Mike Coffman

Mike Coffman

COLORADO's 6th DISTRICT

Coffman Statement on Trump's DACA Comments

2016/12/07

Washington, DC -- U.S. Representative Mike Coffman (CO-06) released the following statement regarding President-elect Donald Trump's comments on those individuals currently eligible under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program:

"I'm glad that President-elect Trump acknowledges that we need to preserve the principle of DACA for the young people who were taken here by their relatives, who grew up here, went to school here, and often know of no other country.  They ought to be able to remain in this country, work or go to school, and live without the fear of deportation."

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Coffman Disappointed in F-35 Basing Decision

2016/12/07

Washington, DC -- U.S. Representative Mike Coffman (R-CO) today expressed his extreme disappointment regarding the Air Force’s announcement that Buckley Air Force Base (AFB) did not make the list to get the F-35 aircraft in the latest competitive round.  

The F-35 is the Air Force’s replacement for the F-16, which the Colorado Air National Guard currently flies out of Buckley. The F-16s are aging and under current plans, the Air Force will retire them by 2030. Without the basing of the new F-35 aircraft to replace the F-16's, Buckley will probably no longer be able to maintain an active runway.

“While I am extremely disappointed by the Air Force’s announcement today, this is not the end of the road,” said Coffman. “I will continue to work hard for the long-term viability of Buckley and to highlight the advantages the 140th Wing of the Colorado Air National Guard brings as a future home for the F-35.  There will be additional rounds where Buckley will have an opportunity to compete for the basing of the F-35."

Coffman has increased funding for the Department of Defense’s Readiness and Environmental Protection Integration Program (REPI).  REPI provides funds to acquire additional open space surrounding a base to stop encroachment. Encroachment is a significant concern for Buckley and the Air Force as the City of Aurora continues to grow. The F-35 has a larger noise signature than the F-16 so a larger buffer area is essential to give the Air Force the confidence of ongoing community support for F-35.

Buckley expects to successfully compete for some of these additional Air Force funds to complete the acquisition of its planned 1,000-acre open space buffer zone along with matching contributions from the State of Colorado, Arapahoe County, and the City of Aurora.

In June 2016, Coffman led a bipartisan, bicameral letter sent to the Secretary of the Air Force to demonstrate the strong support from the State of Colorado for the basing the F-35 at Buckley.  Signed by the entire Colorado Congressional delegation and Governor John Hickenlooper (D-CO), the letter calls out Buckley as an ideal basing option for the F-35 for a number of reasons. These include factors such as varying terrain for training exercises, strategic partnerships overseas, community support, and millions of dollars in renovations made to Buckley over the past 15 years.

“I look forward to continuing my strategic partnerships with state and local leaders to best position Buckley for future missions,” Coffman continued. “I am absolutely confident that we can all work together to ensure Buckley is a strong contender when future F-35 basing decisions are made.”

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Coffman to POTUS: Don't Pardon Bergdahl

2016/12/06

Washington, DC -- U.S. Representative Mike Coffman (CO-06) today penned a letter to President Obama expressing his strongest opposition to a preemptive pardon of U.S. Army soldier Bowe Bergdahl.

In 2009, Bergdahl abandoned his post while serving in Afghanistan.  Bergdahl was then captured by the Taliban and held captive for five years until 2014 when the Obama Administration released five Guantanamo Bay Islamic terrorist detainees in exchange for Bergdahl’s release.

Late last week, Bergdahl, facing a court-martial for desertion and misbehavior before the enemy, asked President Obama to preemptively pardon him.

“I am deeply concerned about the precedent such a pardon would set for our Armed Forces,” wrote Coffman, a Marine Corps combat veteran, in his letter to President Obama. “Bowe Bergdahl’s decision to abandon his post in a combat zone during the height of the Afghan insurgency was a clear violation of the Uniformed Code of Military Justice…His actions must be judged by the pending court-martial.”

Coffman is also concerned about a preemptive pardon for Bergdahl because of the high costs the U.S. Military apparently incurred seeking to rescue him when he first went missing.

“Bergdahl’s decision to abandon his post was not a ‘harmless’ act that simply led to his capture by the Taliban. It led to a major military search operation in one of the most dangerous regions of Afghanistan that I think endangered the lives of other U.S. service members and may have led to some becoming casualties,” Coffman continued. “A preemptive pardon for Bergdahl will, I am convinced, seriously undermine the military court-martial process and send the wrong message to the hundreds of thousands of men and women in uniform who have served honorably in combat.”

Bergdahl’s court-martial is currently scheduled to commence in February of 2017.

A Marine Corps combat veteran, Coffman serves on the House Armed Services Committee and House Veteran’s Affairs Committee, where he is the Chairman of the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations

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Coffman’s ‘Fairness for Veterans’ Proposal Included in NDAA

2016/12/02

Washington, DC -- U.S. Representative Mike Coffman (CO-06) today applauded the passage of the FY17 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which contained a number of provisions proposed by Coffman.

In particular, Coffman’s Fairness for Veterans Act was added to the final version of NDAA. H.R. 4683, the Fairness for Veterans Act, is a measure Coffman introduced in March as part of his set of initiatives to provide veterans with better access to mental health services.

“As a retired Marine and a combat veteran myself, I know how stressful combat deployments are and the impact they can often have years after returning to civilian life," Coffman said. "Many of our soldiers develop PTSD while deployed in a combat zone and then get kicked out of the military for minor behavioral problems directly linked to their combat-related PTSD. Today’s vote on NDAA is a critical step in ensuring that we take care of those who have served our nation and now need our nation to help them."

Coffman developed the Fairness for Veterans Act to address a very disturbing trend. Since 2009, more than 20,000 service members with medical histories indicating they may have PTSD have been improperly discharged from the U.S. Army with other- than-honorable discharges, oftentimes for minor misconduct.

In 2009, at the height of combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, the U.S. Army had about 555,000 soldiers. Since then, the Army has been cut back to an active duty force of 485,000. From these figures, it appears that the Army has used these minor misconduct violations an excuse to quickly discard these combat veterans get its active duty numbers down. This is particularly troublesome because veterans with other-than-honorable discharges are often ineligible for a broad range of healthcare and other benefits from the Department of Veteran’s Affairs, including critical mental healthcare services.  

Coffman and U.S. Senator Gary Peters (D-MI), in a bipartisan, bicameral effort supported by more than 40 Veterans Service Organizations, worked side-by-side to include Fairness for Veterans language in FY17 NDAA, which creates a presumption in favor of a combat veteran with a diagnosis of PTSD during the post-discharge appeals process.

“Our nation’s heroes who honorably served our country should not lose access to the benefits they’ve earned because they are suffering the invisible wounds of war,” said Senator Peters, a former Lt. Commander in the U.S. Navy Reserve. “I am pleased the House approved the Fairness for Veterans amendment with widespread bipartisan support, and I will be working to ensure swift passage in the Senate so veterans are given the fairness they deserve when petitioning for an upgraded discharge status.

“We are heartened to learn that the ‘Fairness for Veterans’ provision has been included in the conferenced version of the NDAA,” said John Rowan, National President of Vietnam Veterans of America. “This is one small step towards the much-needed reforms of the Department of Defense’s Discharge Review Boards. VVA is especially thankful to Congressman Mike Coffman for his support of this common-sense legislation which will go a long way in protecting our country’s most vulnerable veterans. For that, we are exceedingly grateful.”

In addition to Fairness for Veterans, Coffman’s successful NDAA initiatives include:

  • Increasing Readiness and Environmental Protection Integration (REPI) funding by nearly $15 million so military bases can prevent encroachment. As property around a base is developed, it can limit or restrict military training, testing, and operations. Buckley Air Force Base in Colorado’s 6th Congressional District is currently competing for REPI funds to expand the buffer areas surrounding it.    
  • Reforms that streamline and simplify the current processes used in the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and Small Business Administration (SBA) to certify veteran-owned small businesses (VOSB) and service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses (SDVOSB). The current processes vary between the VA and SBA and this reform reforms, streamlines, and simplifies the current process VA and SBA use to certify these businesses as eligible.

A Marine Corps combat veteran, Coffman serves on the House Armed Services Committee and House Veteran’s Affairs Committee, where he is the Chairman of the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations

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Coffman Proposal on Stem Cell Research in 21st Century Cures Act

2016/11/30

Washington, DC -- U.S. Representative Mike Coffman (CO-06) today lauded the final passage of the 21st Century Cures Act noting that the legislation added language to advance regenerative medicine, better known as stem cell research, taken from a bill previously introduced by Coffman.  Advances in stem cell research have the potential of revolutionizing medicine by taking a patient’s own stem cells, harvesting those cells, and injecting them back into the patient in order to regrow tissue or organs. 

In March, Coffman introduced the Reliable and Effective Growth for Regenerative Health Options (REGROW) Act. Key elements of this bipartisan, bicameral bill, including updated FDA guidance and regulations as well as requiring FDA to work with stakeholders to establish scientific standards for regenerative medical treatments, for the purpose of accelerating clinical trials, were incorporated into the final version of 21st Century Cures.

“As someone who has long advocated for the increased use and availability of regenerative medical treatments, I am pleased that some of the key requirements for accelerating the use of regenerative medicine have been included in 21st Century Cures,” Coffman continued.  “The development of regenerative medical treatments is one of the most exciting aspects of modern medicine. These products, developed from adult stem cells, show potential to fully restore or establish normal function in damaged human cells, tissues, or organs. Fighting and defeating diseases is not a partisan issue. It’s an issue we can all support together.”

Coffman worked extensively with the Charles C. Gates Center for Regenerative Medicine to ensure regenerative medicine’s inclusion in 21st Century Cures. Located in Aurora, Colorado, the Gates Center is focused on the research and development of regenerative medical treatments with the intent to deliver these groundbreaking treatments to patients as soon as possible.

“We at the Gates Center for Regenerative Medicine are heartened by today’s passage of the 21st Century Cures bill—specifically the inclusion of provisions that will help provide an accelerated regulatory pathway for regenerative therapies,” said Dennis Roop, Ph.D., Director Gates Center for Regenerative Medicine.  “We want to thank Congressman Mike Coffman and his staff, in particular, whose unremitting and diligent efforts in conjunction with House and Senate colleagues and others helped ensure that regenerative medicine was addressed and included in this legislation.  We hope this will lead to groundbreaking therapies in this promising field and allow the United States to compete on an international scale in developing therapies for those with as yet unmet medical needs.”

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Coffman Urges State Department to Boldly Address Ethiopian Violence

2016/11/04

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Veterans hooked on heroin struggle to find help

2016/11/03

A KRDO Newschannel 13 investigation revealed that a large number of heroin addicts in America are veterans.

Not only has the VA health care system struggled to help them, but it may also be responsible for inadvertently creating the addictions in the first place.

Ross Armentor is recovering heroin addict who has been sober for three years this month.

Shortly after serving in Iraq in 2003, he was prescribed the powerful painkiller Percocet, which contains the opioid oxycontin.

He was suffering from a torm hamstring at the time.

Within a few months, he was addicted.

"Two pills became five, five became ten, ten became fifty. And you know the saying is 'one is too many and a million is never enough', and that was definitely my story," he recalled.

Despite a dramatic dosage increase, the VA never questioned his motives.

"I was getting abnormal amounts of painkillers and anti-anxiety medication. It wasn't a big deal. It would come in the mail every month, right to my doorstep. Actually, it was like going and ordering lunch," said Armentor.

But eventually, the painkillers became too ineffective or too expensive, so he turned to heroin.

A top VA pain management expert, Dr. Julie Franklin, recently testified to the House Committee On Veterans Affairs that almost 60% of veterans returning from the Middle East have some form of chronic pain requiring treatment.

A KRDO Newschannel 13 investigation found that 63,880 veterans were treated in 2015 for an opioid use disorder.

In 2013, the VA released its "Opioid Safety Initiative", directing its staff to prescribe less opioids.

However, in the spring of 2016, Colorado Congressman Mike Coffman said there is still a "prescribe-first mentality" among VA medical practitioners.

VA physician Kristine Glass disagrees, claiming that decision is ultimately up to patients like Armentor.

"The patient always has the right to choose it our job as physicians is to educate so they make the right choice," said Glass.

Armentor doesn't question the commitment of doctors and other medical practioners in the VA system.

He says they are simply overwhelmed, and can't provide the same quality care as private facilities, nor can they provide it in the same timely manner.

Armentor tried the VA, but the wait time forced him to seek out treatment at a private facility instead.

"I said 'Hey can you help me, I'm dying here. I'm going to die.' And they (VA) said 'Well, in 21 days we can get you a bed.' Well in 21 days, we die from this disease," he said.

The average wait time for a VA specialty clinic in Colorado Springs as of October 15 was 28 days, significantly longer than most other clinics tracked by the VA.

Dr. Glass believes the treatment is improving.

"We do see things moving forward and change does take time, but we are doing our best to educate from the mandates from Washington DC," she said.

However, Armentor worries the scale of the epidemic is outpacing the VA's lack of bed space and individualized care.

"In my opinion," he said, "when you have socialized medicine, everybody's treated the same. So the doctor doesn't get to know me. He doesn't know my story, nor is he going to ask. I'm a number to him. And so the better individualized treatment I got from an outside source is what ended up saving my life."

He now runs a successful sober house in Denver, using what he learned from his own experience to help others.

More than anything, he wants to the community to understand that heroin addicts are often veterans, professionals, or affluent teens living in the suburbs, not junkees, and he believes a larger conversation is necessary to truly reduce the epidemic.

If you know a veteran struggling with an addiction, the number to reach the Colorado Springs Patient Liaison is 719-227-4074.

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Denver Hospice honors local veterans

2016/11/02

The Denver Hospice regularly holds pinning ceremonies at local long-term care facilities saluting veterans and their service to our country. Recently, 33 Air Force veterans were honored by the Denver Hospice and U.S Rep. Mike Coffman, known as the veterans’ veteran.

The ceremony was held at the State Veterans Community Living Center at Fitzsimmons. As the only hospice in Denver to earn Level 4 status in the “We Honor Veterans” campaign, a joint program of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization and the Veterans Administration, the Denver Hospice is privileged to honor local veterans with the assistance of leaders of the armed forces. The Denver Hospice provides end-of-life care to a nine-county region along Colorado’s Front Range.

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Coffman Receives Award from National Association of Manufacturers

2016/10/31

Aurora, CO -- U.S. Representative Mike Coffman (CO-06) today was awarded the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) Award for Manufacturing Legislative Excellence based on his votes in the 114th Congress on issues critical to manufacturing in the United States. Coffman received the award during a presentation at Altec, Inc. in Aurora, CO. 

“Manufacturing is critically important to the United States,” Coffman said. “Despite all the global challenges U.S. manufacturers face, we still make the best and most innovative products in the world. American ingenuity and the American workforce is an unbeatable combination, which is why I fully support manufacturing and am honored to receive this award.”

“Manufacturing in Colorado and across the country are changing lives for the better—through the jobs we create and the products we make. Manufacturing is about improving the human condition, one innovation at a time,” said NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons. “Rep. Coffman is helping to make our success possible by standing with manufacturers when it matters and casting the right votes.”

“Manufacturing remains an important element to improving economic growth and job opportunities in the U.S,” said Chairman and CEO of Altec, Inc. Lee Styslinger III. “We are proud to help recognize congressional representatives like Congressman Mike Coffman for his outstanding voting record on key legislation that benefits U.S. workers.”

According to NAM’s website, NAM is the largest manufacturing association in the United States and represents manufacturers of all sizes in every industrial sector and in all 50 states.  Manufacturing employs more than 12 million people and contributes more than $2.7 trillion annually to the U.S. economy.

“American manufacturers are facing challenging times,” Coffman continued. “Burdensome regulations imposed by the current Administration often make it harder for manufacturers to do business or to compete successfully in the global markets. I will continue to take steps to improve the regulatory environment for our businesses and to ensure greater opportunities for American manufacturing.”

Key Votes included in the Voting Record are selected by small, medium and large manufacturing executives who serve on the NAM’s Key Vote Advisory Committee. Additional information on the NAM Award for Manufacturing Legislative Excellence can be found here

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Coffman, Costello, Poliquin praise decision to halt efforts to claw back bonuses

2016/10/28

The Pentagon’s announcement this week that enlistment bonuses would not be clawed back from California National Guard soldiers was met with applause from U.S. Reps. Mike Coffman (R-CO), Ryan Costello (R-PA) and Bruce Poliquin (R-ME).

The U.S. Defense Secretary ordered the Pentagon suspend the collection of improper enlistment bonuses paid to thousands of California National Guard soldiers at the height of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

“I am so relieved that bureaucrats at the Pentagon finally came to their senses,” Coffman, an Iraq war veteran, said. “It was wrong to go so far back to correct administrative errors that were clearly not the fault of the men and women who have served our country in time of war.”

Costello, meanwhile, said he has joined a bipartisan group of lawmakers in requesting clarification from the Department of Defense about what congressional action might be needed to provide a permanent solution.

“While I am encouraged by the Pentagon’s recent decision to halt the recovery of these bonuses, I am appalled this attempt to take these bonuses from the men and women who put their lives on the line for our country ever occurred in the first place,” said Costello, who is a member of the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee.

Poliquin agreed it was unacceptable for veterans to be asked to repay bonuses they had earned.

“I’m pleased the Pentagon realized this horrible mistake and acted quickly to stop it,” Poliquin said. “I’m poised to work with my colleagues in Congress and with the Department of the Defense in investigating the matter and making sure it never happens again.”

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Rep. Coffman Honors John Yee on the House Floor

2016-09-23 14:37:33


Rep. Coffman Honors the Life of Chelsey Jean Hood Russell on the House Floor

2016-09-14 21:39:52


Rep. Coffman Speaks in Support of Motion to Subpoena VA's AIB Documents on Aurora VA Hospital

2016-09-12 18:26:35


Rep. Mike Coffman Welcomes 74 New Citizens at Naturalization Ceremony in Aurora

2016-07-29 15:08:30


Rep. Coffman on Nuclear Deterrent Modernization Plans and Budgets

2016-07-15 16:01:44


Rep. Coffman Calls for Public Release of VA AIB Report on Aurora VA Hospital

2016-07-08 15:18:50


Rep. Coffman on Goldwater-Nichols Reform

2016-07-07 18:17:30


Rep. Coffman Speaks on House Floor to Defund Selective Service System

2016-07-07 18:08:59


Rep. Coffman Speaks on House Floor in Opposition to Closing GTMO

2016-05-18 15:12:54


Rep. Coffman Cosponsors Legislation Improving Reproductive Treatments for Disabled Veterans

2016-05-18 13:35:40


Rep. Coffman Testifies on EARN IT Act

2016-05-12 20:31:30


Rep. Coffman on Preventing Veteran Suicide

2016-05-12 20:27:52


Coffman Presses VA Officials On Delays in Veterans’ Healthcare

2016-04-19 18:09:17


Rep. Coffman Questions VA Officials on Appointment Scheduling for Veterans

2016-04-14 18:55:10


Rep. Coffman Congratulates ThunderRidge Girls Basketball on State Championship Win

2016-04-12 18:23:06


Rep. Coffman on Honoring WASPs at Arlington National Cemetery

2016-03-22 19:54:13


Rep. Coffman on FY2017 National Defense Authorization Act Budget

2016-03-22 19:21:03


Rep. Coffman on Choice Consolidation: Leveraging Provider Networks to Increase Veteran Access

2016-03-22 18:55:56


Rep. Coffman Speaks on S.2393 - the Foreclosure Relief and Extension for Servicemembers Act of 2015

2016-03-21 21:14:46


Rep. Coffman Congratulates Valor Christian Girls Swim & Dive on State Championship

2016-03-21 18:33:41


Contact Information

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

Committee Assignments

Veterans Affairs

Armed Services

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

Ken Buck

COLORADO's 4th DISTRICT

Doug Lamborn

COLORADO's 5th DISTRICT

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