Mike Coffman

Mike Coffman

COLORADO's 6th DISTRICT

Coffman Named ‘Hero of Main Street’

2016/05/27

Washington, DC -- U.S. Representative Mike Coffman (CO-06) today announced that he has received the “Hero of Main Street” award from the National Retail Federation for his support of legislation critical to the retail industry. Coffman is part of a bi-partisan group honored for their support of a wide range of issues including international trade, infrastructure investment, tax reform and labor issues.

“I am honored to be recognized as a ‘Hero of Main Street’ for fighting to promote pro-growth policies that help our nation’s main street retailers,” Coffman said. “As a former small business owner myself, I know firsthand the challenges that these employers face."

“Representative Coffman has shown through his support that he cares about retailers big and small, and values the role these businesses play in communities across the country,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. “Mike is an advocate for his thriving Main Street and to the long-term growth the retail industry -- our nation’s largest job creators and the catalyst for continued growth and opportunity for our nation’s economy.”

The Hero of Main Street award was created by NRF in 2013 to recognize members of Congress for support of the retail industry’s public policy priorities. Eligibility is based on NRF’s Retail Opportunity Index, bill sponsorship and advocacy to advance the industry’s priorities. The “heroes” have supported policies and initiatives defined by NRF that recognize the contributions of the retail industry, and have worked to encourage a “vibrant, sustained and healthy” retail sector.

NRF is the world’s largest retail trade association, representing discount and department stores, home goods and specialty stores, Main Street merchants, grocers, wholesalers, chain restaurants and Internet retailers from the United States and more than 45 countries. Retail is the nation’s largest private sector employer, supporting one in four U.S. jobs – 42 million working Americans. Contributing $2.6 trillion to annual GDP, retail is a daily barometer for the nation’s economy. NRF’s This is Retail campaign highlights the industry’s opportunities for life-long careers, how retailers strengthen communities, and the critical role that retail plays in driving innovation.              

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Don't Cut Vets off From Needed Prescriptions

2016/05/26

Washington, DC – U.S. Representative Mike Coffman (R-CO) today introduced the bipartisan Veteran Prescription Continuity Act with Congressman Beto O’Rourke (D-TX). The bill would help ensure service members can get the same prescription drugs they are receiving on active duty once they leave the military and get their health care through the Veterans Administration (VA).

“Our veterans deserve a seamless transition, when they leave active duty and go into the VA system, that prevents any delays in providing them with the health care benefits that they have earned through their military service," said Coffman. 

Right now there’s no guarantee a patient can be prescribed the same drug by a VA doctor as a Department of Defense (DOD) doctor unless that medication is for post-traumatic stress or chronic pain. The Veteran Prescription Continuity Act requires the VA and DOD to work together to ensure a veteran can access the same prescriptions he or she received while on active duty, regardless of the condition being treated.

“Our military heroes should receive the best medicines regardless of whether they are active duty or veteran. This legislation ensures that will be the case,” said O’Rourke.

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Lawmakers Excoriate Obama’s VA Secretary for ‘Disney’ Comments

2016/05/23

The leading official at the Department of Veterans’ Affairs is under fire for comparing the amount of time that veterans wait for medical care at agency hospitals to ride wait times at Disney theme parks.

Republican lawmakers, including House Speaker Paul Ryan (R., Wis.), piled on VA Secretary Robert McDonald after he implied to journalists that the agency shouldn’t use the amount of time that veterans await care as a metric for success because Disney doesn’t measure wait times for rides.

“When you go to Disney, do they measure the number of hours you wait in line? Or what’s important? What’s important is, what’s your satisfaction with the experience?” McDonald told reporters Monday morning, the Washington Examiner first reported. “And what I would like to move to, eventually, is that kind of measure.”

“This is not make-believe, Mr. Secretary. Veterans have died waiting in those lines.” Ryan wrote on Twitter. “There’s no Fast Pass at the #VA. #Veterans seeking medical attention don’t have that luxury.”

McDonald’s comments came more than two years after revelations about VA hospital staffers using fake waiting lists to conceal the long times that veterans waited for care. Dozens of veterans are said to have died waiting for appointments at VA facilities.

The wait list controversy precipitated the ouster of McDonald’s predecessor, Eric Shinseki, in 2014. President Obama then nominated McDonald to the post and signed legislation aimed to overhaul veterans’ care, though assessments have continued to point to flawed care and persisting waits at VA hospitals. Republicans have pushed for further reform at the VA but have met resistance from Obama, McDonald, and Democrats.

Rep. Jeff Miller (R., Fla.), who chairs the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, said that McDonald’s comments will “further erode” veterans’ trust in VA bureaucrats.

“There is nothing amusing about VA’s performance over the past few years, and comparing VA wait times to those of an amusement park is just plain wrong. Wait times are of critical importance to the veterans waiting for VA medical care and they should be to [Secretary] Bob McDonald as well,” Miller said in a statement.

“Unfortunately, nearly two years after McDonald took over at VA, the department’s wait-time rhetoric doesn’t match up with the reality of veterans’ experiences. But given the fact that VA has successfully fired only a handful of employees for wait-time manipulation while letting the bulk of those behind its nationwide delays-in-care scandal off with no discipline or weak slaps on the wrist, I am not at all surprised these problems persist,” Miller continued.

In addition to a flurry of VA inspector general reports exposing problems at specific VA facilities across the country, a Government Accountability Office report published last month concluded that scheduling errors by VA employees continue to mislead on patients’ wait times for care. The agency does not exercise sufficient oversight to ensure that veterans get timely care, GAO concluded.

Sen. Mark Kirk (R., Ill.), a Navy Reserve veteran, said that McDonald should be embarrassed for minimizing the issue of wait times at the VA and demanded the secretary apologize for the comments.

“The frustration, fear and helplessness our veterans feel waiting for months to get the health care they need is nothing compared to a day at Disneyland and the Secretary should be embarrassed for making such a comparison,” Kirk stated.

“Their ‘satisfaction with the experience’ is substandard time and time again, like at Hines VA where food trays are served with cockroaches and rooms are covered in dangerous mold. The Secretary should apologize for his tone deaf comments and show more respect for the men and women he is supposed to be serving.”

Rep. Mike Coffman (R., Colo.), a Marine veteran, called the comments “tone deaf” and accused McDonald of trying to sidestep responsibility for his failed leadership atop the agency.

“Clearly there is a difference between waiting for a roller coaster ride and waiting for life-saving treatment. Our veterans who have served this nation have earned the right to receive quality care in a timely manner. And, by the way, Disney does measure wait times. You can download their app and see for yourself,” Coffman said in a statement.

“Unfortunately, the problems at the VA extend well beyond the wait times. Bureaucratic incompetence and a complete lack of accountability have led to an exorbitant waste of taxpayer dollars, neglect of our veterans needs, and too many promises of improvements that never seem to happen,” the Colorado lawmaker continued.

“Nothing will change at the VA without change from the top and clearly, a Secretary who does not understand the difference between an amusement park and healthcare is not the one to lead that change.”

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Coffman Calls VA Secretary’s Comments ‘Outrageous’

2016/05/23

Washington, DC -- U.S. Representative Mike Coffman (CO-06) today called on Veterans Administration (VA) Secretary Robert McDonald to apologize for his remarks comparing wait times at Disneyland to those of our veterans waiting for treatment at VA facilities.

“The Secretary’s remarks are outrageous,” said Coffman. “Clearly there is a difference between waiting for a roller coaster ride and waiting for life-saving treatment. Our veterans who have served this nation have earned the right to receive quality care in a timely manner. And, by the way, Disney does measure wait times. You can download their app and see for yourself.”

Speaking at a Christian Science Monitor breakfast with reporters earlier today, Secretary McDonald said, “When you got to Disney, do they measure the number of hours you wait in line? Or what’s important? What’s important is, what’s your satisfaction with the experience?”

“Once again, Secretary McDonald has proven that he is tone deaf when it comes to the problems plaguing the VA,” continued Coffman. “Sadly, this is another attempt by the Secretary to evade responsibility for his failed leadership at the VA.”

“Unfortunately, the problems at the VA extend well beyond the wait times. Bureaucratic incompetence and a complete lack of accountability have led to an exorbitant waste of taxpayer dollars, neglect of our veterans needs, and too many promises of improvements that never seem to happen,” said Coffman. “Nothing will change at the VA without change from the top and clearly, a Secretary who does not understand the difference between an amusement park and healthcare is not the one to lead that change.”

Coffman is a Marine Corps combat veteran with a combined 21 years of military service. He 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 Conducts Hearing on VA Oversight of Drug Prescriptions and Medical Facilities

2016/05/23

Denver, CO — On Friday, Representative Mike Coffman (CO-06), Chairman of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs Subcommittee on Oversight & Investigations, conducted a field hearing on VA’s oversight of drug prescription practices and proper use of medical facilities.

“I convened this hearing to address numerous issues related to the Veterans Administration (VA) handling of prescription medications, oversight practices of controlled substances, and VA’s use of medical facilities to benefit veterans,” said Coffman who was joined by Ranking Member Representative Ann Kuster (D-NH) and Representative Doug Lamborn.

Witnesses at the hearing included Mr. Ralph Gigliati, Network Director, Veterans Integrated Service Network, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Ms. Sallie Houser-Hanfelder, Director, Eastern Colorado Health Care System, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and Ellen Mangione, M.D. Chief of Staff, Eastern Colorado Health Care System, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

According to Coffman, the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee has held numerous hearings on the improper prescription practices of VA physicians.  In one of those hearings, the presentation included video of multiple VA medical employees stating how they were turning veterans into drug addicts.

“This hearing follows up on those revelations by looking at VA’s internal procedures,” continued Coffman. “Once again, this hearing demonstrated a disgraceful lack of accountability at the VA. In one instance of drug theft in VA, an employee was prosecuted by the Department of Justice and in a second instance, a VA nurse was indicted by a federal grand jury for stealing a narcotic – neither one of these employees was fired by VA.”

“Perhaps the most shocking incident was an employee shooting up narcotics in an operating room [Insert Link],” continued Coffman. “Two years after the incident, no disciplinary action has been taken. VA Secretary Robert McDonald once told me that he could not fire his way to success. It’s a good place to start in my opinion.”

Coffman continued, “It appears that current procedures at VA have created an environment where the VA’s medical practitioners have developed a prescribe-first mentality. Other poorly designed and implemented procedures have resulted in controlled substances winding up missing, stolen, or in the hands of the wrong person.”

One example of these internal procedures gone awry is at the current Denver VAMC. The Drug Enforcement Administration recently conducted a review of the Denver VAMC and it found dozens of problems that compromised the safety and legality of the facility’s prescription practices. 

Some of the findings include:

  • Mail room employees with controlled substance-related felony convictions with access to controlled substances. This calls into question whether VA conducts proper background checks prior to hiring.  DEA also found that the facility’s random drug testing was inadequate;
  • A wall-to-wall audit of inventories performed between February and July 2015 found 16 of the 27 medications audited did not balance when comparing receiving, dispensing, and destruction records; and
  • VA pharmacy and leadership failed to report theft or loss of controlled substances within DEA time requirements, and in some cases, failed to report them at all.

Other deficient practices include, the Denver VAMC’s oversight and management of research facilities. For example, numerous pieces of expensive scientific equipment are broken or unused. Further, boxes of patient information, some water damaged, from research studies dating back to 2011, remained stacked up in unsecured rooms during a visit made last month by a member of the committee’s staff.  

In some cases, research chemicals are also unsecured and unaccounted for within the laboratory.

Following the hearing, Coffman will work with members of the Committee to introduce a package of legislation that will reform VA’s drug practices.

“VA must focus on its core mission: providing quality services to our veterans,” continued Coffman.                                                  

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. He is a Marine Corps combat veteran with service in both the first Gulf War and the Iraq War.

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Republicans: VA failing on prescribing and oversight of drugs

2016/05/20

Republicans on a congressional subcommittee on Friday excoriated the Veterans Administration’s prescribing patterns and oversight of controlled substances during a hearing in Denver.

The subcommittee, chaired by U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman, R-Aurora, highlighted a July review by the Drug Enforcement Administration of the Denver VA Medical Center that found mailroom employees at the Denver VA Medical Center with controlled-substance-related felonies with access to controlled substances. An audit done in conjunction with that review also found 16 of 27 medications reviewed did not balance when comparing receiving, dispensing and destruction records. The review also found VA pharmacy and leadership did not report theft or loss of controlled substances within DEA time requirements and sometimes did not report at all.

Coffman said a recent congressional hearing also included information of VA medical employees who believed they were turning veterans into drug addicts, part of a pattern of what Coffman termed a “prescribe first” mentality.

Ralph Gigliotti, director of the regional Veterans Integrated Service Network 19, defended the VA’s approach.

He testified that in the past five years, eight employees at the Denver VA Medical Center had been disciplined or removed for illegal possession or use of drugs on VA property. He said the mailroom employees were the responsibility of a contractor, and that the contractor, not the VA, had failed to do the proper criminal background checks. He added that an opioid-safety initiative launched by the VA in August 2013 also had paid dividends, driving down the number of VA patients receiving opioids by 22 percent and decreasing overall dosages by 32 percent since that time.

“Metrics indicate the overall trends are moving steadily in the desired direction,” Gigliotti said.

Republicans at the hearing, held in the old Colorado Supreme Court chambers in the state Capitol, continued to raise questions over the VA’s approach, pointing out that a VA pharmacy technician working at the VA hospital in Denver in June 2014 tried to steal a syringe with fentanyl from an operating room and then lied when confronted. That employee remains at the hospital, although working in a different department.

“I mean, where are the boundaries?” an exasperated Coffman asked.

VA officials said the employee had been put under enhanced scrutiny and was able to keep her job, in part, by disclosing wrongdoing by another employee.

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Rep. Coffman holds rare Congressional hearing in Denver to assess VA's prescription drug oversight

2016/05/20

DENVER - Congressman Mike Coffman's Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations held a rare field hearing in Denver Friday to assess the VA hospital's oversight of controlled substances.

"They have very lax standards," Coffman told Denver7. "That's probably putting it mildly."

The Colorado Republican says the VA needs to do more to make sure that powerful narcotics and other prescription drugs don't fall in to the wrong hands or get stolen.

He said he’s learned about drug abuse inside the hospital.

“In one particular instance,” he said, “somebody was caught preparing to essentially shoot up a stolen drug in the operating room and was not fired…but was merely transferred to another department.”

When asked if that was true, the Director of the VA’s Eastern Colorado Health Care System said she couldn’t talk about specific cases, but added there are many things that would have to be taken into consideration if something like that occurred.

“There would be due process,” Sallie Houser-Hanfelder said. “They would have legal rights. If they’re part of a bargaining unit, they would have union rights.”

Coffman also said a recent audit by the Drug Enforcement Administration showed mail room employees with drug-related convictions, who have access to controlled substances.

He said that raises questions about whether proper background checks were conducted and whether the hospitals random drug testing is adequate.

Coffman said the audit also determined that amounts of 16 of the 27 medications checked did not balance with receiving, dispensing and destruction records.

“It’s my understanding that the individuals in the mail room were actually contract employees,” said Dr. Ellen Mangione, Chief of Staff for the VA’s Eastern Colorado Health Care System. “We’ve since incorporated a system where the contract employees in the mail room… are required to satisfy the same background checks as our actual employees.”

When asked if there was a problem keeping track of controlled substances, Mangione replied, “We take findings like that very seriously and look for opportunities to improve.”

She said she believes the discrepancy resulted from the use of two separate surveys.

She said the VA started with a survey that simply looked at controlled substances in the Pharmacy. 

“That gave us a certain denominator of controlled substances,” she said.

Mangione said the DEA came in and told them to look at controlled substances in the entire system.

“We have since adopted the DEA’s approach,” she said, “and I think that is fine because we want the highest level of security for our controlled substances.”

Houser-Hanfelder said the VA has a strict system for dispensing and keeping track of medications.

“It doesn’t just require a fingerprint,” she said. “It requires five fingers and a palm.”

Mangione said the VA Medical Center over-reports when there is an issue.

“We have a strict system that if there’s any sense that something is missing,” she said.  “We do regular counts in our vaults. We account every 72 hours on our floors. We do counts at least once a week. We have surveyors who are independent of our pharmacy, on a particular floor that is being surveyed, come in every month and check records.”

Mangione also said the VA has a computerized system that allows controlled substance inspectors to go back and recreate what happened in the preceding month.

“If there is any suspicion,” she said, “that’s reported to our Controlled Substance Manager and to the Chief of Pharmacy to determine whether we can find those medications.”

She said sometimes they’re simply put in the wrong drawer, “but if we’re not able to confirm that, there’s a report that must be filed with the DEA.”

She said they also submit a report to the Veterans Integrated Service Network, the Office of Inspector General and police.

“They take the investigation from there,” she said.

“We always have room for improvement,” Mangione said, “but we strive to do the best job we can for veterans.”

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Congress warming to idea of medical marijuana for veterans

2016/05/20

DENVER (AP) — Congress is showing an increased willingness to let VA doctors talk to veterans about medical marijuana in states where it's legal, although final approval is far from certain.

The House approved a measure this week that would let Veterans Affairs Department doctors help their patients sign up for state medical marijuana programs, something the VA now prohibits.

"I'm certainly open to it," Rep. Mike Coffman, a Republican and former Marine from pot-friendly Colorado, said Friday.

A Senate committee approved a similar measure last month but the full Senate hasn't voted.

Medical marijuana is now legal in 23 states and the District of Columbia, but pot remains illegal under federal law. Arguments for medical marijuana are getting a warmer reception from lawmakers amid nationwide concerns about overuse and abuse of prescription painkillers and psychotropic drugs.

Coffman, chairman of a House Veterans Affairs subcommittee on oversight and investigations, said he wasn't enthusiastic when his state first approved medical marijuana. But if the drug helps veterans deal with post-traumatic stress, it could reduce the use of stronger prescription drugs and save taxpayers money, he said.

The measures in Congress wouldn't permit the VA to provide patients with marijuana, Coffman said. It would only free doctors to talk about it with their patients.

Rep. Earl Blumenaur, D-Ore., who sponsored the House measure, said medical marijuana could be safer and more effective than other drugs for veterans suffering from chronic pain or the stress disorder.

Providing access to pot as an alternative "is critical at a time when our veterans are dying with a suicide rate 50 percent higher than civilians and opiate overdoses at nearly double the national average," Blumenaur said in a written statement.

Research on whether marijuana helps with PTSD has been contradictory and limited, and the VA has warned that increasing numbers of veterans who suffer from it have become dependent on pot.

The VA didn't immediately respond Friday to a request for comment on the proposals in Congress.

Congress has killed similar measures in the past, but backers say the proposals are attracting more votes this time. Blumenaur's measure passed Wednesday 233-189, including 57 Republicans in favor.

Coffman's subcommittee held a hearing in Denver Friday on problems in the way the VA prescribes and keeps track of drugs.

He cited the case of a pharmacy technician at the Denver VA Medical Center who officials said was found in an operating room trying to inject herself with a painkiller stolen from a hospital refrigerator.

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Stefanik 'year-round Pell' legislation gains three co-sponsors

2016/05/12

Legislation Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-Willsboro, introduced to re-instate the "Year-Round Pell" program picked up three new co-sponsors on Tuesday, according to the Library of Congress government information web site.

The program would provide supplemental Pell grants for summer and other nontraditional semesters.

The legislation -- HR 3180 -- had 46 co-sponsors, as of Thursday -- 25 Republicans and 21 Democrats.

New co-sponsors are as follows:

- Rep. Mike Bost, R-Ill.

- Rep. Lee Zelden, R-Long Island

- Rep. Mike Coffman, R-Colo.

 

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DOD asked to investigate military drug testing after undercover investigation

2016/05/05

DENVER -- A member of Congress has asked the U.S. Department of Defense to open a formal investigation into a major drug-testing company after a FOX31 Problem Solvers expose Wednesday night.

In a letter to the acting Inspector General overseeing the Department of Defense, Congressman Mike Coffman, R-Sixth District, cites revelations made in the undercover investigation as the reason.

The investigative unit caught a Quest Diagnostics employee in Thornton falsifying pre-employment drug tests in exchange for cash. That employee bragged that he had helped military personnel on drugs pass their screenings.

Quest Diagnostics fired the employee and initiated its own investigation. Coffman sits on the House Armed Services Committee, the Veteran’s Affairs Committee and is a retired member of the military.

In his letter to Glenn Fine, Coffman wrote: "Although I do not know the extent or even the veracity of the Quest employee referenced in this story, I believe the situation merits further investigation. I therefore ask you to identify the entity within the Department of Defense that holds this particular contact with Quest Diagnostics and direct the Inspector General of that organization to immediately conduct a careful and complete performance and compliance audit to ensure the integrity of the entire drug screening process.”

“I think the Department of Defense, the military is going to have to take a real serious close look at this particular problem,” Coffman said in an interview. "Not only will they do it, but there will potentially be criminal referrals out of it to the FBI.”

Coffman also addressed concerns about another aspect of the investigation: The growing market for synthetic urine, a product that was found to successfully beat lab drug screening tests during blind sampling.

“It’s a real concern,” Coffman said. “And I think it’s something we’re going to have to get on top of to see. Something I’m going to raise in the Armed Services Committee is to say, 'Do we have to redo these tests in any way?’ To prevent this, do we need to enhance monitoring. What do we do?”

A Quest Diagnostics spokesman denied its employee helped active duty military personnel pass drug tests.

“While it is possible that current Reserve service members were collected by our former employee, any such collection and test would have been on the behalf of the service member’s private-sector employer and not related to their duty status," Quest said in a statement.

"While we do perform testing for U.S. Government employees in testing designated positions such as Customs and Border Patrol or the U.S. Treasury, our records indicate that the rogue employee did not collect any specimens for federal employee testing.”

In addition to the federal investigation, the Problem Solvers have learned a local, criminal investigation has been opened. Thornton police detectives confirmed Thursday they are looking into allegations against a former Quest employee accused of falsifying urine tests.

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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


Rep. Coffman Questions Officials on Buckley & REPI and HASC Committee Hearing

2016-03-17 15:38:25


Rep. Coffman Discusses GTMO Closure Plan on Fox Business News

2016-02-25 21:09:16


Rep. Coffman on President Obama's Plan to Close GTMO

2016-02-23 17:30:48


Rep. Coffman Grills VA Secretary McDonald at House Veterans' Affairs Budget Hearing

2016-02-10 21:41:40


Rep. Coffman State of the Union Response on 850 KOA News Radio

2016-01-13 16:25:57


Rep. Coffman Honors Life of Ethan Edelman on the House Floor

2016-01-13 16:02:04


Rep. Coffman Speaks at House Armed Services Committee Hearing - 1/12/16

2016-01-13 15:21:37


Rep. Coffman at House Veterans Affairs Committee Hearing - 1/12/16

2016-01-13 15:16:27


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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