As a Republican member of Congress whose mixed-in-every-way Colorado district includes Aurora, suburbs of Denver, and a large Air Force Base, Mike Coffman has long argued that the nation must make cuts in the Defense Department budget.
This week, Coffman will propose legislation to cut $500 billion from defense spending over the next decade through a range of 15 measures that include reducing programs “which do not contribute significantly to military capability,” using local civilian contractors instead of military personnel for “commercial-type activities at military bases,” lowering bureaucratic head count through attrition, and reducing the number of U.S. troops stationed in Europe.
This man is no RINO, and no naïf on defense issues. In addition to having an American Conservative Union ranking of 95 in his four years in Congress and serving on the House Armed Services Committee, Coffman has served in both the U.S. Army and the Marine Corps (in active duty and reserve capacities in each).
He volunteered to join the Army when he was 17 years old. And in more recent years Coffman voluntarily gave up safe, comfortable jobs in Colorado government, both while serving as a legislator and later as State Treasurer, to serve in combat in Kuwait and later helping to establish local governments in Iraq.
Today, Rep. Coffman believes — or at least hopes — that the sequester gives him “leverage to try to get these reforms done.” He doesn’t have illusions that his reforms will pass in the roughly 100 hours before the sequester hits, but rather that over coming months he will be able to pass, whether as amendments or stand-alone legislation, changes that replace across-the-board cuts with specific cuts aimed to save nearly as much money.
Please read the entirety of my article for the American Spectator here:
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