Cory has a record that reflects his desire to achieve results by building consensus on issues where he can find common ground with his colleagues. Whether it’s helping our veterans, protecting our public lands, helping to relieve student loan debt, or growing the economy, Cory’s record is one of forging solutions to our nation’s greatest problems. Cory is the 5th most bipartisan Senator and has been named the most effective member of the Colorado delegation. Since 2015, he has had eight bills signed into law, more than the current Colorado delegation combined.
Serving Rural Colorado
Energy & Climate Change
Growing up in Yuma, Cory understands the problems our rural communities face. While the Front Range is experiencing an economic boom, many rural Coloradans feel left behind. His Rebuilding and Renewing Rural America Act aims to revitalize Colorado’s rural communities by reducing burdensome regulations and making it easier to start a business in rural America. Cory has also focused on expanding broadband so that every Coloradan has access to high-speed internet and has even partnered with tech companies to put WiFi on rural school buses so our students can more effectively use their time traveling to and from school.
Cory grew up working at the tractor implement dealership that has been in his family for over a century and learned about the importance of farming and ranching. Agriculture is the life-blood of towns across the Eastern Plains and Western Slope, and Cory has used his position on the Foreign Relations Committee to push for trade deals that benefit Colorado. His Asia Reassurance Initiative Act that was signed into law helps bolster our trade relationships with key allies in the region.
For more than a decade, Cory has been a national leader advocating for commonsense energy and climate change policies that achieve results. He has increased our federal science agencies’ budgets, pursued an all-of-the-above energy strategy with investments in Colorado wind and solar industries, and led the fight to pass the most comprehensive pro-science legislation to clear Congress in nearly a decade, The American Innovation and Competitiveness Act. Cory has also been a key ally of the Colorado-based National Renewable Energy Laboratory and has gone to bat for them in Washington to make sure they have the resources they need to carry out their important work.
Cory rejects the false choice between addressing climate change and economic growth. Instead, his bipartisan approach aims to reduce emissions, combat climate change, and grow the economy. For his efforts, he has been awarded the Coalition of Social Sciences Association (COSSA) Distinguished Service Award, the American Geophysical Union’s Presidential Citation, and has been named an American Wind Energy Association Wind Champion and a Solar Energy Industries Association Solar Champion.
Environment & Public Lands
Jobs & the Economy
Cory has been a champion for Colorado’s public lands throughout his time in the Senate. He led the fight to permanently reauthorize the Land and Water Conservation Fund; he was instrumental in protecting Canyons of the Ancients National Monument; and he passed several bills that expand Colorado’s public lands. One of Cory’s proudest moments was winning the fight to relocate the Bureau of Land Management’s headquarters to Grand Junction. And he has even passed legislation that directs the Interior Department to study whether Camp Amache in Southeastern Colorado should be included in the National Park System.
Cory has also been working to address the National Park maintenance backlog and fund critical projects in the National Park System across Colorado. His bipartisan Outdoor Recreation Jobs and Economic Impact Act that was signed into law helps policy makers better understand the economic impact of the outdoor industry. He has been recognized by numerous organizations for his work to protect the environment, and has been named a Nature Conservancy Conservation Champion and Friend of the Outdoor Industry.
Cory’s support for the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act has brought real benefits to hardworking Colorado families. Over 70% of Coloradans received a tax cut and dozens of Colorado companies provided their employees with new benefits due to the tax cuts. Cory worked across the aisle on Opportunity Zone legislation to help distressed communities attract new investment. This was included in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act and is having a real impact on communities across Colorado.
Cory also led the passage of the American Innovation and Competitiveness Act, bipartisan legislation that helped maximize basic scientific research, improve opportunities for underrepresented groups in STEM, and encouraged commercialization and technology transfer. Additionally, he is leading the effort to strengthen the workforce with his bipartisan CHANCE in Tech Act, which would build improved partnerships between private industry and entities like state technology associations to fill skills gaps and promote a more vibrant 21st century economy.
Veterans & Military
Cory understands a highly trained workforce will benefit Colorado, which is why he has spearheaded several initiatives to promote workforce development across several industries, including Colorado’s booming technology and telecommunications industries and the state’s renewable energy industry. His legislative priorities aim to make sure Colorado workers are properly trained in these growing industries so we can close the skills gap and more Coloradans can secure high-paying jobs. For example, Cory’s bipartisan TOWER Infrastructure Deployment Act would require the Federal Communications Commission to tackle workforce issues in the telecommunications sector. This would create new opportunities for good-paying jobs and ensure our telecommunications networks continue to grow and improve.
However, Cory knows none of this is possible if the next generation of Colorado workers is held back by crippling student loan debt. His Student Loan Repayment Acceleration Act is a market-based approach that would allow businesses to contribute tax-free dollars to their employees’ student loans, similar to a 401k plan.
Cory values our veterans and active duty members of the military and will always put their needs first. He has supported pay raises for our troops and his work with Colorado veterans has delivered tangible results for families across the state. Cory even worked with the Department of Defense to secure a posthumous medal for a World War II veteran and helps veterans receive the VA benefits and care they deserve.
When the Aurora VA hospital was delayed and over budget, Cory worked with his colleagues to secure continued funding needed to finish the project. He has also worked with whistleblowers to investigate unofficial waitlists at Colorado VA facilities, held the VA accountable when the Department failed to pay GI benefits to Colorado student veterans, and spearheaded the effort to eliminate the 30 day/ 40 mile rule in the CHOICE Program so veterans can receive the care they deserve regardless of where they live.
Immigration Reform & Border Security
Cory has been a national leader when it comes to reforming our immigration system and securing our border. He has repeatedly called for immigration reform and introduced bipartisan legislation that would have provided $25 billion for border security, offered a 12-year pathway to citizenship for Dreamers, increased the amount of immigration judges to deal with asylum cases, and permanently reauthorized a voluntary e-verify system. Cory values the contributions that generations of immigrants have made to this country and will continue to work to reform the system for the better.
Cory knows every minute Coloradans spend sitting in traffic is less time they can spend with their friends and family. That is why he has worked with his colleagues to secure more than $300 million for Colorado transportation projects, including I-70, I-25 North and South, U.S. 34, and more.
Cory has also fought to keep the Amtrak’s Southwest Chief line that runs through southern Colorado. He is the co-founder and co-chair of the bipartisan Senate Smart Transportation Caucus which promotes existing and next generation transportation technology to enhance infrastructure, advance traffic and freight management, and improve transit efficiency.
The Great American Outdoors Act
Cory has been a leader in modernizing our health care system, lowering costs, and improving the quality of care for Coloradans. He understands any health care plan needs to cover pre-existing conditions and must be a part of any plan he will support. Cory’s bill to delay the Health Insurance Tax (HIT) has saved Coloradans money on their health insurance, and he also worked with Governor Polis and the Trump Administration to secure a waiver for Colorado to implement a reinsurance program that will reduce health care costs for hardworking Coloradans.
Growing up in a small town on the Eastern Plains with limited medical services, Cory knows the importance of closing the urban-rural divide when it comes to health care access, and he has introduced several bills to bolster tele-health programs, make health care more accessible for rural Coloradans, and fix the doctor shortage in rural America.
Cory has also been working in a bipartisan manner to address the opioid crisis in Colorado and has led several bills that have been signed into law to combat this crisis and help communities struggling with this epidemic.
CORY GARDNER DELIVERS FOR COLORADO’S PUBLIC LANDS
Gardner’s 10th bill signed into law
From Rocky Mountain to the Great Sand Dunes to Gunnison’s Black Canyon, Colorado is home to some of our country’s most pristine National Parks. Millions of Coloradans and people from around the world visit these iconic landmarks each and every year, but with significant maintenance backlogs and Congress deferring public lands money for the past 55 years, National Parks have been neglected by politicians for decades.
Cory made sure that will never happen again.
Cory’s historic Great American Outdoors Act, signed into law today, fully and permanently funds the Land and Water Conservation Fund and provides funding to fix significant parts of the multi-billion dollar parks maintenance backlog. More than 55 years in the making, Cory’s not only secured broad bipartisan support for this major parks fix, but also secured President Donald Trump’s commitment to sign this bill into law.
Cory’s passion for public lands predates his time as a Senator, even working to acquire land for Colorado’s Great Sand Dunes National Park during his time as a Sen. Wayne Allard aide on Capitol Hill. Taking the spirit of public lands with him when he was elected to serve the people of Colorado, Cory committed to championing not only permanent LWCF reauthorization but also full, permanent funding for the $900 billion per year program at no cost to taxpayers.
From the beginning of his Senate term, Cory has demonstrated his commitment to public lands, even casting one of his first votes as a Senator in favor of permanent LWCF reauthorization — something Senator Michael Bennet praised him for in 2017. In 2019, Cory then led the charge to pass the John D. Dingell, Jr. Conservation, Management, and Recreation Act, legislation that permanently reauthorized LWCF, following through on the first part of his public lands promise.
Cory brought his full promise to public lands across the finish line with the introduction and passage of his historic Great American Outdoors Act. In early 2020, Cory visited the White House to secure the President’s support for full and permanent LWCF funding, showing him a picture of Gunnison’s Black Canyons to show how important LWCF is to Colorado and the millions who enjoy these iconic sights each year. President Trump agreed to sign Cory’s Great American Outdoors Act when passed and, in July 2020, both the Senate and the House passed Cory’s bill with overwhelming bipartisan support.
Cory will go down in history as a Senator who was able to get the hard work done, bridging partisan gaps and securing support from key legislators, to ultimately deliver the “holy grail” of conservation bills decades in the making.
To read more about Cory’s work protecting the environment, check out the news stories below: