O’Dea column: Running to be a voice for working Americans

By Joe O'Dea

The problem with Washington, D.C. is that it has too many Senators and Representatives who have never worked a hard day in their lives. I’ve worked, and I’ve struggled, like so many of you have worked and struggled.

And that’s why I’m running for the U.S. Senate, to be a voice for working Americans.

Our country is headed down the wrong path. Working families are getting squeezed right now. Earlier this summer, we saw jaw-dropping gas prices at the pump. This fall, some parents have had to make a choice between paying for school supplies or paying for food and rent.

Unfortunately, Joe Biden’s reckless economic agenda, which my opponent supports, has pushed our economy into a recession.

Despite warnings from economists that Joe Biden’s spending proposals would worsen our country’s inflation crisis, Sen. Michael Bennet voted to pump $1.9 trillion additional dollars into the economy. That decision has proven to be a total disaster for our nation.

Bennet put his party over the country, and we’re paying for it everywhere. I don’t personally dislike Michael, but I do take issue with his willingness to set aside the needs of Coloradans to please his political party.

Colorado is tied for having the highest inflation rate in the country at over 15%. Grocery prices are up 13.5% compared to a year ago. Rent is up 6.7%, the largest increase since 1986. Electricity is up 15.8%, the largest increase since 1981. Meanwhile, interest rates are soaring and working people are paying the price.

We need to shrink the size of the federal bureaucracy and lower the deficit. The American people have watched in disgust while both parties have run up the debt over the last 25 years.

To fight this inflation it’s critical that we expand energy production here in America. Higher energy prices are the primary driver of inflation, making food, gas, and manufacturing more expensive. We need a government-wide focus that embraces American energy production of all kinds — wind, solar, nuclear, natural gas and oil. This allows us to leverage innovation to continue to drive down carbon emissions to address climate change, while simultaneously bringing down energy costs for working families. Flooding global markets with clean, American natural gas can bring down emissions worldwide and help struggling families.

A rise in crime and the humanitarian crisis at our southern border are also hurting Colorado. Our state leads the state in car thefts. Small businesses express concerns about the rise in crime, and too many Coloradans don’t feel safe in their own homes anymore. I support our law enforcement heroes because Coloradans deserve to live in safe communities.

Additionally, our communities are afflicted by the fentanyl crisis — a national crisis. Nearly 2000 Coloradans have lost their lives to this poison. Colorado is the second state with the most fentanyl overdoses. Unfortunately, this poison comes across our border to Colorado and gets distributed to the rest of the country. And Joe Biden and Michael Bennet refuse to treat border security as national security.

To get serious about fighting this crisis, we must secure the border first. As a Senator, I will fight for legislation that both secures our border and addresses our broken immigration system. Our Dreamers should get citizenship, and the millions of undocumented immigrants in our country should be able to go through a streamlined process to attain a legal status. But again, Joe Biden and Michael Bennet refuse to acknowledge the connection between fentanyl and the border, and have made no progress fixing our broken immigration system.

While Coloradans are struggling with inflation and this fentanyl crisis, Michael Bennet and Joe Biden were at the White House celebrating the so-called “Inflation Reduction Act” that does nothing to fight inflation. Instead, it allocates $80 billion to the IRS to go after low- and middle-income Americans. Those resources should have gone to our local law enforcement and towards border security, but they didn’t because my opponent’s priorities aren’t aligned with the needs of Coloradans.

I’m a contractor, not a career politician. While my wife Celeste and I were blessed to achieve our American Dream, too many working Americans are getting left behind, unable to achieve their dream. That’s why I’m running, to be a voice for the working people of this country. I want future generations to have the same opportunities Celeste and I had.

I’m not interested in political parties, I’m focused on what is good for Colorado. If we work together I know we can create a brighter future for working people across the state.

I’d be honored to have your vote.

Joe O’Dea is Colorado’s Republican candidate for U.S. Senate this fall.

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