Colorado Congressional delegation waiting for 48-hour notice to vote on fiscal cliff legislation

Sens. Udall & Bennet back in DC for unrelated vote


Colorado's Congressional delegation is waiting at home to be called back to Washington, D.C. for a fiscal cliff vote.

7NEWS checked in with both Senators and all seven representatives on Wednesday.

Democratic Sens. Mark Udall and Michael Bennet are both traveling to Washington, D.C. on Thursday morning. The Senate meets on Thursday, but as of now, the fiscal cliff is not on the schedule. The Senate will debate a bill on warrantless wiretapping.

House members are still at home in their districts until House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, gives them a 48-hour warning that a fiscal cliff legislation vote is pending.

Republican Rep. Mike Coffman is scheduled to be on a conference call with all Republican House members on Thursday.

"I will know more tomorrow after my scheduled phone conference with the Speaker of the House," Coffman said in an email to 7NEWS.

Late Wednesday, the House Speaker released this statement:

"The House has acted on two bills which collectively would avert the entire fiscal cliff if enacted. Those bills await action by the Senate. If the Senate will not approve and send them to the president to be signed into law in their current form, they must be amended and returned to the House. Once this has occurred, the House will then consider whether to accept the bills as amended, or to send them back to the Senate with additional amendments. The House will take this action on whatever the Senate can pass, but the Senate first must act. The lines of communication remain open, and we will continue to work with our colleagues to avert the largest tax hike in American history, and to address the underlying problem, which is spending."

7NEWS obtained a letter sent to Boehner by Democratic Rep. Diana DeGette on Dec. 21.

"The failure (Dec. 20) of your partisan 'Plan B' bill should teach you that, to avoid throwing the economy into turmoil, you need to work across the aisle and enlist Democrats as well as Republicans to craft a true bi-partisan solution.

"On (Dec. 17) I offered to work with your Whip, Kevin McCarthy, to forge a bipartisan coalition to pass real compromise legislation in the House. I renew that offer today.

"If there is one thing this fall's election should have taught us it is that the American people want Congress to work together. Let's take that opportunity when we return late next week. Time is running out. "

According to DeGette, she has not received a response. She said she is waiting in Colorado until Boehner gives a 48-hour notice that a fiscal cliff bill is ready to vote on.

7NEWS found DeGette's Denver office closed this week. A sign on the door states that the office will be closed through Jan. 1.

Republican Rep. Doug Lamborn is at home and released this statement to 7NEWS:

"I want to protect Americans from higher taxes set to take effect January 1. I have already voted for several bills, all of which passed the House, addressing the fiscal cliff. In May, the House passed a bill replacing the president’s sequester with responsible spending cuts. In August, the House passed a bill to stop all the tax hikes on the American people scheduled to take effect January 1. The House has proposed plans over and over again that Democrats used to support, but now they won’t.

"We need leadership from President Obama and Senate Democrats. I urge Colorado Senators Mark Udall and Michael Bennet to vote for one of the House-passed bills addressing the fiscal cliff, or present a reasonable plan of their own to cut spending. If the Senate will act tomorrow, I am ready and willing to return to Washington at a moment’s notice to help pass a bill to protect all Americans from tax increases."

What if you wanted to contact your lawmaker and have your voice heard? 7NEWS called each lawmaker's Washington, D.C. office on Wednesday. Of the seven lawmakers, the voicemail was full on five:

  • Democratic Rep. Jared Polis
  • Republican Rep. Scott Tipton
  • Republican Rep. Cory Gardner
  • Republican Rep. Mike Coffman
  • Democratic Rep. Ed Perlmutter

The House is scheduled to meet in Washington, D.C. on January 3 when the new Congress is sworn in. In January, House representatives are only scheduled to be in Washington, D.C. for only eight days.

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