Shutdown deal reflects Colorado delegation politics

7:10 PM, Oct 17, 2013   |    comments
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KUSA - It was a given that all of the Democrats would vote for the deal that ended the partial government shutdown on Wednesday.

After all, their side won.

What would have been tougher to predict was that most of the Republicans in Colorado's delegation voted yes.

Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-Colorado Springs) cast the only no vote.

"It fits his profile. It fits his voting record," 9NEWS political expert Floyd Ciruli said.

Ciruli argues there's no such thing as "too conservative" in Lamborn's district, which covers Colorado Springs and surrounding areas.

As for the other Republicans, who all voted for the deal, Ciruli dismisses the idea that conservative groups could try to punish them with primaries next year when all House members are up for re-election.

In the general election, Republican Mike Coffman seen as the most vulnerable member.

His apparent challenger, Democratic House Speaker Andrew Romanoff, is getting support from national groups.

They attack Coffman for voting to tie the healthcare law to the shutdown, but Coffman distinguished himself from many fellow GOP members when he quickly and publicly backed off the strategy when he saw it wasn't going to win.

"I thought he made a pirouette rather well," Ciruli said.

Coffman called for a clean budget fix to allow more time to negotiate , and ultimately voted to end the fighting.

Democrats won this battle, but Ciruli warns them not to get overconfident. He says the GOP has a strong hand going forward.

"There is still huge pressure within the country in general to resolve these debt issues," said Ciruli.

"Lower spending, cuts in spending, deficit and debt reduction," said Rep. Cory Gardner (R-Colorado), listing his focus moving forward. "And grow our economy through common sense tax reform."

That can be read as a signal that the GOP is going back to basics in the budget fight.

They'll still fight Obamcare, but maybe not on the front burner.

(KUSA-TV © 2013 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)

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