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FACT SHEET: Hickenlooper Continues Fight for Colorado Priorities in Third Year as U.S. Senator

Jan 1, 2024

Marking his third year as Colorado’s U.S. Senator, John Hickenlooper continued fighting for the Centennial State and delivering powerful results.

From championing a clean energy future to breaking ground on important infrastructure projects, preparing for our new water future to keeping U.S. Space Command HQ in Colorado, we’ve been busy.

For a video of Hickenlooper recapping as many 2023 accomplishments as possible in sixty seconds, click HERE.

Leading with Colorado Spirit in Congress

Hickenlooper rolled up his sleeves and got to work to spearhead several pieces of meaningful legislation in the first year of the 118th Congress.

SIGNED, SEALED, AND DELIVERED: Hickenlooper had several of his bills pass the Senate in 2023, including: 

  • PUEBLO ACT: Will fully close the U.S. Army Pueblo Chemical Depot in Pueblo County and transfer the remaining parcel of land to the Pueblo community for economic redevelopment. Signed into law by President Biden in December. 
  • JOHN LEWIS CIVIL RIGHTS FELLOWSHIP ACT: Will create a “John Lewis Civil Rights Fellowship” within the existing Fulbright U.S. Student Program to support Americans in the study of nonviolent civil rights movements abroad. Signed into law by President Biden in December.
  • ORBITS ACT: Will establish a first-of-its-kind research, development, and demonstration project to reduce the nearly 1 million pieces of space junk in orbit. Unanimously passed the Senate in November. 
  • LAUNCH COMMUNICATIONS ACT: Will modernize the current Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) process for licensing spectrum for commercial space launches to help ensure that the United States remains the global leader in space exploration. Unanimously passed the Senate in November. 

INTRODUCING AMBITIOUS LEGISLATION: Hickenlooper introduced 22 bills, cosponsored 137, and cosponsored 52 resolutions in 2023. These bills span everything from protecting over 420,000 acres of public land in Colorado to modernizing our nation’s energy transmission grid to making health care more affordable for Americans. We’ll be working hard to get these across the finish line in the coming months.

REACHING ACROSS THE AISLE: When Hickenlooper arrived in Washington, he committed to reaching across the aisle to get things done for Colorado and our nation. Nearly 80% of legislation introduced by Hickenlooper in 2023 is bipartisan, the most out of the entire Colorado congressional delegation

COMMITTEE HEARINGS: In 2023, Hickenlooper attended 100 committee and subcommittee hearings. He also chaired several hearings, including: 

VOTING ON THE SENATE FLOOR: Hickenlooper cast 352 votes on the floor of the United States Senate in 2023

PLANNING FOR OUR NEW WATER FUTURE: Hickenlooper convened his fellow Colorado River Basin Senators on the Western water crisis. Hickenlooper led 7 meetings of the bipartisan caucus in 2023 to work towards solving the increasingly dry conditions. 


CNN: “As the Colorado River sinks further into crisis and tensions rise between Western states over how to divvy up painful water cuts, a bipartisan group of senators are formalizing a new caucus to examine how Washington could help. What began as an informal group convened by Democratic Sen. John Hickenlooper of Colorado has grown to a council of senators that represent seven Colorado River basin states.”

COLORADO SUN OPINION: Senator Hickenlooper and the Colorado River Caucus should be commended for giving this emergency the attention it deserves.  Our water, and our lives, depend on it.” 

COLORADO POLITICS OPINION: “Thanks to the leadership of Colorado U.S. Sen. John Hickenlooper, the Colorado River Caucus within the U.S. Senate emerges as a pragmatic solution to the infighting and blame casting currently gripping the historic decision-making structure. Sen. Hickenlooper, once a governor in a state that is no stranger to water conflicts, has the experience of bringing leaders together to find solutions to the wicked problem of doing more with less.”

Investing in Colorado 

Since the passage of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, Inflation Reduction Act, and CHIPS + Science Act, Colorado has already seen shovels in the ground for projects across the state and billions of dollars in announced investments.

BIPARTISAN INFRASTRUCTURE LAW: In the two years since its passage, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law has kickstarted projects to improve key roads and bridges, expand affordable and high-speed internet, conserve western water, modernize airport infrastructure, build out our EV charging network, cap orphan methane wells, deliver clean drinking water to underserved communities, and more. 304+ Colorado projects are already underway, with many more announcements to be expected.

Hickenlooper was part of the bipartisan group of 22 senators who negotiated and wrote the infrastructure legislation in 2021.


ARKANSAS VALLEY CONDUIT: In April, Hickenlooper joined federal and local officials in Pueblo for the groundbreaking ceremony for the Arkansas Valley Conduit, a major water infrastructure that will deliver clean drinking water to 50,000 Coloradans and communities in Southeastern Colorado. In total, $160 million from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law has been awarded for this project.
EXPANDING ACCESS TO BROADBAND: Over $826 million was announced in June from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law’s Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) program to build essential infrastructure and connect communities to high-speed internet, including Tribal communities. While negotiating and writing the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, Hickenlooper helped deliver the largest federal investment in broadband access and affordability of our generation through the broadband working group with the goal of connecting every household in America to high-speed internet.

MAJOR COLORADO INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECTS: Colorado received $72 million for 6 key Colorado infrastructure projects from the Department of Transportation’s Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) grant program, including the $25 million for the CO 119 Diagonal Highway Mobility Improvement Project to add a Bus Rapid Transit route, queue bypass lane, and bikeway along the primary highway between Boulder and Longmont to help serve and improve safety for the over 45,000 vehicles per day that transit the road. 

INFLATION REDUCTION ACT: The largest investment to combat climate change by any nation to date, the Inflation Reduction Act has already jumpstarted America’s transition to clean energy in Colorado and across the country. The Inflation Reduction Act will build out our clean energy manufacturing capacities and accelerate our advanced energy technologies, all while upskilling our workforce and creating thousands of good paying jobs.

The Inflation Reduction Act also cuts health care costs for millions of Americans by allowing Medicare to negotiate prescription drug prices, capping insulin costs, capping seniors’ out-of-pocket costs, and extending health care savings. In September, Medicare released the first ten drugs they’ll negotiate prices on, with price negotiations on even more drugs being announced every year.

Hickenlooper was instrumental in getting the Inflation Reduction Act passed by keeping key Senate leaders at the table.


CS WIND (Pueblo): $200 million investment to expand manufacturing facilities and hire over 800 new local employees. In November, Hickenlooper joined President Biden in Pueblo to celebrate the investment

VSK ENERGY (Brighton): $250 million investment to build solar manufacturing plant, creating over 900 good paying jobs 

MEYER BURGER (Colorado Springs): $400 million investment for a solar cell manufacturing facility, creating over 350 jobs  

CHIPS + SCIENCE ACT: Congress passed the bipartisan CHIPS + Science Act last year to help lower costs, grow the U.S. semiconductor industry, and boost investments in research & development. The CHIPS and Science Act will help the American economy maintain leadership over China in research, development, and emerging technologies while safeguarding our national security and supply chains.

Colorado was the recipient of the second funding award ever from the CHIPS + Science Act, with $162 million in federal funding going to Microchip Technology to significantly increase U.S. production of semiconductors critical to the automotive, commercial, industrial, defense, and aerospace industries. The investment will create hundreds of jobs in the Colorado Springs area.

In October, Colorado was also designated as an official U.S. Tech Hub for quantum technology. The designation will bring thousands of good-paying jobs to the state, drive regional economic development, and catapult technologies from labs to markets. 

Strengthening our National Security and Supporting our Troops

In July, the U.S. Air Force made the decision to permanently base U.S. Space Command at Peterson Space Force Base in Colorado Springs. Hickenlooper, along with other Colorado leaders, fought continuously through the entire basing process to make the case that Colorado Springs is the best home for Space Command for our national security. Just last month, U.S. Space Command declared that it had reached Full Operational Capability at its Colorado Springs HQ following an in-depth evaluation of the command’s capabilities. Hickenlooper also fought to counteract various efforts by the Alabama Congressional delegation to undermine the final decision to keep Space Command HQ in Colorado.

Congress also passed the Fiscal Year 2024 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which sets national security policy and recommended spending levels for the Department of Defense. The bill authorizes a number of significant provisions that will strengthen our national security, reinforce American global engagement, and implement numerous policy priorities that are important to Colorado communities including: 

  • Military Pay: A 5.2% pay raise for service members, the largest in over two decades
  • Plan for a Long-Term Fighter Force Structure: Based on Hickenlooper’s bipartisan Fighter Force Preservation and Recapitalization Act, this language directs the U.S. Air Force to develop a plan for the long term recapitalization of both active and reserve components of the Air Force. The NDAA also includes a provision preventing the retirement of F-16C/D aircraft until such a report is provided to Congress.
  • Space National Guard Study: Cosponsored Hickenlooper, this amendment directs the Secretary of Defense to conduct a study to assess the feasibility of establishing a Space National Guard
  • National American Indian Charter Act: Cosponsored by Hickenlooper, the legislation grants the first-ever Federal charter to a Native American veterans organization to serve the interests of Native American veterans
  • Addressing PFAS Contamination: Authorizes $1.1 billion for environmental remediation of PFAS and other toxins at DoD bases, including Peterson Space Force Base in El Paso County
  • $12 million for Air National Guard Construction Projects at Buckley Air Force Base in Aurora. Hickenlooper directly requested and successfully secured this funding to upgrade the Corrosion Control Maintenance Facility for the 140th Wing
  • $3 million for the National Guard Readiness Center at Peterson Space Force Base in Colorado Springs
  • $14.7 million for Energy Resilience and Conservation Investment Program Projects at Buckley Air Force Base in Aurora

Bringing Good-Paying Jobs to Colorado

Investments from our Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, Inflation Reduction Act, and CHIPS + Science Act are already creating good-paying jobs for Coloradans, spurring American innovation, and implementing workforce development programs. 

  • MAKING COLORADO THE SILICON VALLEY OF QUANTUM: Colorado’s designation as an official U.S. Tech Hub for quantum technology will bring thousands of good-paying jobs across the Mountain West for skilled workers and underrepresented communities alike through opportunities to upskill, train, and educate workers
  • BRINGING SEMICONDUCTOR MANUFACTURING BACK TO AMERICA: A CHIPS + Science Act investment in Microchip technologies will bring over 400 jobs to the Pikes Peak region and a tripling of their semiconductor production
  • FIGHTING CLIMATE CHANGE AND POLLUTION: Colorado-based Longpath Technologies is receiving an investment from the Inflation Reduction Act to install an interstate, real time methane emissions monitoring network. The project is anticipated to create 300 jobs with competitive benefits 
  • USHERING IN OUR CLEAN ENERGY FUTURE THROUGH AMERICAN MANUFACTURING: Thanks to the Inflation Reduction Act, CS Wind will expand manufacturing facilities and hire over 800 new local employees in the Pueblo area at the largest wind turbine tower manufacturing plant in the world. In November, Hickenlooper joined President Biden in Pueblo to celebrate the investment

Hitting the Ground in Colorado

One of Hickenlooper’s favorite parts of the job is traveling around Colorado to hear from constituents on what their communities need. 

Back home, Hickenlooper and our incredible state team has:

  • HEARD FROM COLORADO’S TRIBAL COMMUNITIES: In June, Hickenlooper met with Ute Mountain Ute and Southern Ute Tribal leadership in Ignacio to discuss intergovernmental priorities
  • SPREAD THE WORD ABOUT OUR PACT ACT: Last year, Hickenlooper voted in support of the bipartisan PACT Act, the largest expansion of health care benefits for our veterans in years. Hickenlooper held several listening sessions and roundtables to spread the word about PACT Act enrollment and hear feedback on the process in Colorado Springs, Durango, and Denver
  • WORKED ON FIXING RURAL MAIL ISSUES: Since the beginning of 2023, Hickenlooper has been working to resolve long-standing USPS issues in Colorado mountain communities and rural towns. Hickenlooper met with Postmaster DeJoy in March, and has sent multiple letters urging USPS to take immediate action to resolve persistent delivery issues across Colorado.


  • Visited 20 Colorado counties all across the state, held 72 events, and took 241 meetings.
  • Held four Town Halls, including one virtual statewide town hall, and in-person town halls in Durango, Grand Junction, and Steamboat Springs
    • Hickenlooper also held virtual town halls in partnership with Colorado AARP on health care provisions in the Inflation Reduction Act and with Conservation Colorado and Citizens’ Climate Lobby to discuss issues around climate, lands, and water
  • Responded to over 600,000 constituent letters and received over 27,000 calls
  • Helped over 4,400 Coloradans resolve issues with government agencies, such as VA and Social Security benefits, unemployment, and immigration. 
  • Through our Constituent Advocacy team, over $16,000,000 has been directly returned to Colorado constituents


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