Dan Coats

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Dan Coats
Dan Coats, official portrait, 112th Congress.jpg
United States Senator
from Indiana
Incumbent
Assumed office
January 3, 2011
Serving with Joe Donnelly
Preceded by Evan Bayh
In office
January 3, 1989 – January 3, 1999
Appointed by Robert D. Orr
Preceded by Dan Quayle
Succeeded by Evan Bayh
29th United States Ambassador to Germany
In office
August 15, 2001 – February 28, 2005
President George W. Bush
Preceded by John C. Kornblum
Succeeded by William R. Timken, Jr.
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Indiana's 4th district
In office
January 3, 1981 – January 3, 1989
Preceded by Dan Quayle
Succeeded by Jill L. Long
Personal details
Born Daniel Ray Coats
(1943-05-16) May 16, 1943 (age 70)
Jackson, Michigan
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Marsha Coats
Children 3
Residence Fort Wayne, Indiana
Alma mater Wheaton College (B.A.)
Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law (J.D.)
Religion Presbyterian Church
Website www.coats.senate.gov
Military service
Service/branch United States Army
Years of service 1966-1968

Daniel Ray "Dan" Coats (born May 16, 1943) is the senior United States Senator from Indiana and member of the Republican Party. He was in the United States Senate from 1989 to 1999, retired, and then returned in 2011.

Born in Jackson, Michigan, Coats graduated from Wheaton College in Illinois and Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law. He served in the U.S. Army from 1966 to 1968. Before serving in the U.S. Senate, Coats was a member of the United States House of Representatives, representing Indiana's 4th congressional district from 1981 to 1989. He was appointed to fill the seat vacated by Dan Quayle following Quayle's election as Vice President of the United States in 1988. Coats won the 1990 special election to serve the remainder of Quayle's unexpired term, as well as the 1992 election for a full six-year term. He did not seek reelection in 1998, and was succeeded by Evan Bayh.

After retiring from the Senate, Coats served as U.S. Ambassador to Germany from 2001 to 2005, and then worked as a lobbyist in Washington, D.C. He was re-elected to the Senate by a large margin in 2010, succeeding Bayh, who announced his own retirement shortly after Coats declared his candidacy. He is the only current Senator to have returned to the Senate having previously retired, and one of two senators, along with Frank Lautenberg, who returned to the Senate after their retirement.

Early life, education and career[edit]

Coats was born in Jackson, Michigan, the son of Vera (Nora) Elisabeth (née Swanlund) and Edward Raymond Coats. His father was of English and German descent, and his maternal grandparents immigrated from Sweden.[1] Coats attended local public schools, and graduated from Jackson High School in 1961. He then studied at Wheaton College in Illinois, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science in 1965. At Wheaton, he was an active student athlete on the soccer team. He served in the United States Army from 1966 to 1968, and earned a Juris Doctor from the Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law in Indianapolis in 1972. He also served as assistant vice president of a Fort Wayne life insurance company.

U.S. House of Representatives[edit]

From 1976 to 1980, Coats worked for then-U.S. Representative Dan Quayle, a Republican from Indiana's 4th congressional district, as Quayle's district representative. When Quayle decided to challenge three-term Democratic incumbent Birch Bayh in the 1980 U.S. Senate election, Coats ran for and won Quayle's seat in the U.S. House.

U.S. Senate[edit]

When Quayle resigned from the Senate after being elected Vice President of the United States in 1988, Coats was appointed to Quayle’s former seat. Coats was subsequently elected to the seat in 1990 and 1992 and served in the Senate until January 1999, when Evan Bayh became the new Senator. When Coats announced that he was going to run for Bayh's seat in 2010, Bayh retired. Coats ran for and won that Senate seat.

Political positions[edit]

On multiple occasions, Senator Coats supported gun control measures. In 1991, he voted in favor of Biden-Thurmond Violent Crime Control Act of 1991. This act, which did not become law, would have created a waiting period for handgun purchases and placed a ban on semi-automatic firearms. Subsequently, he supported the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act that President Clinton signed into law in 1993.[2] The legislation imposed a waiting period before a handgun could be transferred to an individual by a licensed dealer, importer, or manufacturer. This waiting period ended when the computerized instant check system came online. Coats also supported Feinstein Amendment 1152 to the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1993.[3] The purpose of the Feinstein Amendment was to "restrict the manufacture, transfer, and possession of certain semiautomatic assault weapons and large capacity ammunition feeding devices."[4]

In 1993, Senator Coats emerged as an opponent of President Clinton's effort to allow gays and lesbians to serve openly in the armed forces.[5] In 1995 Senator Coats introduced S. 568: Family, Investment, Retirement, Savings, and Tax Fairness Act[6] which would provide "family tax credits, increase national savings through individual retirement plus accounts, indexing for inflation the income thresholds for taxing social security benefits, etc".[7] The bill did not become law.

Senator Coats cosponsored, with Democratic Senators Edward M. Kennedy and Christopher Dodd and then-Republican Senator James Jeffords, S.2206: Coats Human Services Reauthorization Act of 1998. This bill, which was enacted into law, “amended the Head Start Act, the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Act of 1981, and the Community Services Block Grant Act... in order to provide an opportunity for persons with limited means to accumulate assets.”[8]

In 1996, Senator Coats cosponsored the Line Item Veto Act of 1996 which President Clinton signed into law. The bill allowed the President to "rewrit[e] legislation by vetoing single items of spending or specific tax breaks approved by Congress."[9] The Supreme Court of the United States declared the law unconstitutional in Clinton v. City of New York in a 6-3 decision.

Coats made headlines in August 1998, when he publicly questioned the timing of President Bill Clinton’s attack on terrorist bases in Afghanistan and Sudan, suggesting it might be linked to the Lewinsky scandal: "While there is clearly much more we need to learn about this attack and why it was ordered today, given the president’s personal difficulties this week, it is legitimate to question the timing of this action."[10]

In April 2013, Senator Coats was one of forty-six senators to vote against the passing of a bill which would have expanded background checks for all buyers. Coats voted with 40 Republicans and 5 Democrats to stop the passage of the bill. NY Times gave a 7% chance of Coats voting Yea on the bill.[11]

Between U.S. Senate tenures[edit]

Coats worked as Special Counsel member in the firm Verner, Liipfert, Bernhard, McPherson and Hand in 2000 and 2001.

In 2001, Coats was reportedly one of George W. Bush’s top choices to be Defense Secretary, a job eventually given to Donald Rumsfeld, who had previously served as United States Secretary of Defense.

From August 15, 2001 to February 28, 2005, Coats was the United States Ambassador to Germany.[12][13] As ambassador during the lead up to the Iraq war, he pressured the German government not to oppose the war, threatening worsened US relations with Germany.[14] As Ambassador he also played a critical role in establishing robust relations with then opposition leader Angela Merkel and in the construction of a new United States Embassy in the heart of Berlin next to the Brandenburg Gate.[15]

In 2005, Coats drew attention when he was chosen by President George W. Bush to shepherd Harriet Miers' failed nomination to the Supreme Court through the Senate. Echoing Senator Roman Hruska's famous 1970 speech in defense of Harrold Carswell, Coats said to CNN regarding the nomination: "If [being a] great intellectual powerhouse is a qualification to be a member of the court and represent the American people and the wishes of the American people and to interpret the Constitution, then I think we have a court so skewed on the intellectual side that we may not be getting representation of America as a whole."[16]

In 2007, Coats served as co-chairman of a team of lobbyists for Cooper Industries, a Texas corporation that moved its principal place of business to Bermuda, where it would not be liable for U.S. taxes. In that role, he worked to block Senate legislation that would have closed a tax loophole, worth hundreds of millions of dollars to Cooper Industries.[17]

The NYT also reported that Coats was co-chairman of the Washington government relations office of King & Spalding, with a salary of $603,609.[17]

Political campaigns[edit]

2010[edit]

On February 10, 2010, Coats confirmed that he would return to Indiana to run for the seat held by incumbent Evan Bayh in the 2010 United States Senate election.[18][19] Bayh had made no previous announcements and was fully expected to run for another term, but after Coats announced his candidacy, Bayh announced his retirement on February 15, 2010. On May 4, 2010, Coats won the Republican primary over state Sen. Marlin Stutzman and former Congressman John Hostettler.[20][21]

Coats received endorsements from National Right to Life Committee, Indiana Right to Life, and the Susan B. Anthony List.[22]

Coats defeated Democratic Rep. Brad Ellsworth by a fifteen-point margin to return to the Senate.[23]

Coats became the senior senator from Indiana after Richard Lugar lost a challenge in the Republican Primaries and subsequently was not re-elected to the Senate in 2012.

Personal life[edit]

Coats is affiliated with the Fellowship, an informal association of Christian lawmakers.[24]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Dan Coats ancestry". Freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com. Retrieved October 11, 2012. 
  2. ^ Macy, Tim (2010-02-11). "Dan Coats, Gun Control and the Indiana Senate Primary". Gunowners.org. Retrieved 2011-08-10. 
  3. ^ "U.S. Senate Roll Call Vote". Senate.gov. Retrieved 2011-08-10. 
  4. ^ "Bill Summary & Status - 103rd Congress (1993 - 1994) - S.AMDT.1152". Thomas.loc.gov. Retrieved 2011-08-10. 
  5. ^ Schmitt, Eric (May 12, 1993). "Compromise on Military Gay Ban Gaining Support Among Senators". The New York Times. 
  6. ^ Sen. Daniel Coats [R-IN]. "Family, Investment, Retirement, Savings, and Tax Fairness Act of 1995 (1995; 104th Congress S. 568)". GovTrack.us. Retrieved October 11, 2012. 
  7. ^ http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/D?d104:46:./temp/~bdOOvF:@@@L&summ2=m&
  8. ^ Sen. Daniel Coats [R-IN]. "Coats Human Services Reauthorization Act of 1998 (1998; 105th Congress S. 2206)". GovTrack.us. Retrieved October 11, 2012. 
  9. ^ Pear, Robert (June 26, 1998). "The Supreme Court: The Opinion -- Justices, 6-3, Bar Veto Of Line Items In Bills; See H.I.V. As Disability; Spending At Issue". The New York Times. 
  10. ^ Most Lawmakers Support Clinton’s Military Strikes, August 20, 1998, CNN.
  11. ^ http://fivethirtyeight.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/04/18/modeling-the-senates-vote-on-gun-control/
  12. ^ "Speeches by Ambassador Coats". United States Diplomatic Mission to Germany. Retrieved April 24, 2010. [dead link]
  13. ^ "Biography: Daniel R. Coats". United States Department of State. Retrieved April 24, 2010. 
  14. ^ "Irak-Kriegspläne: US-Botschafter mahnt die Deutschen - SPIEGEL ONLINE - Nachrichten - Politik". Spiegel.de. 2002-09-04. Retrieved 2010-07-12. 
  15. ^ "Coats, Bucshon to headline GOP dinner » Local News » The Washington Times-Herald". Washtimesherald.com. Retrieved 2010-07-12. 
  16. ^ American Morning: Miers Confirmation Battle, October 7, 2005, transcript of CNN American Morning.
  17. ^ a b LIPTON, ERIC (November 13, 2010). "A Journey From Lawmaker to Lobbyist and Back Again". nyt.com. Retrieved 2010-11-15. 
  18. ^ Ryan Elijah (February 10, 2010). "Dan Coats Confirms Bid for U.S. Senate". Indiana's NewsCenter. Retrieved 2010-02-10. 
  19. ^ Flynn, Bridget (March 23, 2010). "Dan Coats outlines his priorities". Herald Argus. 
  20. ^ "The 2010 Results Maps". Politico.Com. Retrieved 2010-07-12. 
  21. ^ Cillizza, Chris (2010-05-04). "Coats, Fisher win; NC-Senate to runoff". Washington Post. Retrieved 2010-05-09. 
  22. ^ "Indiana Senate Candidate Dan Coats Gets Pro-Life Backing Over Ellsworth". LifeNews.com. 2011-06-10. Retrieved 2011-08-10. 
  23. ^ "State Results - Election Center 2010 - Elections & Politics from CNN.com". CNN. 
  24. ^ The Family: The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power by Jeff Sharlet: Chapter 14 page 381

External links[edit]

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Dan Quayle
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Indiana's 4th congressional district

1981–1989
Succeeded by
Jill L. Long
United States Senate
Preceded by
Dan Quayle
U.S. Senator (Class 3) from Indiana
1989–1999
Served alongside: Richard Lugar
Succeeded by
Evan Bayh
Preceded by
Evan Bayh
United States Senator (Class 3) from Indiana
2011-present
Served alongside: Richard Lugar, Joe Donnelly
Succeeded by
Incumbent
United States order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Mark Kirk
R-Illinois
United States Senators by seniority
71st
Succeeded by
Roy Blunt
R-Missouri
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
John C. Kornblum
United States Ambassador to Germany
2001–2005
Succeeded by
William R. Timken
Party political offices
Preceded by
Dan Quayle
Republican Party nominee for United States Senator from Indiana
(Class 3)

1990, 1992
Succeeded by
Paul Helmke
Preceded by
Marvin Scott
Republican Party nominee for United States Senator from Indiana
(Class 3)

2010
Succeeded by
Current nominee