ENG: Daniel Ray "Dan" Coats (born May 16, 1943) is the junior United States Senator from Indiana and member of the Republican Party. He was in the United States Senate from from 1989 to 1999, retired, and then returned in 2011.
Born in Jackson, Michigan, Coats graduated from Wheaton College in Illinois and Indiana University 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.
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 U.S. Senator Evan Bayh, who did not seek reelection. Along with Senator Frank Lautenberg of New Jersey, he is one of two current Senators to have returned to the Senate after having retired from the Senate.
U.S. House of Representatives
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.
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 served in the Senate until January 1999, when Evan Bayh became the new Senator. When Bayh retired, Coats ran for his old seat and won in 2010.
On multiple occasions, Senator Coats supported gun control measures. 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.”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." 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."
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.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.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."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.In 1995 Senator Coats introduced S. 568: Family, Investment, Retirement, Savings, and Tax Fairness Actwhich 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".The bill did not become law. Senator Coats cosponsored, with Democratic Senators
On February 10, 2010, Coats confirmed that he would return to Indiana to run for the seat held by retiring incumbent Evan Bayh in the 2010 United States Senate election.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.Coats received endorsements from National Right to Life Committee, Indiana Right to Life and the Susan B. Anthony List.Coats has described himself as a conservative who stands for “limited government, lower taxes, a balanced budget, [and] strong defense.”Coats said, "We need to get the economy back on track... that ought to be our priority and not the huge spending going on in Washington"Coats defeated Democratic Rep. Brad Ellsworth by a large margin to return to the Senate.
Coats is affiliated with the Fellowship, an informal association of Christian lawmakers.
June 6th, 2011