Colorado children’s health insurance program gets funding extension through February

DENVER – Colorado’s children health insurance program will be funded through at least February, as the state budget committee approved emergency funding that will temporarily stop cancellation notices from being sent out next week.

The Joint Budget Committee on Thursday approved Gov. John Hickenlooper’s request for $9.6 million to continue covering the Child Health Plan Plus (CHP+), which provides health insurance coverage for around 75,000 children and about 800 expectant mothers in Colorado who don’t qualify for Medicaid. Continue reading

Colorado Democrats vote against stopgap spending bill with no long-term DACA, CHIP fixes

DENVER – Congress voted Thursday to pass a continuing spending bill that will fund the federal government through Jan. 19 when it is signed by President Trump, but all of Colorado’s Democratic delegation voted against the measure, saying Congress should stay and extend programs for young immigrants and children’s health insurance before going home for the holidays.

In the House, Reps. Diana DeGette, Ed Perlmutter and Jared Polis voted against another funding extension, while Sen. Michael Bennet made the same choice in the Senate. All four House Republicans and Sen. Cory Gardner voted in favor of the temporary package. Continue reading

Flake says bipartisan DACA talks, which include Colorado’s senators, to Senate floor in January

DENVER – The bipartisan talks to get DACA extended in Congress before March, some of which include involvement from both of Colorado’s U.S. senators, will be brought to the Senate floor in January, Sen. Jeff Flake says he was told by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Flake made the announcement Wednesday after the Senate and House passed a sweeping tax cut package.

“I am also pleased that the Majority Leader has committed to bring the bipartisan DACA bill we are currently negotiating to the Senate floor in January,” Flake said Wednesday, adding that he was happy the GOP tax bill lowers the corporate tax rate.

Denver7 first reported earlier this month that Flake, an Arizona Republican who isn’t seeking re-election, was working with Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo., and Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., to put together a DACA deal that would include the Dream Act and some border security measures. The team had initially sought to have a deal by the year’s end, but that now appears unlikely. Continue reading

NRSC’s Cory Gardner responds to Jones win: ‘Do the right thing’ and vote with Senate Republicans

DENVER – Sen. Cory Gardner, the chair of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, said Tuesday that Alabama voters deemed Roy Moore unfit for election, but also that he hopes Democratic victor Doug Jones will vote with Republicans once in the U.S. Senate.

“Tonight’s results are clear – the people of Alabama deemed Roy Moore unfit to serve in the U.S. Senate,” Gardner said in a statement. “I hope Senator-elect Doug Jones will do the right thing and truly represent Alabama by choosing to vote with the Senate Republican Majority.” Continue reading

Hickenlooper and bipartisan panel of governors call for immediate CHIP reauthorization

DENVER – Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper continued to press Congress to restore the Children’s Health Insurance Program before states’ funding dries up, sending a letter Tuesday to congressional leaders signed by him and 11 other governors from both parties.

“Since its creation, CHIP has enjoyed strong bipartisan support. We encourage you to work across the aisle to find common ground that will allow this important program to continue and give the families who rely on CHIP the peace of mind of knowing that their children will be able to get the health care they need in the new year,” the letter said, which was written by Hickenlooper and Republican Gov. John Kasich, among 10 others. Continue reading

Gang of Five? Bipartisan group of senators working to extend DACA before year’s end

DENVER – One of several measures under discussion to restore protections for Dreamers is being put together by a bipartisan group of senators, including several from the “Gang of Eight,” who want to have DACA restored before the end of the year, sources tell Denver7.

The new discussion involves pairing the Dream Act with some border security measures in an attempt to pass a bipartisan solution for the undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children, three Senate aides told Denver7 in interviews this week. Continue reading

Sen. Cory Gardner says Roy Moore ‘will never have the support’ of the NRSC

DENVER – U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner, as chair of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, reaffirmed his opposition to Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore Thursday just days before the Dec. 12 special election.

“Roy Moore will never have the support of the senatorial committee. We will never endorse him. We won’t support him,” Gardner, a Colorado Republican, told the Weekly Standard Thursday. “I won’t let that happen. Nothing will change. I stand by my previous statement.” Continue reading

Man posthumously awarded with Bronze Star for saving Colorado man, others at Pearl Harbor

DENVER – A Navy sailor credited posthumously Thursday with a Bronze Star Medal for saving the life of a young sailor who now lives in Colorado Springs, and the lives of several others, from the USS Arizona when it was attacked while in Pearl Harbor 76 years ago was honored on the Senate floor as well.

Sen. Cory Gardner took to the floor to honor Joseph George, who was posthumously awarded with the medal at a ceremony at Pearl Harbor Thursday, for saving Colorado Springs veteran Donald Stratton that fateful day. His medal was awarded with a V device for valor. Continue reading

House passes bill that would allow concealed carry across state lines

DENVER – The U.S. House of Representatives voted 231-198 Wednesday to pass a bill that would allow people with concealed carry permits to carry their weapons into other states where concealed weapons are allowed—though Republican Rep. Ken Buck voted against the measure.

Buck, who cosponsored the bill in January that changed before Wednesday’s vote, was one of 14 Republicans who voted against the measure, the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017. He was targeted in NRA emails earlier this week urging constituents to call him and tell him to “listen to his constituents and vote for H.R. 38.” Continue reading

Colorado’s Michael Bennet on Al Franken: ‘I’m confident he’ll do the right thing and step aside’

DENVER – U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet, a Democrat from Colorado, said Wednesday he was “confident” that Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., would “do the right thing and step aside” amid multiple allegations that Franken sexually harassed or assaulted various women.

“Sexual harassment and misconduct are never acceptable,” Bennet said in a statement posted to Twitter, noting that Franken said minutes earlier he would make an announcement Thursday morning. Continue reading