Colorado reaction to President Donald Trump’s preliminary budget proposal Thursday was a throwback to the last Republican president: shock and awe.
The morning after the budget’s release — trumpeting big boosts to military and veterans’ care spending and deep cuts to the Environment Protection Agency, agriculture and social programs such as Meals on Wheels — Colorado leaders said they needed more time to figure out what it would mean in Congress gets onboard,
That’s not to say everyone is unhappy.
“With this budget, the president is keeping his promises to the American people to shrink the size of government and prioritize our essential national security obligations,” U.S. Rep. Doug Lamborn, a Republican from Colorado Springs and a Trump ally, said in a statement.
“I am pleased to see that he is committed to reducing out-of-control government spending and placing us on a path to a more fiscally sustainable future for our nation.”
Republican U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner, not one to mince words about Trump, said basically that Trump’s not in charge, even if he has a good point about the nation’s debt and the size of government.
“At a time when we’re facing a nearly $20 trillion debt, there’s no question that we cannot continue on the same trajectory and must identify spending priorities to more efficiently and effectively operate the federal government,’ Gardner said.
“While I am currently reviewing the details of the president’s budget, Congress ultimately controls the power of the purse and I remain committed to putting Colorado interests first.”
Gov. John Hickenlooper, a Democrat, said Trump’s blueprint on spending would deliver serious challenges for Colorado communities.
“We have directed our state agencies to immediately begin reviewing how these proposed cuts might impact Coloradans. We have also begun discussions with members of Colorado’s Congressional delegation to ensure that Colorado’s values and priorities are protected,” Hickenlooper said in a statement.
Daniel Bucheli, a spokesman for Rep. Mike Coffman of Aurora, agreed with Gardner, that the budget is at the beginning of a process.
“As a member of the Armed Services Committee, Rep. Coffman remains committed to continue challenging (the Department of Defense) to be more efficient with the taxpayer dollar,” Bucheli said.
Democratic U.S. Rep. Ed Perlmutter of Arvada said he had vowed to work with Trump and the Republican Congress where he could, but the budget proposal is a non-starter.
“President Trump’s proposed budget will have devastating consequences for our country and for Colorado,” Perlmutter stated. “I will do my best to fight against the cuts affecting hardworking families, federal employees, businesses and research organizations.”
U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet, a Democrat from Denver, doesn’t take Trump’s budget seriously.
“This budget is not a serious proposal to help our country compete in the 21st century economy.” Bennet said in a statement. “Even members of the president’s own party have called this dead on arrival.
“Cutting investments in infrastructure, environmental protection, research, and affordable housing isn’t putting ‘America First.’ Instead, this blueprint offers ideologically-driven cuts masquerading as deficit reduction.”