DENVER — After the president rolled out his package of gun control proposals, most members of Congress quickly issued statements, expressing support or opposition for the plan or some vague mixture of the two.
As you’d expect, all the Democrats in Colorado’s delegation are supporting the package of legislation and executive orders, some more enthusiastically than others.
Democratic Reps. Diana DeGette and Ed Perlmutter are co-sponsoring some of the core pieces of legislation, bans on high-capacity magazines and assault weapons, respectively.
Even Democratic Sens. Mark Udall, who faces reelection in 2014, and Michael Bennet, who, as DSCC chairman, will oversee that campaign effort and those of 20 Democratic colleagues, issued statements expressing support for background checks and other gun control measures generally.
On the flip side, three GOP Congressmen from Colorado expressed their opposition to the president’s plan in official statements to the media that were cross-posted on their official Facebook pages and Tweeted out for good measure.
But the state’s fourth Republican congressman, Mike Coffman, hasn’t said much.
“We’re just trying to be as thoughtful as we can be, especially given our district and what happened there,” said Dustin Zvonek, who just signed on as Coffman’s district director and is also handling communications.
Coffman, who narrowly won reelection in November after seeing his heretofore safe GOP seat re-drawn into a left-leaning toss-up, is in a tough spot on the issue of gun control.
An Iraq and Afghanistan veteran, Coffman might be likely to join his Republican colleagues in opposition to the gun control measures — which would be easier if Aurora hadn’t just been drawn into his new district.
“Of all the members of our congressional delegation, Coffman is easily the most exposed on this issue, now representing Aurora and a district that overall is trending more and more blue,” said political analyst Eric Sondermann. “I don’t think it means Coffman departs totally from his voting record on these issues, but I think it means he has to finesse it a little bit.”
Coffman, and House Republicans generally, are waiting for the Democrat-led Senate to act on the president’s proposals, adding to the pressure on Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-NV, to force a vote on these controversial measures that could impact the reelection chances of some Democratic senators from more middle-of-the road states, including Udall and a handful of others.