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In the name of love (and business): Gardner stands with Bono on global poverty

Author: Joey Bunch - June 26, 2018 - Updated: June 28, 2018

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Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner, the Republican from tiny Yuma, gets a lot of attention for taking on international bullies, a Senate leader who sits on the Foreign Relations Committee and chairs its subcommittee on East Asia, the Pacific and International Cybersecurity Policy.

Besides a safer world, Gardner also is backs a world where people have enough to eat and a good roof over their head, starting with a job.

That’s why the ONE Campaign, the global alliance founded by U2 singer Bono, is applauding the Coloradan’s work on a bipartisan bill, the Better Utilization of Investments Leading to Development (BUILD) Act.

The legislation would attract billions in private investment into infrastructure and other economic activity, including extending electricity for the first time to parts of the world. The act proposes merging several existing federal programs into a development finance corporation to get the private-sector investments more engaged in reducing poverty and developing partnerships to grow local economies.

The development finance corporation could extend loans, back investors and provide other partnerships to help entrepreneurs do business in developing countries, where traditional banks fear to tread.

“The BUILD Act … will give the U.S. government new tools for partnering with entrepreneurs and leveraging non-taxpayer dollars, while making it easier for American businesses to operate in emerging markets,” stated Benjamin Sykora, a ONE campus leader at the University of Colorado Boulder, who met with Gardner in Washington about the bill earlier this year.

He urged the rest of Colorado’s delegation to support the bill.

“Sen. Gardner should be applauded for his leadership in co-sponsoring this bipartisan bill that would accelerate the modernization of America’s engagement with the private sector in developing countries while reforming federal government programs to make them more efficient,” Sykora said in a statement. “The bill is a smart idea, and the type of proposal all legislators should be eager to support.”

The bill has 10 co-sponsors, six Republicans and four Democrats.

Joey Bunch

Joey Bunch

Joey Bunch is the senior political correspondent for Colorado Politics. He has a 31-year career in journalism, including the last 15 in Colorado. He was part of the Denver Post team that won the Pulitzer Prize in 2013 and is a two-time Pulitzer finalist. His resume includes covering high school sports, the environment, the casino industry and civil rights in the South, as well as a short stint at CNN.