Colorado’s congressional delegation pays little heed to Obama

Colorado’s congressional delegation paid little heed to President Barack Obama’s plea that federal lawmakers set aside partisanship when considering a proposed economic stimulus package.

The state’s congressional representatives, much like nearly every other state’s delegations, split along party lines Wednesday as the U.S. House of Representatives voted 244-188 to pass the proposed $819 billion package of tax cuts and spending.

The state’s Democratic representatives, including Congressman John Salazar, D-Colo., whose district contains most of western and southern Colorado, joined with all but 11 of their colleagues in endorsing the bill.

Ahead of the vote, Congressman Jared Polis, D-Colo., told his colleagues on the House floor that the stimulus package will help roll back the negative effects of the ongoing recession.

“The time has come to set aside partisanship … and forcefully tackle these underlying conditions and factors that have frozen economic activity in our nation,” he said.

Following the vote, Salazar pledged to work toward paying back the billions of dollars the bill will spend over the next two years.

“I will never spend taxpayers’ money without significant cause and careful consideration, and both were the case with this bill,” Salazar said in a statement. “This is the right choice for a tough time.”

All but one of the country’s 178 Republican representatives, including Colorado’s Doug Lamborn and Mike Coffman, voted against the package.

The sole Republican not voting against the package, Rep. Ginny Brown-Waite, R-Fla., did not vote.

Coffman called the package a “pork-laden spending frenzy masquerading as a stimulus package.”

“The American people are hurting, and our economy is in a recession,” Coffman said in a statement. “We simply can’t prop up the economy through wastefully spending money we don’t have and can’t repay in any reasonable time frame.”

The stimulus package could go before the U.S. Senate as early as next week.


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