Senator Will Fight to Ensure Colorado’s Needs are Addressed in Washington
Denver –– Today, Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet concluded the August Work Period in Colorado during which he traveled 1,850 miles across 15 Colorado counties. From the West Slope to the Front Range to the San Luis Valley and in between, Bennet heard from Coloradans at 37 events and meetings. Their thoughts and concerns will inform his work in Washington this fall.
“As I traveled across our state over the last month, Coloradans told me that they are struggling in an economy that works well for the top ten percent of Americans, but not for everyone else. My conversations made clear that there is more we need to do in Washington to invest in the American people,” said Bennet. “Coloradans want to see progress on the challenges they face -- from the lack of child care and skyrocketing costs of prescription drugs to the damaging effects of climate change. As I head back to Washington, I’ll carry Coloradans’ needs, ideas, and concerns with me to shape our work this fall.”
Throughout August, Bennet met with parents, school administrators, medical experts, and other community leaders to discuss how Colorado families and kids are benefitting from the expanded Child Tax Credit (CTC) that he secured in President Joe Biden’s American Rescue Plan.
- In Colorado Springs, Bennet and parents discussed how the expanded CTC could help with medical expenses.
- In Jefferson County, Bennet met with parents and a small business owner to discuss the difference the expanded CTC was making in their lives.
- In Alamosa, Bennet heard from parents who said the expanded CTC is helping them cover the cost of things like child care, rent, and summer camp.
Bennet also embarked on an “Outdoor Restoration Partnership Act” (ORPA) tour with stops in Denver, Clear Creek, Grand, and Routt counties to highlight the importance of forest and watershed health to economies throughout Colorado and push for the passage of ORPA as a part of the Build Back Better agenda. On Thursday, the U.S. House of Representatives Agriculture Committee released their portion of the Build Back Better budget, which includes a historic $40 billion investment over the next decade in America’s forests and mirrors ORPA.
- Bennet’s tour ended at the Colorado Water Congress Summer Conference in Steamboat Springs, where he and U.S. Senator John Hickenlooper (D-Colo.) discussed the investments in Western water priorities in the bipartisan infrastructure bill and the need to pass ORPA.
- This week, Bennet also heard from local leaders in La Plata County about current forestry projects near Durango that would benefit from ORPA.
During his meetings with Coloradans, Bennet heard repeatedly about the urgency of addressing climate change and its consequences for the state.
- He toured the Glenwood Canyon with the Colorado Department of Transportation and local leaders to see first-hand the damage caused by the mudslides after last year’s catastrophic wildfires.
- In Redstone, he met with the Crystal River Methane Solutions Group to discuss how his Colorado Outdoor Recreation & Economy (CORE) Act would support efforts to capture methane. On Thursday, the ??U.S. House of Representatives Natural Resources Committee included his CORE Act provision to protect the Thompson Divide in the budget.
- In Glenwood Springs, he joined clean energy advocates, utility providers, conservation groups, and small business owners to discuss the investments in the bipartisan infrastructure bill to build a climate-resilient economy and the need to pass a budget that is ambitious on climate.
- In Larimer County, he joined environmental advocates for an event in support of clean energy and electric vehicles.
- In Craig, Bennet held a roundtable discussion with the Northwest Colorado Development Council and local leaders on his proposal to boost economic opportunities in rural communities like those in Northwest Colorado facing fiscal challenges from declining fossil fuel revenues.
Bennet met with Coloradans across the state to discuss the affordable housing crisis that Colorado is facing.
- In Durango, he talked with community leaders about how they are addressing the crisis with creative solutions.
- In Fort Collins, he toured one of Housing Catalyst's affordable housing developments and heard about how Housing Catalyst, non-profits, and local officials are working together to make housing more affordable and accessible.
- In Aurora, he stopped by Providence at The Heights, Second Chance Center’s new housing development to help formerly incarcerated individuals re-establish their lives.
Throughout the month, Bennet was briefed on the situation in Afghanistan, urged the Biden administration to safely and quickly evacuate Americans and Afghan allies, and heard from Colorado active duty servicemembers and veterans.
- Bennet urged the Biden Administration to take swift, robust action to protect and support Afghan women leaders and to immediately evacuate Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) Applicants and to quickly implement changes to the SIV program to address the situation in Afghanistan.
- He urged the Biden Administration to expedite entry for Afghans with already approved visa petitions.
- He called on the Department of Veterans Affairs to address the effect of the Afghanistan withdrawal on veterans’ mental health.
- In Colorado Springs, he heard from Colorado veterans at Mt. Carmel Veterans Service Center, was briefed by Brigadier General Wright at US Northern Command, and visited the 3rd Battalion in the 10th Special Forces Group at Fort Carson to understand their efforts to help evacuate Afghan allies.
And in every community he visited, he heard about Colorado’s local and regional priorities -- from joining leaders in Vail to discuss investing in Colorado’s mountain communities by passing his bipartisan Ski Hill Resources for Economic Development (SHRED) Act, to delivering remarks at this year’s Space Symposium on keeping U.S. Space Command in Colorado Springs, to listening to farmworkers discuss their experiences working in agriculture and the importance of a pathway to citizenship in Fort Collins.