UPDATE: A press release from America's Voice rips Mike Coffman:
Today, Rep. Mike Coffman (R-CO) spoke about the need to provide immigrant youth the chance to earn citizenship through service in the military. That would have been a bold step 1) if this were early 2013 and Republicans were just teeing up immigration bills to consider in the session, or 2) if his party hadn’t already flatly rejected the legislation that would do just that.
Yet, Mike Coffman continues his cynical attempt to earn credit for a few well-placed comments about young immigrants serving in the military, while his party blocks votes on legislation designed open enrollment to certain undocumented youth. What’s more, Rep. Coffman is a member of the Armed Services Committee, but actually opposed including a similar bill introduced by Rep. Denham, the ENLIST Act, as an amendment during the committee mark-up of the National Defense Authorization Act.
“Mike Coffman continues to play politics with his constituents’ lives. We see through his game of only words and no actions. If he really cared about immigration reform, he would sign on to support HR 15,” said Becky Torres, an SEIU Local 105 member and registered voter in Aurora.
Since Rep. Coffman took office, the only vote he’s taken on immigration was on an amendment introduced by extremist Rep. Steve King (R-IA) to end Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and subject DREAMers to deportation. That’s a far cry from showing leadership on reform.
Media critic Jason Salzman writes today about the expansive latitude incumbent Rep. Mike Coffman has been given by both local and national media to reinvent his image on the issue of immigration reform. As FOX 31's Eli Stokols reports, Coffman is taking part in a rally today on the steps of the U.S. Capitol to protest the decision by Republican House Majority Leader Eric Cantor to deny a vote on legislation to allow undocumented students who enlist in the military a path to citizenship.
But as we noted Sunday, there's a rather glaring problem with Coffman taking to the steps of the Capitol for a showy press conference with immigrant students, and even Democrats like Rep. Luis Gutierrez:
On Friday, the same day Coffman, R-Aurora, attended a National Republican Congressional Committee fundraiser in Denver along with Speaker John Boehner and Majority Leader Eric Cantor, Cantor’s office said they would not allow a floor vote on the Enlist Act as an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act, or NDAA. [Pols emphasis]
Here's the thing: Coffman has no need to take to the Capitol steps to demand Republican leadership change their minds. Coffman was with Majority Leader Eric Cantor last Friday raising money at the Brown Palace in Denver. If Coffman actually wanted the ENLIST Act to pass, what do you think would be the better approach–a press conference with Democrats on the Capitol steps, or pulling Cantor aside while they're in town raising money together? How do you think this looks to any voter who gets both halves of the story?
Above all, if Coffman had managed even once in all the time since his "conversion" on immigration reform to put his newfound principles into action, this might be a plausible series of events. But when Coffman had the chance to protect same DREAMer students he's using as props today, he voted against them. Both of the other co-sponsors of the ENLIST Act Coffman is appearing with today are also co-sponsors of the comprehensive immigration reform bill, H.R. 15–a bill that Coffman opposes.
Today, Mike Coffman wants you to believe he's angry about Majority Leader Eric Cantor killing the ENLIST Act–but not enough to disrupt his fundraising schedule?
Why should anyone give Coffman the benefit of the doubt at this point?