|United States Senator|
|Assumed office |
January 3, 2015
Serving with Michael Bennet
|Preceded by||Mark Udall|
|Chair of the National Republican Senatorial Committee|
|Assumed office |
January 3, 2017
|Preceded by||Roger Wicker|
|Succeeded by||Todd Young (Designate)|
|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives|
from Colorado's 4th district
January 3, 2011 – January 3, 2015
|Preceded by||Betsy Markey|
|Succeeded by||Ken Buck|
|Member of the Colorado House of Representatives|
from the 63rd district
June 23, 2005 – January 2, 2011
|Preceded by||Greg Brophy|
|Succeeded by||Jon Becker|
|Born||Cory Scott Gardner|
August 22, 1974
Yuma, Colorado, U.S.
|Education||Colorado State University (BA)|
University of Colorado Boulder (JD)
Cory Scott Gardner (born August 22, 1974) is an American politician serving as the junior United States Senator from Colorado since 2015. A Republican, he was the U.S. Representative for Colorado's 4th congressional district from 2011 to 2015 and a member of the Colorado House of Representatives from 2005 to 2011.
Gardner announced his candidacy for the U.S. Senate in March 2014, quickly clearing the Republican primary field, and defeated Democratic incumbent Mark Udall in the November 2014 race. Since 2017, Gardner has been chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, ranking him sixth in the Senate Republican leadership.
- 1 Early life, education, and early political career
- 2 Colorado House of Representatives
- 3 U.S. House of Representatives
- 4 Bills supported
- 5 Elections
- 6 U.S. Senate
- 7 Political Positions
- 8 Electoral history
- 9 References
- 10 External links
Early life, education, and early political career
Gardner was born on August 22, 1974 in Yuma, Colorado, the son of Cindy L. (née Pagel) and John W. Gardner. He is of Irish, German, Austrian, and English descent. He graduated summa cum laude from Colorado State University with a Bachelor of Arts in political science in 1997.
In college, Gardner switched from the Democratic Party to the Republican Party and interned at the Colorado State Capitol. He went to law school at the University of Colorado to earn his Juris Doctor in 2001. Gardner served as General Counsel and Legislative Director for former U.S. Senator Wayne Allard of Colorado from 2002-05.
Colorado House of Representatives
Gardner was appointed to the Colorado House of Representatives in 2005 and elected to a full term in 2006. He represented District 63 in the Colorado House of Representatives from 2005 through 2011.
Gardner proposed legislation in 2006 that would set aside money in a rainy-day fund that would help protect the state from future economic downturns. His proposal relied on Referendum C money[clarification needed] for future budget emergencies. He staunchly opposed any tax increases. He helped create the Colorado Clean Energy Development Authority, which issued bonds to finance projects that involve the production, transportation and storage of clean energy until it was repealed in 2012.
In 2006, Gardner opposed legislation to allow pharmacists to prescribe emergency contraception, and offered an amendment to the budget to prohibit the state Medicaid plan from purchasing Plan B emergency contraception.
- House Education Committee
- House Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee
- Legislative Council
U.S. House of Representatives
Student Loan Repayment Acceleration Act
Never Forget the Heroes: Permanent Authorization of the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund Act 
Palestinian Partnership Fund Act of 2018
AI in Government Act of 2018
Gardner won the Republican primary in the 4th Congressional District to challenge Democratic incumbent Betsy Markey. Also running were American Constitution Party nominee Doug Aden and Independent Ken "Wasko" Waszkiewicz. In an early September poll, Gardner was up 50% to 39% over Markey.
Gardner ran unopposed in the Republican primary before going on to defeat Democratic nominee Brandon Shaffer 59%–37% in the general election. He was helped by the 2010 redistricting, which cut Fort Collins and Larimer County out of the district. Fort Collins had long been the 4th's largest city. For years, Larimer and the district's second-largest county, Weld County, home to Greeley, accounted for 85 percent of the district's population even though they only took up 15 percent of its land.
Energy and environmental issues
Shortly after taking office, Gardner introduced legislation that would speed up clean-air permits for companies engaged in offshore drilling in Alaska, which he says would create jobs and reduce dependence on foreign oil. The House passed Gardner's bill by a vote of 253 to 166 on June 22, 2011.
On June 6, 2013, Gardner introduced the Reducing Excessive Deadline Obligations Act of 2013 (H.R. 2279; 113th Congress), a bill that would amend the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980 and the Solid Waste Disposal Act. The bill would change the frequency of reports from the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) about solid waste regulations. Rather than automatically reviewing the regulations every three years, the EPA would be able to review them on an as needed basis. It would also grant precedence to state requirements for solid waste disposal when creating new federal requirements.
On March 6, 2014, Gardner introduced the Domestic Prosperity and Global Freedom Act (H.R. 6; 113th Congress), a bill that would direct the United States Department of Energy (DOE) to issue a decision on an application for authorization to export natural gas within 90 days after the later of: (1) the end of the comment period for that decision as set forth in the Federal Register, or (2) the date of enactment of this Act.
In March 2011, Gardner introduced bipartisan legislation that would require congressional committees to hold hearings on programs that are deemed duplicative by a U.S. Government Accountability Office report. Gardner has said he believes such a measure would reduce waste in government.
On July 10, 2014, Gardner introduced legislation to reform the Earned Income Tax Credit program. The legislation seeks to reduce fraud in the program and dedicate the savings to increasing the credit for working families.
In August 2014, Gardner broke ranks with the Republican Party and voted against a bill that would have dismantled the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. Gardner has stated that he supports immigration reform in the form of a guest worker program and increased border security.
In 2011, he voted in support of the "Respect for Rights of Conscience Act", which states that "nothing in the Affordable Care Act shall be construed to authorize a health plan to require a provider to provide, participate in, or refer for a specific item or service contrary to the provider's religious beliefs or moral convictions."
In 2012, Gardner was one of 33 Republicans to vote for the Senate version of the Violence Against Women Act of 1994 (VAWA), which re-authorized the bill and expanded protections for Native Americans, immigrants, and gays.
In 2012-13, Gardner co-sponsored personhood legislation titled the "Life Begins at Conception Act". Gardner later said that he changed his mind on personhood, after listening to voters. According to The Denver Post, "Gardner conceded that with his new position on personhood, he might be accused of flip-flopping simply to make himself more palatable to statewide voters." The nonpartisan Factcheck.org said "It would be clearer to say that Gardner supports efforts to ban abortion that could also ban some forms of birth control. As for his change of position, voters in Colorado should know Gardner still supports a federal bill that would prompt the same concerns over birth control as the state measure he says he rejects on the same grounds."
- Committee on Energy and Commerce
- Republican Study Committee
- Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation
- Committee on Energy and Natural Resources
- Committee on Foreign Relations
- Subcommittee on Western Hemisphere, Transnational Crime, Civilian Security, Democracy, Human Rights and Global Women's Issues
- Subcommittee on Europe and Regional Security Cooperation
- Subcommittee on East Asia, The Pacific and International Cybersecurity Policy (Chairman)
- Subcommittee on International Development, Multilateral Institutions and International Economic, Energy and Environmental Policy
- Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship
In October 2014, the Denver Post endorsed Gardner, writing that "he has emphasized economic and energy issues (and was, for example, an early supporter among Republicans of renewable energy). ... "his past views on same-sex marriage are becoming irrelevant now that the Supreme Court has let appeals court rulings stand and marriage equality appears unstoppable. And contrary to Udall's tedious refrain, Gardner's election would pose no threat to abortion rights." Former Denver Broncos quarterback John Elway endorsed Gardner.
Gardner was ranked the 8th most bipartisan Senator in the first session of the 115th United States Congress by the Bipartisan Index, a metric created by The Lugar Center and Georgetown's McCourt School of Public Policy to assess Congressional bipartisanship. GovTrack noted that of the 157 bills Gardner cosponsored in 2017, 41% were introduced by legislators that were not Republican.
In 2014, the National Rifle Association (NRA) endorsed Gardner and gave him an "A" rating for being "the only candidate in this race who will support the rights of Colorado's law-abiding gun owners and sportsmen," according to the NRA-Political Victory Fund's Chris W. Cox. As of 2017, Gardner has received $3,879,064 in donations from the NRA.
In 2016, Gardner voted against the Feinstein Amendment, which sought to ban gun sales to anyone known or suspected of being a terrorist. He also opposed an amendment making it necessary for background checks to take place for guns bought at gun shows and online.
Gardner was part of the group of 13 Republican Senators drafting the Senate version of the American Health Care Act, which is the GOP legislation to repeal-and-replace the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). He voted in favor of all variations of AHCA that came up for a vote in the Senate. The New York Times reported that in September 2017, when the GOP made another attempt to pass legislation to repeal the Affordable Care Act, Gardner warned Republican legislators at a closed luncheon that failure to pass any repeal legislation would lead to a backlash by big donors to the Republican, as well as the grassroots.
Immigration and refugees
Gardner criticized President Donald Trump's 2017 executive order to impose a ban on travel to the U.S. by citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries, saying: "While I am supportive of strengthening our screening processes and securing our borders, a blanket travel ban goes too far. I also believe that lawful residents of the United States should be permitted to enter the country. I urge the Administration to take the appropriate steps to fix this overly broad executive order."
Energy and environmental issues
Gardner has stated that he believes climate change is occurring, but he is unsure whether humans are causing it. Gardner supports construction of the Keystone Pipeline. He is pro-fracking.
In response to the October 2014 announcement from the U.S. Supreme Court allowing same-sex marriage to become the law in 30 states including Colorado, Gardner reaffirmed his position that marriage should only be between a man and a woman but stated, "This issue is in the hands of the courts and we must honor their legal decisions."
Gardner is an opponent of the Obama-era FCC policies on net neutrality, referring to the regulations as "brazen abuse of power and overreach". On May 16, Gardner voted against The Congressional Review Act bill to reinstate net neutrality.
Gardner cosponsored with Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren the bipartisan STATES Act proposed in the 115th U.S. Congress that would exempt individuals or corporations in compliance with state cannabis laws from federal enforcement of the Controlled Substances Act.
|Colorado's 4th Congressional District election, 2010|
|Independent||Ken "Wasko" Waskiewicz||3,986||2%|
|Colorado's 4th Congressional District election, 2012|
|U.S. Senate election in Colorado, 2014|
|Republican (Write-in)||Kathleen Cunningham||17||0%|
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- "Cory Gardner ancestry". Freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com. Retrieved November 17, 2012.
- Colorado Senate: Cory Gardner (R), National Journal; accessed January 30, 2017.
- Murray, Sara (October 17, 2014). "GOP Senate Candidate Puts Colorado Democrats Off Balance". Wall Street Journal. New York. Retrieved October 18, 2014.
He entered Colorado State University as a Democrat and switched to the Republican Party in college.
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- "Biography | Congressman Cory Gardner". Gardner.house.gov. Retrieved November 17, 2012.
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- Marcotte, Amanda. "Why Is This Anti-Contraception Republican in Favor of Over-the-Counter Birth Control Pills?". Slate. Retrieved July 13, 2014.
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- Associated, The. "GOP calls for House education chairman to step down over e-mail". SummitDaily.com. Retrieved November 17, 2012.
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- "House passes Gardner bill on offshore drilling". Denver Business Journal. June 23, 2011. Retrieved January 10, 2012.
- "Rep. Gardner's Jobs and Permitting Act Passes House". June 22, 2011. Retrieved August 18, 2011.
- "H.R. 2279 – Summary". United States Congress. Retrieved January 7, 2014.
- Hattem, Julian (June 6, 2013). "Bills boosting states' environmental oversight pass first hurdle". The Hill. Retrieved January 7, 2014.
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- "H.R. 6 – Summary". United States Congress. Retrieved June 25, 2014.
- Sherry, Allison. "Beltway Breakfast – Gardner tackles duplication, so does Udall, Bennet talks Race to the Top, GOP applauds themselves for cutting another $4 billion". The Spot. The Denver Post. Retrieved January 10, 2012.
- "Rep. Gardner Announces Resolution to Tackle Duplicative Programs and Govt. Waste". Retrieved November 17, 2012.
- "House Vote 277 – Passes Ryan Budget Bill". The New York Times. Retrieved August 26, 2011.
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- "Gardner Bill Would Improve EITC Program". KRAI. Retrieved July 14, 2014.
- Foley, Elise (August 1, 2014). "House Votes To Strip Deportation Relief From Dreamers". Huffington Post. Retrieved September 4, 2014.
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- Factcheck.org. August 15, 2014. , Factcheck.org; retrieved October 27, 2014.
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- "Members". Congressional NextGen 9-1-1 Caucus. Retrieved 14 June 2018.
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- Bash, Dana; Fox, Lauren; Barrett, Ted (May 9, 2017). "GOP defends having no women in health care group". CNN. Retrieved June 14, 2017.
- Parlapiano, Alicia; Andrews, Wilson; Lee, Jasmine C.; Shorey, Rachel (July 25, 2017). "How Each Senator Voted on Obamacare Repeal Proposals". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved September 23, 2017.
- Hulse, Carl (September 22, 2017). "Behind New Obamacare Repeal Vote: 'Furious' G.O.P. Donors". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved September 23, 2017.
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- Broder, John M. (March 9, 2011). "At House E.P.A. Hearing, Both Sides Claim Science". The New York Times. p. 17. Retrieved January 22, 2017.
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- "The Taxpayer Protection Pledge Signers 112th Congressional List" (PDF). Americans for Tax Reform. Retrieved November 30, 2011.
- "Fed independence questioned as Republicans ramp up pressure". Reuters. July 10, 2014. Retrieved July 14, 2014.
- Stokols, Eli. Gardner: 'My views on marriage have long been clear’, kdvr.com; retrieved October 7, 2014.
- Chuang, Tamara (December 14, 2017). "Where Colorado's 9 members of Congress stand on net neutrality". The Denver Post. The Denver Post. Retrieved May 16, 2018.
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- "CO State House District 63 Race". Our Campaigns. November 7, 2006. Retrieved June 14, 2011.
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- U.S. Senator Cory Gardner official U.S. Senate site
- Campaign website
- Cory Gardner at Curlie
- Appearances on C-SPAN
|U.S. House of Representatives|
| Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Colorado's 4th congressional district
|Party political offices|
| Republican nominee for U.S. Senator from Colorado
| Chair of the National Republican Senatorial Committee
| U.S. Senator (Class 2) from Colorado
Served alongside: Michael Bennet
|Current U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)|
| United States Senators by seniority