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Colorado's Mike Coffman Considers Options After Government Shutdown

Kaysie Ellingson |
October 1, 2013 | 12:32 p.m. PDT

Staff Reporter

Mike Coffman / Creative Commons
Mike Coffman / Creative Commons

The shutdown of the federal government has left Colorado in a tough position while the state remains in the midst of recovery. Devastating flood waters that swept through the state left many areas damaged and killed several residents. Congress member, Mike Coffman, who represents the sixth district of Colorado, recognized the vulnerable position Colorado would be left in if the possibility of a government shutdown became a reality.

In the midst of the disaster he released a statement that read, "I'm absolutely opposed to shutting down the federal government when we have flood victims in need of disaster relief, seniors who depend on Medicare and Social Security and members of our military and their families who have made so many sacrifices and deserve to be paid." 

Now, two weeks later, what was a possibility has become a reality. Despite the fact that government leaders have been unable to come to an agreement, Coffman was able to get the Pay Our Military Act signed before the shutdown came into full effect today.

As a veteran, Coffman is the only Congress member to have served in both the first Gulf War and the Iraq War as well as the only veteran within the Colorado delegation. 

This act protects military, Department of Defense civilians, and contractors from the shutdown that furloughed thousands of federal workers today.

"The last thing a soldier, Marine, airman or sailor deployed overseas needs to worry about is whether or not they will get paid so their families can be taken care of," Coffman said.  

Although the the act received unanimous approval, Coffman's position on Obamacare has received scrutiny from opposing party members. The CW reported that Andrew Romanoff, the Democrat challenging Coffman, "criticized the incumbent for voting with his GOP colleagues three times now on bills tying government funding to an Obamacare repeal."

Ian Nissen, Colorado resident, finds it "childish" that both parties have not come to a resolution, thus resulting in the current shutdown.

"I take it as a sign that the Republican party is not longer a functional productive institution for our democracy."

According to The Denver Post, the government shutdown has resulted in the state having to pay for National Guard members during their flood recovery, which could cost them as much as $80 thousand a day.

"We want to make sure we don't lose a single day in trying to get these roads open and communities back together again," Gov. John Hickenlooper, said.

The funding for their services will come from the state's emergency relief fund to cover the costs until the government reopens.  

Until then, the voicemails of federal employees, like those at the Bureau of Land Management, will continue to say, "I'm currently unavailable because of the government shutdown."  


Colorado residents react to government shutdown:

Email Kaysie Ellingson here. 



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