As a footnote to last week’s passage of a 2,200-page spending bill, here’s Rep. Mike Coffman’s press release explaining his sort-of no vote on the legislation–keeping in mind that Coffman voted yes on the motion to proceed to debating the bill, unlike a number of fellow Republicans who lodged a protest vote against debating a bill they hadn’t read.
Which was Coffman’s stated reason for voting against the bill himself:
“Today, I voted against the omnibus for the same reason I have done so in the past. While the omnibus contains some very good policy, I could not in good conscience vote on a 2,232-page, $1.3 trillion bill, without adequate time to review it. And let there be no doubt about it — while too many in my party have been obstructionist on DACA, Congressional Democrats have made it clear with this larded-up spending deal that the Democratic Party prioritizes pork barrel spending on items like subsidized trains in the northeast over finding a fix for DACA kids. This is a very bad day in the nation’s capital.”
But here’s the thing–Coffman did vote to proceed to debating the bill, which given the much wider margin on the final vote for passage was arguably the more decisive vote. And despite Coffman’s deploring of the rushed consideration of bill, he nonetheless praised it:
Great news for #Vets nationwide: My bill #HR918 requiring the @DeptVetAffairs to provide mental healthcare to veterans with an other-than-honorable (OTH) discharges is in the omnibus! This 4 year fight will soon become law.
— Rep. Mike Coffman (@RepMikeCoffman) March 22, 2018
You would have no idea that Coffman voted against the bill from that Tweet, would you?
What you have here is just another case of Rep. Coffman hoping to have it both ways on a divisive issue–like voting against repeal of the Affordable Care Act after repeatedly calling for Medicare cuts, or running campaign ads implying, context-free, support from Planned Parenthood without mentioning Coffman’s repeated votes to defund Planned Parenthood. In this case, Mike Coffman wants credit for passage of a line-item for veteran’s mental health he supports without mentioning that he actually voted against it.
Once in awhile, it looks like principle. When it’s every single big vote, he just looks silly.