unfathomable,” but three months later, the two parties remain far apart with no agreement in sight.

Democratic rival John Hickenlooper is using the inaction to bludgeon Gardner, saying the delays are “reckless.”

“You got to be kidding me,” Hickenlooper exclaimed in a virtual event Friday. Instead of continuing negotiations, he added, “the Senate has packed up their bags and left to go campaign.”

Hickenlooper supports the $3 trillion Democratic legislation — known as the Heroes Act —  that calls for more money to address the pandemic and economic fallout, the restoration of the $600 additional payments to those who lost jobs and $3.6 billion to help provide more resources for the Nov. 3 election. 

The U.S. Senate recessed Thursday and is not expected to return until September; the U.S. House will return later this week to address concerns about the U.S. Postal Service.

But he’s declined to address who is to blame for the stalled negotiations and instead said that everyone just needs to do better. “I’m not going to point fingers,” he said in an interview last week. “There’s too many people who want to point fingers, and maybe that’s the fault of everyone.”

Sen. Cory Gardner faces questions about Postal Service slowdowns during Aurora stop
Senator has few direct answers on mail problems or BLM director
By Justin Wingerter | August 17, 2020

U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner, a Yuma Republican up for re-election this fall, faced several questions from reporters Monday about slowdowns at the U.S. Postal Service but gave few direct answers.

Asked if Postmaster General Louis DeJoy — a controversial choice because of his apparent conflicts of interests and lack of USPS experience — is doing a good job, Gardner did not give a direct answer.

When asked if he is worried about USPS’s recent travails, he told a childhood story about riding with his grandfather, a rural postal carrier.

President Donald Trump, whom Gardner has endorsed, claimed Monday on Twitter that elections can be rigged through the corruption of drop boxes. 

Democrats have railed against Trump and DeJoy as Americans struggle to receive medications or pay bills on time, and as state officials worry about the effect on elections nationwide if USPS service remains slow. Trump stated Thursday that he is opposed to increased USPS funding because it will be used, in part, to mail out ballots. Trump also faces re-election Nov. 3.

Gardner was noncommittal Monday about William Perry Pendley, the acting director of the Bureau of Land Management. Pendley was nominated by Trump to be BLM director before his nomination was withdrawn over the weekend, but he will remain as acting director. Democrats opposed him due to his past remarks about the need to sell America’s public lands.

When asked three times whether he supported Pendley’s nomination before it was withdrawn, Gardner never directly answered. 

Hickenlooper said in a statement that Gardner showed “cowardly silence” Monday by refusing “to speak out against President Trump’s attacks on the USPS.”

“Senator Gardner was elected by vote by mail, and he knows Trump’s lies are dangerous,” Hickenlooper added. “His silence shows a blatant disregard for those who rely on the post office for prescription drugs, to sell their products, or rural Coloradans who can’t always get deliveries from private carriers.”