In an annual address to area business leaders, Colorado Springs U.S. Rep. Doug Lamborn pledged to block attempts to close bases and to continue his efforts to grow the Pentagon budget.
Lamborn, a Republican who was re-elected to a fifth term in November, blasted President Barack Obama at several points Monday, while promising more productivity from the GOP majorities that voters sent to the House and Senate in 2014.
“People often tell me they’re frustrated with Washington,” he told a Colorado Springs Regional Business Alliance luncheon crowd. “Guess what? I’m frustrated, too.”
Lamborn touted his committee assignments, including his recent appointment as the vice chairman of the House Armed Services Committee’s Strategic Forces Subcommittee. “I’m poised to make a bigger contribution than ever,” he said.
Lamborn faces concerns at home over defense cuts that have driven downsizing, including a proposal to cut up to 16,000 of Fort Carson’s 24,000 soldiers. With defense spending making up about 50 cents of every payroll dollar in the Pikes Peak region, Lamborn said boosting the Pentagon budget is a top priority.
To get more cash into military coffers, Lamborn wants to exempt the Pentagon from automatic cuts that Congress approved in 2011.
“We should continue the spending caps, but not at the expense of defense,” he said.
Lamborn also pledged to squash Pentagon efforts to trim spending by closing bases.
“That’s a nonstarter,” he said.
On local issues, Lamborn said he would push a measure to funnel federal grant money to the Colorado Springs Airport. His bill would make the airport eligible for marketing cash now used by larger airports to promote new routes.
Traffic at the airport fell to a 22-year-low in 2013 before seeing a boost last year.
Lamborn also floated a plan to redirect revenue from federal oil and gas leases to pay for infrastructure improvements nationwide.
“There are better ways to address our infrastructure needs than simply raising taxes,” he said.
Lamborn delivered many anti-tax statements, decrying taxes on businesses and individuals as hampering growth. He also continued his criticism of the Affordable Care Act, calling for repeal of the federal health insurance laws, while admitting Obama would block such a move.
Lamborn’s speech was particularly complimentary of bankers, who he said provide the “lifeblood” of the economy. Lamborn said he would seek to roll back regulations targeting stock traders and banks that was passed in the wake of the 2008 Wall Street collapse.
“Any time we can roll back excessive regulations and rely more on the free market, we must do so,” he said.
The congressman hit several of his favorite stump issues, too. He pledged to oppose abortion, support religious freedom and fight the Obama administration’s attempt to grant legal status to undocumented immigrants.
“Please know you have a supportive and effective partner in Washington,” he told the crowd.
Contact Tom Roeder: 636-0240
On Twitter: @xroederx
This article was written by TOM ROEDER from The Gazette (Colorado Springs, Colo.) and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.