Mike Coffman

Mike Coffman

COLORADO's 6th DISTRICT

House GOP touts ‘war for women’

2014/07/30

[[{"fid":"552","view_mode":"teaser","attributes":{"alt":"Politico","title":"Politico","height":"145","width":"475","style":"width: 293px; height: 87px;","class":"media-element file-teaser"},"fields":{"format":"teaser","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"Politico","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":"Politico"},"type":"media"}]] House Republicans promoted their plan for empowering working women and families on Wednesday, emphasizing tax credits, workplace flexibility and job training. “I’m very proud to stand with them today in our ‘war for women’,” Rep. Mike Coffman (R-Colo.) said of his House colleagues, emphasizing the “for.” The GOP legislators took turns speaking on legislation passed and pending while stressing their personal stories as women in the workplace, the children of aging parents, or fathers of daughters. “Our workforce has changed, but our laws also need to reflect what is a changing workforce,” said Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.). “That’s where Republicans have long been advancing solutions that address this.” Republicans, however, have traditionally trailed Democrats in success with women at the ballot box. A June Washington Post poll showed that women favored a generic Democratic candidate over a generic Republican candidate, 52 to 42 percent. In response to a question on how the GOP would appeal to women in the 2014 midterms and overcome any negative perceptions voters have about the Republicans’ policies towards women, McMorris Rodgers said they would continue to push their legislation. “We appeal to everyone by talking to them about our role in empowering them,” McMorris Rodgers said. “Some of it comes through the federal government passing bills, passing legislation like you see here that would create more flexibility and more opportunity for them. That’s what we’re going to continue to promote.” The GOP’s solutions targeted families of all generations: Rep. Shelly Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) spoke of her bill, the Families First Act, which would index the dependent care credits to inflation, as something that could help families who have to take care of kids and parents. “I think this will help families on all ends of the spectrum,” said Capito, who is in a contentions race against Democrat Natalie Tennant for the Senate. Women, Capito added, are often the members of the family who have to balance the costs of caring for their dependents. At the other end of the spectrum, Rep. Lynn Jenkins (R-Kans.) said that most conversations with her daughter, who recently graduated from college, are about how her friends can’t find jobs - a problem that she wants to work to find a solution to. McMorris Rodgers said that while Wednesday’s press conference was a good review of what had been done so far, it wasn’t the end of the GOP’s efforts. “I think it’s important that there’s a recognition we’ve been looking on these bills, these solutions for a long time,” McMorris Rodgers said. “We’ve seen some successes, but there’s more work to be done.” Read More

Coffman Statement on VA Conference Committee Negotiations

2014/07/29

(Washington, D.C.)  Today, U.S. Representative Mike Coffman (R-CO) made the following statement regarding the House and Senate Veterans Affairs Conference Committee negotiations:  "As a combat veteran, I am proud that Republicans and Democrats were able to put aside their partisan differences to focus on supporting our nation's warriors with choice, accountability and greater transparency. This reform will allow veterans to vote with their feet if they receive substandard treatment at VA facilities. I'm also proud that we were able to include much-needed reforms on the treatment of victims of sexual assault in the military. The scourge of sexual assault and the corruption of covered up waiting lists are shameful acts we must work together to confront head on." Read More

Coffman Statement on Senate Confirmation of Bob McDonald as VA Secretary

2014/07/29

(Washington, D.C.)  Today, U.S. Representative Mike Coffman (R-CO) made the following statement regarding the Senate confirmation of Bob McDonald as VA Secretary:  “I wish Robert McDonald the best in his new role as the new VA Secretary.  He has an extraordinary background of private sector leadership and he knows how to make a large organization function.  McDonald will soon find out that changing the culture of the VA will be extremely difficult but I am optimistic that he begin that difficult and necessary process.  So long as he works every day to make the VA an organization that our veterans can be proud of, I will do everything in my power to support him.” Read More

Coloradans rally to support Israel’s fight with Hamas

2014/07/28

[[{"fid":"549","view_mode":"teaser","fields":{"format":"teaser","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":""},"type":"media","attributes":{"style":"height: 52px; width: 250px;","class":"media-element file-teaser"}}]] A crowd of more than 1,500 rallied Sunday on behalf of Israel at the Colorado state capitol, calling on Americans to support the Jewish state’s ability to defend itself in its conflict with Hamas in Gaza. The rally was sponsored by Americans Against Terrorism and featured more than a dozen elected officials, Jewish and Christian religious leaders, and local radio personalities, several of whom drew cheers for declaring, “Let Israel win!” Rep. Mike Coffman, Colorado Republican, said that being a supporter of Israel “means that I will stand shoulder to shoulder with Israel in the recognition that Hamas is a terrorist state and that Israel should never negotiate with terrorists.” “Being a supporter of Israel in Congress means that I will fight those who believe that Israel should return to its ‘67 borders,” said Mr. Coffman. “Only Israel can determine what borders it needs for its own security and the United States should never dictate to Israel what its security requirements are.” Across the street, about 100 pro-Palestinian demonstrators chanted slogans, played drums and waved signs such as “Israel is a Terrorist State” and “Stop Bombing Palestine.” Officers with the Denver police and state patrol monitored the demonstrations and directed foot traffic away from the counter-rally. Hosting the pro-Israel event was former Denver prosecutor and KNUS-AM talk show personality Craig Silverman, who said terrorist groups like al Qaeda, the Taliban and Hamas “are all the same” in that “they hate us because we’re Americans.” “They hate Israelis, they hate Jews, they hate Christians and agnostics, and anybody who will not submit to them,” said Mr. Silverman. “We will not submit. Hamas and Islamic jihad must not win in Gaza or anywhere.” Dan Caplis, talk show host on KNUS-AM, cited a popular mortgage company’s ad in saying that backing Israel is “the biggest no-brainer in the history of Earth.” “The truth of this situation is that the only thing worse than a Holocaust denier is a Holocaust enabler,” said Mr. Caplis. “Let’s make sure the United States doesn’t continue to go down the path of being a Holocaust enabler.” Other Republicans who spoke at the pro-Israel rally included former Rep. Bob Beauprez, the Republican nominee for governor; former Rep. Tom Tancredo and Arapahoe County District Attorney George Brauchler.   Read More

Coffman Introduces Bipartisan Bill to Reduce Spending

2014/07/24

(WASHINGTON, D.C.)  Today, U.S. House Representative Mike Coffman (R-CO), along with U.S. Representative Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), introduced bipartisan legislation, the Unified Savings and Accountability Act of 2014.  The bill implements recommendations made by the Government Accountability Office to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of government by eliminating overlap and duplication in a broad range of federal programs and activities. “This is a significant and common sense approach to eliminate wasteful spending and make the government more efficient,”  said Rep. Mike Coffman, a Marine Corps Gulf War combat veteran.   “If we do not implement GAO’s suggestions, we will continue to needlessly spend taxpayer dollars.” “This bipartisan bill cuts wasteful spending and government inefficiencies.  These are non-controversial, common sense solutions that result in significant savings through better management, oversight, and modernization. The USA Act reduces the debt without cutting critical investments or slowing our economic recovery,” said Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) Coffman’s legislation, the USA Act, would implement recommendations made by GAO in the 2014 Annual Reports to Reduce Fragmentation, Overlap, and Duplication and Achieve Other Financial Benefits.  The cumulative recommendations are projected to save at least $193.4 billion over ten years. “The provisions in the USA Act are reasonable reforms that will result in substantial savings” said Coffman. “This is a bipartisan effort that will improve the efficiency of the federal government and improve stewardship of federal tax dollars.” Provisions in the USA Act are listed below:  (1) Promoting federal contract competition, saving $80 billion (2) Federal bulk buying, saving $50 billion (3) Improving the ability of CMS to find and eliminate fraud, saving $33 billion (4) Consolidating data centers, saving $10 billion (5) Canceling passports of citizens who owe over $50,000 in taxes, saving $10 billion (6) Requiring agencies to better manage their information technology investments, saving $6 billion (7) Strengthening IT investment oversight, saving $4.4 billion (8) Phasing out the $1 bill and replacing it with a $1 coin, saving $4.4 billion (9) More effective foreclosure mitigation efforts, saving $2 billion (10) Increasing reverse auctions in government contracting, saving $1 billion (11) Requiring Treasury to spend less than the value of money when producing it, saving $1 billion (12) Federal Real Property Ownership and Leasing, saving $866 million (13) Enhancing online taxpayer services, saving $200 million (14) Decreasing our environmental impact by moving to a paperless Congress, which can save $50 million    Read More

83 US members sign initiative to invite Narendra Modi to address Joint Session of Congress

2014/07/23

[[{"fid":"547","view_mode":"teaser","fields":{"format":"teaser","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":""},"type":"media","attributes":{"class":"media-element file-teaser"}}]] A total of 83 members of Congress have signed on to an initiative spearheaded by Democrat California Congressman Brad Sherman, a senior member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, to request Congressional leadership invite the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to address a Joint Session of Congress in September. The initiative is being taken forward also by Rep. Ted Poe and Rep. Eni Faleomavaega. In each of the last three decades, a prime minister of India has addressed a Joint Session of Congress. The signatories are: Joe Barton, Ami Bera, Jaime Herrera Beutler, Gus Bilirakis, Madeleine Z. Bordallo, Mo Brooks, John Campbell, Tony Cardenas, John Carter, Donna Christensen, Judy Chu, David Cicilline, Mike Coffman, Chris Collins, Mike Conaway, Gerald Connolly, Jim Costa, Joe Courtney, Peter DeFazio, Ted Deutch, Eliot Engel, Anna Eshoo, Eni Faleomavaega, Bill Flores, Tulsi Gabbard, John Garamendi, Cory Gardner, Jim Gerlach, Kay Granger, Alan Grayson, Gene Green, Al Green, Michael Grimm, Denny Heck, Jeb Hensarling, Brian Higgins, Mike Honda, Bill Huizenga, Steve Israel, Bill Johnson, David Joyce, Joseph P. Kennedy III, Ron Kind, Peter King, Rick Larsen, Sheila Jackson Lee, Alan Lowenthal, Kenny Marchant, Carolyn B. Maloney, Mark Meadows, Gregory W. Meeks, Grace Meng, Mike Michaud, Randy Neugebauer, Pete Olson, Frank Pallone, Ted Poe, Ed Pastor, Ed Perlmutter, Scott Perry, David Price, Mike Quigley, Dana Rohrabacher, Bobby L. Rush, Loretta Sanchez, Allyson Y. Schwartz, David Schweikert, Pete Sessions, Brad Sherman, Albio Sires, Adam Smith, Lamar Smith, Jackie Speier, Steve Stivers, Steve Stockman, Dina Titus, Michael Turner, Pete Visclosky, Maxine Waters, Tim Walberg, Randy Weber, Roger Williams, and Ted Yoho.“I am pleased that 82 of my colleagues have joined me in this effort to invite Prime Minister Modi to speak before a Joint Session of Congress,” said Sherman, in a statement. “The voices in Congress are growing, and the message is clear: the United States and India have a unique relationship based on shared democratic values. Prime Minister Modi’s visit is an opportunity to further expand this relationship.” The full text of the letter reads: Dear Mr. Speaker, Madam Minority Leader, Mr. Majority Leader, and Mr. Minority Leader, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to visit Washington in late September 2014. Given the importance of our relationship with India, we ask you to invite Prime Minister Modi to address a Joint Session of Congress. As you know, India recently held the largest democratic exercise in history; about 550 million people voted in free and fair elections. Since recognizing India’s independence in 1947, the United States and India’s relationship has steadily grown. The United States and India share many core values, including religious pluralism, individual freedom, the rule of law, and electoral democracy. We have an opportunity to build on the U.S-India strategic partnership to the benefit of both our nations.   India is a growing economic power in a strategically important region of the world. New Delhi plays a critical role in regional peace and security. In each of the last three decades, a Prime Minister of India has addressed a Joint Session of Congress, and the upcoming visit of Prime Minister Modi will allow us to continue that tradition. Thank you for your consideration of this request. Sincerely, Members of Congress   Read More

McCarthy: Our veterans deserve a modern VA

2014/07/23

[[{"fid":"546","view_mode":"teaser","fields":{"format":"teaser","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":""},"type":"media","attributes":{"style":"height: 90px; width: 200px;","class":"media-element file-teaser"}}]] In the 1930s, people suffered through the summer with electric fans. Today, we have central air conditioning. In the 1930s, news came via radio and the morning newspaper. Now, we hear about worldwide events instantaneously with alerts on our smartphones. In the 1930s, the VA processed paper disability claims. Today, it does the same. Created in 1930, Veterans Affairs is an 84-year-old bureaucracy that hasn't adapted to a 21st century world. In an age of instant communication and data clouds, the VA uses a scheduling program, VistA, which is over a quarter-century old. We can track packages in real time, cash checks, and look up traffic all from our phones, but the VA is stuck in the old-tech, slow, and opaque system of yesteryear. A generation into the information age, the bureaucracy of the VA remains impenetrable. As veterans suffered, many people in the VA hid the fact that veterans had to wait weeks or months for medical appointments. But unacceptable wait times were just the beginning. Whistleblowers who spoke out against the neglect and abuse of veterans faced "harassment," a VA employee said at a recent congressional committee hearing. The VA's paper disability claim system is still overwhelmed with massive backlogs, leaving injured veterans uncompensated. On top of all of this, administrators who oversaw the scandals received generous bonuses and thousands of clerks, administrators, and support staff were incorrectly overpaid by millions of dollars. The VA is steeped in a culture of ambivalence coupled with a lack of accountability, and no amount of funding can fix those problems. Washington's traditional response of throwing money at the problem won't change the fact that people in the VA hid problems and silenced internal critiques all while administrators received bonuses when they shouldn't have. Only thorough modernization and a change in culture can fix the VA. First and foremost, we must modernize the VA and transform it from a slow and unaccountable bureaucracy to a transparent, efficient, and accountable institution. In the past decade, companies like Google and Amazon have revolutionized the way we find and share information, purchase services, and live our lives. We have grown accustomed to ease, convenience, and clarity, and we should expect no less from our government. In this same spirit, we must fix the paper disability claims system and end the claims backlog that leaves so many disabled veterans uncompensated. The Veterans Affairs Committee continues to investigate the disability claims backlog, and last year I sponsored legislation to fix this problem along with House Veterans' Affairs Committee Chairman Jeff Miller, R-Fla., and Rep. Mike Coffman, R-Colo. Though the House passed our proposal last year, the Senate has yet to consider it, and all the while our disabled veterans continue to wait. As we lead the VA forward, we should never force veterans to travel hundreds of miles or to wait months on end for their medical appointments. Veterans facing extreme wait times or who live far from VA facilities should have the ability to choose to access private care covered by the VA. This is a key aspect of a separate proposal by Rep. Miller called the Veterans Access to Care Act. Tellingly, even the Obama administration acknowledged that purely government-provided care is not effective. Almost a month after the scandal hit the newsstands, the administration's first action was to allow some veterans to receive care at private hospitals, to try and relieve some of the long-term backlog in VA medical centers. Lastly, we have to stop unnecessary and harmful job protection for VA employees who have blatantly failed our veterans. This is the heart of Rep. Miller's bipartisan measure that has already passed the House. In the private sector, employees who hide bad statistics and cover up abuses are promptly fired. To date, not a single VA employee has been fired because of the scandal. That is unconscionable and immoral. A modern VA must accept the modern world and not cling to its old bureaucratic past. It must give veterans the ability to access private care, streamline its system, and remove bad employees who retain their jobs at the expense of our veterans. Real reform is possible, but only if we unshackle ourselves from the old idea that more bureaucracy, more government, and more money will solve today's problems. It's time to try something new. It's time to build a 21st Century VA. Read More

Air Force Examines Anomalies as Musk’s SpaceX Seeks Work

2014/07/22

[[{"fid":"545","view_mode":"teaser","fields":{"format":"teaser","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"Bloomberg","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":"Bloomberg"},"type":"media","attributes":{"alt":"Bloomberg","title":"Bloomberg","style":"width: 200px; height: 100px;","class":"media-element file-teaser"}}]] The Air Force is examining several anomalies that occurred during Space Exploration Technologies Corp.’s three civilian space flights as part of its review of billionaire Elon Musk’s quest to launch military satellites. While none of the irregularities caused the missions to fail, the Air Force is reviewing corrective actions as it weighs certification of SpaceX. Musk’s company wants a piece of a $67.6 billion Pentagon program for satellite launches, a market held by a joint venture of Lockheed Martin Corp. and Boeing Co., the government’s top two contractors. “These anomalies are continuing to be discussed with SpaceX,” the service said in briefing paper sent May 20 to Representative Mike Rogers, an Alabama Republican and chairman of the House Armed Services Committee’s strategic panel. His congressional district is near the one where the joint venture, Centennial, Colorado-based United Launch Alliance LLC, assembles booster rockets. The Air Force paper provides insight into the issues the service is assessing as it considers whether Hawthorne, California-based SpaceX should be allowed to launch military satellites, which “have significantly different and generally more stringent launch vehicle requirements than” missions for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, according to the paper. SpaceX currently ferries cargo to the International Space Station under a $1.6 billion NASA contract. In a cover letter to Rogers, Air Force Secretary Deborah James wrote that, “to date, SpaceX and its Falcon 9 v1.1 launch system have made the most progress toward certification.” As for other potential competitors, “we have received statements of intent but progress is slower,” she said. The Air Force provided Bloomberg News with a redacted copy of the May 20 letter and briefing paper in response to a request for the release of official records. Lawmakers including Republican Senator John McCain of Arizona and Senator Richard Durbin, an Illinois Democrat who leads the defense appropriations subcommittee, are pressing for competition as fast as possible. Durbin’s panel proposed $125 million to bankroll an additional launch over 14 originally designated. The new flight would be open to competition. Three lawmakers, including Representative Mike Coffman, a Colorado Republican whose district includes United Launch’s headquarters, wrote to NASA Administrator Charles Bolden on July 15, asking him to disclose all anomalies on SpaceX missions following news reports of issues. Republican Representative Mo Brooks, who represents the Alabama district where the company’s rockets are assembled, also signed the letter. Air Force officials have said they anticipate the review of SpaceX launches and possible certification will be completed by May 2015. The company needs certification to win a contract to launch a National Reconnaissance Office spy satellite in 2016. The Air Force last week opened up the launch to bidding -- the first competitive one in a decade. SpaceX can bid on it while the certification process continues. The Air Force paper to Rogers outlines the certification status and “the most significant flight anomalies from the three flights being considered to meet the certification criteria.” One occurred during a September 2013 launch, when a second-stage rocket engine failed to re-ignite. A second anomaly was a stage-one fire on the “Octaweb” engine structure during a flight in December. The third irregularity involved what the Air Force called “unacceptable fuel reserves at engine cutoff of the stage 2 second burnoff” in a January mission. The service said there were other “lesser but still significant flight and ground operations and observations in discussion with SpaceX.” It said it was working with the company to help “improve the probability” of certification by December. That’s when the National Reconnaissance Office wants to award the satellite launch contract. In a written statement to Durbin’s panel after a March hearing, SpaceX said previous mission anomalies had been resolved. It didn’t identify the causes, which it said were “proprietary.” Without addressing the specifics of the May 20 letter, SpaceX spokesman John Taylor said in an an e-mail that the service “has officially certified as successful the three flights.” He said SpaceX and the Air Force expect to complete the certification process later this year. If allowed to compete for the launches, “SpaceX will provide the nation with efficient and highly reliable launch services, while saving taxpayers billions of dollars, a goal that everyone should fully support,” Taylor said. Air Force spokesman Major Eric Badger said in an e-mail that the service is working hard to get the company certified. “SpaceX believes they will be done by the end of 2014,” Badger said. “The Air Force believes that’s an extremely aggressive schedule.” In its briefing paper, the Air Force expressed concerns about whether SpaceX can demonstrate the capability to integrate payloads vertically, instead of the horizontal approach the company uses for commercial and NASA missions. SpaceX must demonstrate the vertical integration capability to win the spy satellite contract, according to a memo to Pentagon weapons buyer Frank Kendall from his director for program assessments. U.S. military payloads “are neither designed nor tested to be horizontally integrated into a rocket and SpaceX currently does not perform vertical integration,” the Air Force wrote. It said the company is planning to build that capability. Badger said the Air Force wasn’t able to comment on the anomalies under review or whether it thinks SpaceX can achieve the required vertical capability. That’s “due to some of the information being proprietary and other parts being linked to” a lawsuit that SpaceX filed against the Air Force. SpaceX sued in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims in April, asserting the Air Force illegally excluded it from the contract for as many as 36 launches awarded to the Lockheed-Boeing team in December. Rogers said in an e-mailed statement that the Air Force’s May 20 response to him “makes clear why the new entrant certification process is robust and deliberate” when multibillion-dollar satellites are launched. “While I look forward to real competition to bring down launch prices, it is clear from this response that we have a ways to go,” he said. Read More

How US must handle Iraq crisis

2014/07/17

[[{"fid":"544","view_mode":"teaser","fields":{"format":"teaser","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":""},"type":"media","attributes":{"style":"width: 200px; height: 100px;","class":"media-element file-teaser"}}]] What I remember most about serving with the U.S. Marine Corps in Iraq was realizing the extraordinary level of hatred that the Sunnis and Shia Arabs had for each other. To understand Iraq today, one must understand the deep religious divisions within the country.  The Islamic faith fractured into two very separate sects following a leadership struggle after the death of the Prophet Mohamed in 632 AD.  Muslims who believed that the leader should be a descendant of the Prophet Mohamed himself became known as Shia while those who believed that the leader should be decided by the community of Muslim’s became known as Sunnis.  Iraq is made up of approximately sixty percent Shia Arab, twenty percent Sunni Arab, and twenty percent Kurds who, unlike Iraqi Arabs, have a stronger identification to their ethnicity than to their religious affiliation.  Saddam Hussein was a Sunni Arab and under his leadership the Sunni Arabs were the ruling elite of the country.  After the collapse of the regime and the introduction of representative government, the tables were turned on the Sunnis and the Shia. The Shia, who were poorly treated under Saddam Hussein,  were easily able to dominate the new, constitutionally-elected Iraqi government. When the U.S. military pulled out in 2011, the Shia-led Malaki government turned to their worst sectarian instincts and marginalized the country’s Sunni Arabs by essentially pushing them out of the government and alienating them.  The conduct of the Malaki government since 2011 has ignited a Sunni Arab revolt and has created an opening for the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) that would not exist if the Sunni Arabs felt they had any hope of a reasonable future under a Malaki government. At this point, an intervention by the U.S. military, at any level, in support of the Shia-led Iraqi government will only be seen as taking sides in a sectarian conflict.  A military resolution to the crisis simply does not exist.   Even the Iraqi Army now is seen by the Sunni Arabs and by the Kurds as a sectarian Shia Arab military force that to them is little more than just another Shia militia. The only solution is a political reconciliation.  Any U.S. military assistance in Iraq must come with strict conditions. It must be clear that military aide is predicated on a fundamental change in the Iraqi government.  This will send a clear message to Iraq’s Sunni Arabs and Kurds that they will have a voice in the formation of a new government where they will be fairly treated and their respective provinces will receive an equitable distribution of the country’s oil wealth. The areas in Iraq that have fallen to ISIS are Sunni-dominated communities that are deeply opposed to the Shia-led government in Baghdad.  These areas have temporarily aligned themselves with ISIS, just as they did with Abu Musab al-Zarqawi’s Al Qaeda in Iraq (AQIZ) terror network when coalition forces were occupying the country. When the U.S. and our coalition allies were in the country, local Sunni Arab Iraqi insurgents joined forces with jihadist’s to fight what they perceived as their common enemies.  However, this was not a natural alliance and once the Sunni Arabs saw hope for a future in a more inclusive pluralistic Iraqi government, with  our assistance, they turned against the radical Islamists forces who were terrorizing their communities and imposing beliefs that were objectionable to local Sunni Arab tribal and religious leaders.  Areas in Iraq not dominated by disaffected Sunni Arabs are not in danger of falling to the ISIS-led opposition forces. The US must also understand that a successful conventional military operation in Iraq will only drive the insurgency underground where they can wage a guerrilla war against the Iraqi government without end. The time is now to put pressure on the Iraqi government to change.  Maliki must go. A change in Iraq’s government is our only hope. Sending a contingent of U.S. military personnel, no matter how small, will be counterproductive to that goal.   Our presence before a change in leadership will merely send a message to the Malaki government that we will support them despite what they have done and continue to do to destroy the country by oppressing the Sunni Arab population. Republican Mike Coffman serves Colorado's 6th District in the U.S. House of Representatives. He is Chairman of the House Veterans Affairs Committee, Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, and served for a combined 21 years between the U.S. Army, the Army Reserve, the U.S. Marine Corps, and the Marine Corps Reserve.  Coffman is the only veteran in the Colorado delegation and the only member of Congress to have served in both the first Gulf War and in the Iraq War. Read More

Reps. Gardner and Coffman question SpaceX in defense of ULA

2014/07/16

[[{"fid":"543","view_mode":"default","fields":{"format":"default","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":""},"type":"media","attributes":{"class":"media-element file-default"}}]] Two of Colorado’s Republican U.S. Representatives sent a letter to NASA’s Administrator Tuesday questioning the reliability of rockets made by SpaceX, which hopes to be a competitor to Centennial-based United Launch Alliance. Reps. Mike Coffman and Cory Gardner’s letter is a direct, tit-for-tat response to Capitol Hill’s recent scrutiny of ULA’s dependency on a Russian-made rocket engine and its monopoly of U.S. military launch services. Coffman and Gardner are asking the space agency to reveal more details about “all anomalies and mishap information, un-redacted, so that Congress can gain a better understanding of what has occurred and ensure full transparency.” It is the latest political maneuver in the controversial space launch industry. ULA is a joint venture between Boeing Co. and Lockheed Martin that the government allowed to form in 2006. The two companies argued rocket launches are too expensive of an endeavor to keep competing against each other. ULA said the sole-source relationship with the Air Force saves the taxpayers more money while SpaceX questions the true cost of launch. Tesla co-founder Elon Musk started SpaceX — formally known as Space Exploration Technologies Corp. — with the goal of building cheaper, reusable rockets. The California-based company made waves in April when it filled a lawsuit against the U.S. government and United Launch Services, a subsidiary of ULA. SpaceX passed a major milestone in its quest to receive U.S. government certification last week for its Falcon 9 rocket. But Coffman and Gardner highlight a laundry list of reported launch delays and technical difficulties that they should be fully explored in light of the recent firestorm. “As a member of the Strategic Forces Subcommittee for the House Armed Services Committee, I’ve read a number of articles that have outlined SpaceX’s problems and I find it ironic that they are targeting ULA for cost issues,” Coffman said in an e-mail to The Denver Post. “It begs the question as to what else is going on with these rockets that we don’t know about.” The letter states: “According to recent news reports, SpaceX launch attempts have resulted in wide ranging problems, including multiple helium leaks, loss of capsule control, multiple thruster issues, avionics issues, capsule contamination issues, and three consecutive seawater intrusions on ISS Cargo Resupply (CRS) missions. SpaceX contracted or planned 24 Falcon 9 flights for its NASA, DOD and commercial customers through 2013 and flew seven. They list approximately 30 flights for this year and next, yet have only flown three times.” Read More

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Contact Information

2443 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Phone 202-225-7882
Fax 202-226-4623
coffman.house.gov

Mike Coffman began his distinguished career of serving our nation at a very young age.  At age seventeen, after finishing his junior year at Aurora Central High School in 1972, he enlisted in the U.S. Army.   Through the Army, Coffman was able to earn a high school diploma.  In 1974, he left active duty to attend the University of Colorado under the G.I. Bill where he continued his military career by serving in the U.S. Army Reserve.  Coffman took a leave of absence from the U.S. Army Reserve and the University of Colorado to attend D.G. Vaishnav College in Chennai, India in 1976 and the University of Veracruz in Xalapa, Mexico in 1977.  Coffman graduated from the University of Colorado in 1979 and immediately transferred from the U.S. Army Reserve to the U.S. Marine Corps where he served as an infantry officer.

In 1983, Coffman came back home to Colorado and started a small business, an Aurora-based property management company, that would grow to over 20 employees. He remained the senior share holder of the firm for the next seventeen years until selling his interest in 2000. While in business, he continued serving in the military by joining the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve.

In his role as a Colorado small business owner, Coffman saw the need to bring more common sense pro-growth economic policies to state government so he ran and was elected to the State House of Representatives in 1988 and re-elected in 1990.  Shortly after his 1990 re-election, Coffman took an unpaid leave of absence from the state legislature and volunteered to return to active duty for the first Gulf War where he served as the executive officer for a light armored infantry company.   The battalion that Coffman served in was ordered to attack and defend positions inside of Kuwait, for three consecutive days prior to the main ground attack, as part of a deception and reconnaissance-by-fire operation.  Coffman retired from the military in 1994 after having served for seven years between the U.S. Army and the Army Reserve and thirteen years between the U.S. Marine Corps and the Marine Corps Reserve.

In 1994, Coffman was elected to the State Senate where he served as the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee.  While in the State Senate, he completed the Senior Executive Program for State and Local Government at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.  In 1998, Coffman was elected to the office of State Treasurer and re-elected in 2002.  In 2005, the U.S. Marine Corps was under strength in meeting their requirements for the Iraq War and begun to extend Marines beyond their active duty enlistments, recall Marines recently released from active duty, and selectively reach out to retired Marines and request their return to active duty.   Coffman resigned his position as the State Treasurer and volunteered to return to the U.S. Marine Corps for an assignment in Iraq.  In Iraq, Coffman was a civil affairs officer where he worked in support of the Independent Electoral Commission of Iraq (IECI) in 2005 and in 2006 he was reassigned to help establish interim local governments in the Western Euphrates River Valley.

In 2006, Coffman came home after completing a full tour of duty in Iraq and was appointed by Governor Bill Owens to serve out the remainder of his term as the State Treasurer.  In that same year, he ran and was elected to the Office of Secretary of State and served in that capacity until he was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2008.

Coffman is the only veteran in the Colorado delegation and the only Member of Congress to have served in both the first Gulf War and in the Iraq War.  Congressman Coffman represents the 6th Congressional District of Colorado and serves on the Armed Services Committee, the Veteran’s Affairs Committee where he is the Chairman for the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, and on the House Committee on Small Business.

Coffman and his wife Cynthia were married in 2005 just before he deployed to Iraq with the U.S. Marine Corps.  Cynthia Coffman was the Chief Legal Counsel to Governor Bill Owens before becoming the Chief Deputy Attorney General for the State of Colorado under Attorney General John Suthers.  Coffman attends Faith Presbyterian Church in Aurora with his eighty year-old mother, Dorothy Coffman.


Serving With

Scott Tipton

COLORADO's 3rd DISTRICT

Cory Gardner

COLORADO's 4th DISTRICT

Doug Lamborn

COLORADO's 5th DISTRICT

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