Jimmy Sengenberger Show, Mike Coffman, January 7, 2017

Station: KNUS, 710am

Show:     Jimmy Sengenberger Show

Guests:  Coffman, Mike

Link:     http://sengenberger.podbean.com

Date:      January 7, 2017




SENGENBERGER:  […] And one of the opportunities we had to kick off the year was to speak to U.S. Congressman Mike Coffman in a sit-down interview I recorded earlier this afternoon where we talked about a wide range of issues, including the fact that he was so critical of Donald Trump during the presidential campaign, and has now come around to the argument that, well, there’s potential with the next administration.  He’ll be critical nonetheless, but the next administration will be one that we can see some progress made on different issues.  We caught up with Congressman Coffman, as I said, earlier this afternoon in an interview that was wide-ranging, covering Obamacare and Iraq and Afghanistan, where he just was, and numerous other places.  Let’s take a listen to that interview, here, on the Jimmy Sengenberger Show.

SENGENBERGER:  [recorded interview]  [I’m] pleased to welcome, here, on the Jimmy Sengenberger Show, U.S. Congressman Mike Coffman of the 6th Congressional District who joins us here in studio on 710 KNUS.  Congressman, welcome back!


SENGENBERGER:  And welcome back to the country, too.  You were just in Kabul, Afghanistan on part of a Congressional delegation.  What is it like going back there to the Middle East in the midst of these tough times?

COFFMAN:  Well, uh, it — you know, very difficult in the — to the degree that security had deteriorated to such a degree that we really couldn’t get out much to see a lot, but able to meet with senior U.S. military commanders and our diplomatic leaders in Kabul, Afghanistan.  And what was refreshing, compared to prior visits, is that they saw the end of this administration.  They saw the end of the Obama administration and they were much more willing to talk, I think, about the problems that they were confronted [sic], whereas I think before they were intimidated about retaliation by the White House.

SENGENBERGER:  So, what is the environment like there.  I mean, I was reading a piece that you had written just in your email blast last night which was talking about the Status of Forces Agreement that we have there, and also the ability for the Rules of Engagement to become more flexible for our folks — the men and women in uniform who are representing this country — to be able to be more—to have more flexibility in acting in response to some of the things going on in Afghanistan.

COFFMAN:  Well, the Rules of Engagement are such that there is no way we can ever bring this war to a conclusion. It is just war without end.  And if we see a force of Taliban amassing to attack Afghan Security Forces, even though we are in a direct — now, what we call an Advise and Assist role to the Afghan Security Forces, under the current Rules of Engagement we are not allowed to attack them, even though, you know, we have the air assets to do it.  So, it is absolutely mind-numbing.  And it clearly has to change, or — if we are —.  I think that there is —[as] with many things, there is a political solution where I think that there could be a negotiated settlement between the Taliban and between the government of Afghanistan.  There are areas of the country where the Taliban are popular, or provinces that couldn’t be governed by the Taliban in a federal system, a federated system. Um, but they have to feel that they’re losing, or it’s not a stalemate.  And they don’t fell that right now.  And nor should they.  They have been gaining ground.  They’ve been inflicting pretty extraordinary losses on Afghan Security Forces.  And all along, the Obama administration has tried to produce, really, a false narrative; that we’re doing well, that our strategy is working.  And it’s interesting that  part of that is to create the fiction that we’re reducing troop levels in Afghanistan, down to the 8,400, where what they’ve done to do that is what they’ve allowed the military to do at a much higher cost and, I think, compromising the effectiveness, is to utilize private contractor to do jobs that uniformed military are supposed to do solely because they want to maintain this political troop cap.  So, you have certain security that’s — parameters of security –that is being done by private contractors.  You have — I gave an example of helicopter crews going over there without their maintenance personnel, because those are uniformed military, and supplanting them with much higher priced contractors.  It is just absolutely ridiculous. Everything that I think this administration does, sometimes, they try and put into a political narrative, just like in the U.S. involvement in Iraq, just before the 2012 election, that proved costly at the end of the day.

SENGENBERGER:  What would be your recommendation to the incoming administration and soon to be President Trump for how to handle Afghanistan, moving forward.

COFFMAN:  Well, two things.  I think we’ve got to loosen the Rules of Engagement. And we’ve got to go after the Taliban.  And I’m not talking about a surge, but with the existing assets that we have, capable of targeting them, capable of defeating them.  They are going to be amassing soon, again, for what we call “the fighting season” this spring.  And we ought to take advantage of those targets of opportunity. Our U.S. forces need that flexibility so that we can bring this war to an end and bring our folks home.  And then secondly, we have got to be honest.  I’m going to put forward, certainly, a legislative fix where there are jobs that uniformed military personnel should be doing that are not going to be outsourced to private contractors, just because we want to reach some political, some artificial number, just so somebody in the White House can have a narrative that they’re being successful when they’re not.

SENGENBERGER:  Hmm.  Wise words, coming from Congressman Mike Coffman, who has, himself, an extensive background in the U.S. military and the Marine Corps, and also the Army before that, correct, Congressman?

COFFMAN:  Right.  Mm-hmm.

SENGENBERGER:  And so, you have been spending a lot of time in the Middle East over the years, of course, in uniform and then also as a Member of Congress.  What is the environment like, in your mind, based on years of observing the transition over time, what is the environment like today when you encapsulate Afghanistan with Iraq, with Syria, with ISIS — all the different dimensions— and of course, a country like Iran, trying to put more of a foothold in the Middle East?  COFFMAN:  Sure!  Weakness invites agression.  I think what the Trump administration will be inheriting is what a world looks like without United States’ leadership.  And it doesn’t mean that the United States should be the policeman for the world.  I don’t think it should be.  But the United  States can never absolve itself from being a leader, and getting other people to step up to the plate.  And under the Obama adminstration, we hadn’t done that.  So, I think that this is eight years where things have been festering.  And so this administration is inheriting quite a few problems that I think are very explosive and dangerous world.

SENGENBERGER:  Congressman Mike Coffman, again, is our guest here on the Jimmy Sengenberger Show.  When we talk about Iraq — one more question dealing with the Middle East — you know, we have seen some gains and improvements in Iraq against ISIS and so forth.  But the challenge is going on.  I mean, and it’s going to continue for some time to come.  What does a post-ISIS Iraq look like to you?

COFFMAN:  Well, I think we’ve got to — first of all, obviously, we can go way back in[to] whether or not the United States should have ever gone into Iraq in the way we did.  And I think that’s a good debate. But right now, it’s a debate for historians.  And then, of course, the fact that you had, in 2012, the Obama administration pull everybody out of Iraq — all U.S. military forces— against the objections of the Department of Defense.  And we lost our military-to-military relationship with Iraqi military, and then in doing so, we lost our influence on the Iraqi government.  it’s a Shia dominated government, and they reverted to their worst sectarian instincts.  And they pushed the Sunnis out of the government.  And if you look at — then ISIS spills in from Syria, and all the Sunni areas — who felt disaffected from the Bagdad government just, you know, had no loyalty there, and fell to ISIS. And so now we’re assisting the Iraqi government in Bagdad —unfortunately, along with Shia militias — in taking some of these areas, and taking these areas back. We’re at Mosul now.  I think you’ve got to have — the Sunnis have to have a path where they feel very disaffected with the government in Bagdad, that’s Shia, or sixty percent of the country.  Iran is a Shia country, as well, and has tremendous influence on this government, and they have to see a path. I don’t think they’re going to see a path in terms of in the Iraqi government unless they form sort of a semi-autonomous region.  And there is a provision in their constitution — Article V — that allows them to do that.  The Kurds have done that and created Kurdistan.  Now we need a Sunnistan — so, a loose federal relationship, I think, is the only thing that will work to allow this sort of semi-autonomous rule in these Sunni Arab dominated areas.

SENGENBERGER:  So, a variation on the so-called “three state solution”?

COFFMAN:  Sure.  Absolutely.


[pause recording of interview]

SENGENBERGER:  Back live, on the Jimmy Sengenberger Show.  When we come back here on the program, we’re going to continue our conversation soon, getting into the issue of Russian hacking.  Why is it that the Democrats are suddenly waking up to the threat of Russia, after eight years of Barack Obama’s dithering on the issues that have come to the fore, regarding Russia?  We’ll continue our conversation with U.S. Congressman Mike Coffman on the other side of the break.

[commercial break]

SENGENBERGER:  […] We are 13 days — less than 13 days away — from “No-bama”, and Donald Trump taking office as the next President of the United States.  We already have a solidified Republican controlled Congress, and just yesterday, the House and Senate came together for a joint session to affirm the vote of the electoral college to make Donald J. Trump that next President of the United States.  We caught up earlier this afternoon with U.S. Congressman Mike Coffman of the Sixth Congressional District, a known critic of Donald Trump over the course of the last year, year-and-a-half.  We talked about the issue of Russian hacking and the big story that we are seeing now in the media about this, and supposedly how it was such a dramatic influencer of the election.  Here is more of our exclusive interview with Congressman Coffman.

[resuming recorded interview]

SENGENBERGER:  I want to take a turn to another issue that has been on the forefront in recent weeks, and that is our relationship with Russia overseas, of course.  There was a report that came out from the intelligence community this last week, some variation of it was declassified.  President-elect Trump and Vice President-elect Pence both were on Friday at a briefing to get some of the inside story from the classified version.  What is your take on what we have learned from these revelations regarding Russia?  And do you think that they had a significant impact in this last election?

COFFMAN:  I don’t think that the impact — I think that there is concern when any foreign government intervenes in the American political system.  But the fact is, what is interesting — what I find is interesting with this administration, is being — having been the chairman of the Oversight and Investigation subcommittee in the House Committee of Veteran Affairs, that we had a Russian sponsored hack into the Department of Veteran Affairs and into the personnel files of all of our veterans. And there was a coverup by this administration of that.  And I only found out about it, as the subcommittee chairman, when a whistleblower stepped forward.  So, it’s very interesting to me, as a veteran, that when our veterans are compromised by a state sponsored — by a Russian state-sponsored hack, that is no big deal.  But when a private entity, like the Democratic National Committee is compromised, that’s a big deal.  And that is worthy of sanctions of Russia. And so, I think that it’s a concern. You know, we’ve got to get down to the bottom of it.  Uh, did it change the outcome of the election, do I believe, in any way? No, I don’t believe it did.  Uh, note to self:  you know, don’t do illegal things — don’t do stupid things because you might get hacked and they might come out.  And that’s what happened.  [laughter]  I don’t think the Russians had anything to do with the DNC targeting Bernie Sanders in the primary process for defeat.  I don’t think the Russians had anything to do with the coordination of the Clinton camp and the Department of Justice, in terms of trying to cover up their tracks, in terms of destroying evidence and not going forward with the prosecution.  And I don’t think that they had anything to do with Podesta and all his crazy rants.  So—but the fact is, I am concerned any time they’re involved.  I do think that Russia is a tremendous threat to the United States in terms of our security interests when I look at Russia encroaching into the Ukraine and their potential threat in the Baltic states which are our NATO allies.  I’m very concerned about that.   I’m very concerned about their alliance with Assad and Iran and that axis that is emerging in the Middle East and I think is troubling for the United States.  I think there is a lot of reasons that we ought to be concerned about Russia.  You know, this hack is certainly one of them.  But on the scale of the others, it’s kind of low.

SENGENBERGER:  Yeah, I think you underscored one of the key points, is that for some reason, all of a sudden, after years of Russian aggression and malfeasance, we have seen the Democrat Party and folks in the media finally alerted to Russia because of these hacking allegations that have been put forward by our intelligence community.  What does that tell you  about the direction we’re headed politically when we have a new administration that is going to look differently at Russia.  Um, I don’t know if it’s going to as positively as people are making it out, based on some of the comments of President-elect Trump, especially in the wake of some of these developments that we have seen over time.  But what is your take, really — broadly speaking—on our relationship moving forward with Russia, and then also some of the politics of the decision making process to finally call a spade a spade — call out Russia — after years of their malfeasance.

COFFMAN:  Well, I think it’s — you know, I think that what this President showed, again, what President Obama has showed [sic] to Russia is “weakness invites aggression.”  And I think Russian — you’ve had a resurgent Russia.  We had appropriated money for what we call “lethal foreign aid” to give to the Ukrainian government.  They didn’t want U.S. troops but they wanted weapons so that they could exact a price of Russian aggression on their soil, and all the President has given them are MREs — Meals Ready to Eat — and blankets, not any weapons or ammunition, not shared intelligence with them, in terms of Russian troop movements within their country.  And we could have — what we should have done is force the Russians to pay a big price for their aggression, and by not doing so we just invited more aggression.  And so — and we had an opportunity, early on, to act in Syria.  We chose not [to]. And now we have Russians there.  And so — and they are giving the illusion that they’re there to fight ISIS.  They’re not there to fight ISIS.  They’re there to prop up the Assad regime which is a proxy of Iran, as well.  And so, I just think that — I hope — I know General Mattis.  I know him personally. I think he’s going to be tough.  I hope the President-elect is going to be as tough on Russia as we need to be.

SENGENBERGER:  […] When we talk about Russian hacking, it really underscores a broader issue related to our tech infrastructure here in the country, and that is hacking in general.  I mean, somehow the U.S. military — or rather, the U.S. intelligence agencies were able to say, “Based on history of how the Russians have acted, we have determined that it is  Russia that was responsible for perpetrating these hacks of the DNC.  How come we haven’t been able to learn from our history from monitoring these actions on the part of other state actors — and non-state actors that have been hacking—and, to the point that we have actually put up an infrastructure security net, to be able to provide protections against future hacking.

COFFMAN:  We have a long way to go in terms of protecting our vital infrastructure, when you think about it, whether it’s our financial system, our banking system, whether it’s, you know, major utilities and things like that, that could bring this country to a standstill.   So it’s— we have to do a much better job.  We have to do a much better job, also, in the federal government, as well, in terms of protecting our vital infrastructure.  Russia has — and China, certainly, but Russia has taken the lead in terms of cyber warfare, in that they have incorporated into their tactical doctrine that it is a part — it is as normal to them as what we call kinetic warfare, in terms of it is just part of what they do.  And we need to be aware of it.  And we need to protect ourselves.  And we need to also advance our own capability in terms of our ability to attack them.

SENGENBERGER:  Congressman Coffman, I want to broaden the issues in just a little bit longer with you here in studio.  [I] appreciate you joining us on 710, KNUS. We’ve got an incoming administration — we’ve been talking about that in context of some of the foreign policy affairs.  During the campaign you were somewhat critical of Donald Trump and his run for the presidency —.

COFFMAN:  Somewhat critical!


COFFMAN:  Somewhat critical.

SENGENBERGER:  You know, putting it mildly! I mean, maybe, leading in the Never Trump camp, that sort of thing!

COFFMAN:  [laughing]  Somewhat critical.

SENGENBERGER:  And so, I want to ask you, how you intend — moving forward — to work with the new administration, having been a critic, from both the critical aspect, and, you know, holding the President’s feet to the fire when necessary, but also working collaboratively with him.

COFFMAN:  No, I think there are a lot of exciting opportunities as —.  So, when I look at it, first of all, Mike Pence is extraordinary.  Mike Pence has reached out to Members of Congress like myself, as well as the Republican House and the Republican Senate, and said, “I will be your bridge to the White House.”  And I worked with Mike Pence for four years in Congress.  I think he is an incredible leader.


COFFMAN:  And so I look forward to working with him and working with the White House on advancing this country forward.  So, a couple things —.  In fact, I was with Mike Pence last week in Washington D.C. and he was talking about the inauguration.  And I thought he said something very funny.  He goes, “You know, this parade stuff goes on forever.  And what Donald Trump — our President-elect— has said is, ‘That parade will go for no more than ninety minutes, because we’ve got a lot of work to do.’”  And so, the first order of business is to go in and start repealing those Executive Orders. And with the signature of the new president, he can repeal all of those Executive Orders.  Then what we will do,  in our first order of business, in Congress, is we will pass — I think it’s called the Congressional Review Act.  We can repeal all those rules going back 60 legislative days — not calendar days, so I think it goes back to something like May of last year — of all the rules that came out of federal agencies, and with a single bill, we can repeal all those rules going back 60 legislative days.  And it cannot be filibustered in the Senate — so, a simple majority in the House, a simple majority in the Senate, Republicans just having to stay together will get that bill on the President’s desk.  The President will sign it.  Then the President will have to go through his rule making process, which could take a year to repeal those other rules.  But I think you are already seeing that the mere fact that we’re doing these things —in so many of these Executive Orders, and so many of these rules coming out from all of these federal agencies have just choked the life out of this economy— you’re already seeing just the signals of growth in this economy, these sort of — these shoots coming up with the sunlight of what we’re doing.  So I’m excited about that.  I know I’m excited about the repeal and replacement of Obamacare.  I know it’s controversial.  I think that there’s a lot of misinformation out there about it.  We are voting on a repeal — yes. And it will be to those tax and spending parts that the Democrats cannot filibuster in the Senate.  But it will be about two years out, will be the effective date of the repeal. And what the Democrats are advancing — and the press is falling in line with them on —  is that somehow we’re erasing everything — that what the repeal does is, the next day, it’s all wiped out.  That’s not true.  We have to negotiate a replacement with the Democrats.  And why we have to negotiate a replacement with the Democrats is because of the fact that all of those insurance regulation parts of Obamacare can be filibustered by the Democrats.  And they have committed to do so.  So that means it’s going to take 60 votes to bring that part of Obamacare to the floor. And so we’re going to have to negotiate with them on what that looks like.  And so that will take time. And it will also take time — the fact is that the insurance industry has to price this risk.  We don’t want to throw a wrench into the market and have people suffer more than they have already suffered, unfairly.  They have certainly suffered under Obamacare. It has helped people. It has helped some people. But it has hurt a lot of people.  And so, we want policies that help everybody, you know, and don’t help some people at the expense of others.

[pause recorded interview]

SENGENBERGER:  [live] That is our continuation of our interview with Congressman Mike Coffman.  When we come back, we’ll get into some discussion about illegal immigration, an issue that he thinks needs to be top of the agenda — immigration reform.  And then there’s another segment in the next hour with Congressman Coffman. […]

[commercial break]

SENGENBERGER:  […] If you’re just joining us, the first hour of the program was dominated by an interview recorded earlier this afternoon with U.S. Congressman Mike Coffman covering a range of topics with the Representative from the 6th Congressional District, here in Colorado.  I want to wrap up that  interview with our final segment of conversation with Congressman Coffman. […]

[resume recorded interview]

SENGENBERGER:  What issues will you intend on really standing firm, maybe in disagreement with the new administration, or with others in Congress.  I mean, how does that watchdog status as being an independent Member of Congress — not Independent Party, but somebody is a singular member of Congress — doing his part?

COFFMAN:  Well, I’m concerned about his — this big spending infrastructure idea.  I mean, how do we pay for it?  And it complicates — here is something great, that this President said he wants to work with Republicans in Congress like Paul Ryan is on a major overhaul of our tax system.  We need pro-growth economic tax reform, and we need it soon.  And we can do that through the budget reconciliation process.  Quite frankly, as long as Republicans stay together, the Democrats can’t filibuster that in the Senate.  So, that’s very important.  But what complicates that is the President’s infrastructure spending plan, where what —.  Here’s the thing:  we have so much money offshore because we have double taxation — I mean, there is already double taxation of corporate dividends — but we are unique among other countries in that if you have a U.S. based corporation doing work overseas and they want to repatriate those earnings to the United States to help grow this economy, you have to pay taxes all over again, even though you paid taxes to the host country.  And so, guess what!  The money is not coming back.  And it has just been sitting offshore.  And so, that’s how Trump has this infrastructure spending plan for airports and roads and bridges and all this stuff, is to lower the tax rate to bring money back and then fund this infrastructure plan.  Number one, I just don’t know —.  Our problem in infrastructure, more than what we spend, is federal regulations.  I mean, the money — you know, just like Obama found out,  when he tried to do infrastructure spending and he half joked that, “I guess there wasn’t anything shovel ready.”  Well, yeah!  When you go through redundant environmental studies after environmental studies after environmental studies, and all these federal mandates, by the time you can move any dirt at all it takes years.  And so the fact is, that if we want to put more money into infrastructure, one thing we can do [laughing] is to, you know, loosen all these regulations coming out of Washington D.C. that, in my view, should not exist anyway.  These are done by states.  Let them — they’re mature. They — I trust the more than Washington D.C. to figure it out.  So, I think that, um, uh — but I think that this notion that it’s going to — I just challenge the notion that a big spending infrastructure plan will stimulate the economy.  I think pro-growth economic tax reform — lowering rates — will stimulate this economy.  Reforming Obamacare will stimulate the economy. Doing away with these horrible regulations that are choking the life out of American business and moving jobs overseas will help stimulate this economy.  And so, that may be an area that I struggle with in terms of working with this President.

SENGENBERGER:  I absolutely agree with you.  When you’re looking at infrastructure spending, it’s good for long term economic growth.  But if you’re looking to just create jobs and so forth in the short term, it’s more of a challenge to really get the economic gears rolling from a system like that, or policies like that.  But there’s one other problem and challenge that is associated with a big spending infrastructure program, and that is the relationship with the national debt.

COFFMAN:  Oh, yeah! Sure!

SENGENBERGER:  And this is an issue that you have talked about for many, many years, Congressman Mike Coffman. In fact, when you have your regular email blasts out to constituents, [it] talks about what the national debt is standing at.  I mean, the most recent one, you say here, $19,953,000,000, more than that!  We need to address this budget crisis that we’ve got now.  We cannot keep kicking the can down the road.

COFFMAN:  You know, one opportunity we’re going to have — and it will not be without controversy — will be in the —.  One of the things, I think, contributing — I mean, I think there’s a lot of things contributing to the debt that need to be reformed in Washington D.C..  But certainly, the Medicaid expansion under Obamacare, and what Paul Ryan has kicked around for a long time, that I support, is devolving Medicaid down to the states, no longer having it be a federal entitlement, block granting it to states and letting states figure it out. And I know I trust the Colorado governor and our state legislature to devise policies to fit the state of Colorado to help far more people. And this would be akin to the Welfare Reform Act of 1996, when the Congress passed and the President signed — President Clinton, then — signed into law devolving the cash assistance part of welfare down to the states, and no longer made it an entitlement, and said, “Here!  As long as you spend it within broad parameters to help the needy, the disadvantaged families, then that’s acceptable to the federal government.”  And what we found is that it worked incredibly well and we lowered welfare case loads fairly dramatically, certainly across the country but particularly in Colorado with the plan that [laughing] of course, I wrote the legislation for it — ColoradoWorks, at the time —although people have tried to rewrite it since then, and shifted it a little bit more to the left.  But I think that the notion of devolving federal programs to the states, I think, is —.  Washington does way too much.  And as a result, in my view, doesn’t do very many things very well.  And I just think we’re just involved in too much and we need to shed some of these things and get it back to states.

SENGENBERGER:  I want to wrap up our conversation with you, Congressman Mike Coffman, by asking you about the road ahead, looking at the new Congress and the new administration coming in.  I mean, we’re just days away now from the presidency of Donald Trump and a Republican controlled Congress where the Republicans will have both the House and the Senate and also the presidency.  We’ve got the Supreme Court debate coming up, of course, on the Senate side of the equation, and ratifying a replacement for Justice Antonin Scalia.  What it is it that you would be most encouraged by, moving forward,  looking ahead at the next couple of years of the new Congress with regards to the fact that we will have this leadership direction for the country:  Paul Ryan as Speaker of the House, Mitch McConnell as Senate Majority Leader, and Donald Trump as President with Mike Pence as his Vice President, working closely with members of Congress, as you’ve talked about.  What are you looking forward to the most about this dynamic.

COFFMAN:  Well, I think what I’m looking forward to the most is actually the easiest part.  And the easiest part is the fact that — it was really out of the White House — is that you had, where President Obama said “I have a pen and phone.”  [laughs] Well, as all our President Trump needs is a pen and there is all this government through executive action, all the executive overreach, all these horrible regulations, that process all stops and we’re able to roll — we’re going to be able to roll so much of it back.  That in itself is positive.  That’s the easiest part.  The part that’s hard is — and I think that I disagree with my Senate colleagues on this — on the having this rule on the filibuster.  It allows a minority to block so much.  Yes, when it comes to tax and spending things we can use budget reconciliation once a year to get around that on a lot of issues. But you have so many things that were put in place, like Dodd-Frank, that is just bad, I think, for the country, in terms of economic growth, that you have Elizabeth Warren over there who will, you know, block any changes to that.  And the minority is able to do that.  And through the filibuster, this thing about  requiring 60 votes to bring anything to the floor, which has no foundation in the Constitution of the United States, is   a 20th century creation, I think, after World War I in terms of throwing road blocks up to the ratification of the League of Nations and then has been abused and expanded since then to the point now — and you don’t have to be on the floor to do it anymore.  You used to have to stay on the floor to be able to do a filibuster.  Now you don’t.  And so, it just enables — and so, what it does is it makes it look to the American people that nobody is really in charge.  And I’ve had — I remember talking to Senator Grassley one day about it, saying, you know, “You guys [have] got to repeal this thing —you’ve got to do away with this.”  He goes, “Oh, well. You know what? Things would be a lot worse.  You know, we were able to block things when we were in the minority.”  Well, but that — the problem is is the America see no difference with whoever is in charge, who they elect. It just, things aren’t getting done. Things pass the House and they just die in the Senate because of the ability of the minority — now, the Democrats — to block this stuff.  You know— you know what?  I just think that that’s just a bad argument.  I know that they see it as an insurance policy.  But I disagree with it. But I think it’s going to make — that will make it tough to get a lot of things done, to include Obamacare!  And when I’m — I think we have a President — in President Obama we have something historically unique.  I think we’re going to have a president who never goes away.  I think we’re going to have a president —.

SENGENBERGER:  He’s going to live in D.C.!

COFFMAN:  —who lives in D.C. and who leads the opposition on a daily basis, where presidents have always deferred to their successors and staying out.  I don’t think he is!  I don’t think he has any intention of doing that. And it was amazing that the day last week — I think it was Tuesday when, Tuesday or Wednesday, I can’t remember—when Pence came up and met with us was the same time President Obama came up and met with House and Senate Democratic counterparts — our counterparts — and basically said, “Don’t cooperate!”  You know, “Don’t compromise,” which is — you know, on Obamacare — which is amazing. And because of the filibuster, guess what!  This is going to be tough!

SENGENBERGER:  Congressman Mike Coffman has been our guest here on the Jimmy Sengenberger Show.  It’s been a real pleasure to speak with you.  Thank you so much for taking some time to address some of the really key issues that are facing our country today.  I wish you the best of luck in the new Congress.

COFFMAN:  Thanks!  It’s going to be huge!

SENGENBERGER:  It’s going to be yuge!  That’s for sure!