Monday, November 8, 2010

Mr. Gardner Goes To Washington

Rep.-elect Cory Gardner spent an exhausting 18 months criss-crossing the expansive 4th Congressional District asking voters to send him to Washington. He won't get any chance to rest now that he got his wish.

Gardner unseated incumbent Democrat Betsy Markey by almost 11 percentage points to win election to the U.S. House of Representatives. He'll be sworn in at the beginning of January 2011, and for the next two months, he'll be hiring staff, finding office space in Washington and Colorado and getting to know other members of Congress, including the dozens of his fellow Republican freshmen elected in one of the greatest waves in U.S. history.

And then there are intensely personal decisions for the 36-year-old congressman-in-waiting, his wife Jaime, and their 6-year-old daughter, Alyson. Do they all move to Washington or maintain the family home in Yuma?

Once he gets to Washington, he’ll face any number of key issues. Republicans who control the House have vowed to make a priority of reducing government spending, but Democrats control the Senate and the White House, so fierce battles are expected.

Freshmen members generally aren’t key players in introducing legislation, but Gardner said he has a few priorities.

“I’d like to introduce the small-business savings account on Day 1. However, we’re going to need drafting” help from congressional staff that he doesn’t yet have access to.

Gardner mentioned the small-business savings account idea during the campaign, but hasn’t yet provided much detail on his plan.

He said he’d also like to co-sponsor a constitutional amendment to require a balanced federal budget.     More -

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