Joel Hefley was first elected to represent Colorado’s Eastern Front
Range in the House of Representatives in 1986. Now in his 10th term, he represents
Chaffee, El Paso, Fremont, Lake, Park and Teller counties with a conservative
point of view that reflects his diverse and growing district.
Hefley is known throughout his district and in Congress as
a fair and effective lawmaker, who remains loyal to his Western
roots while supporting legislation that benefits the national
interest. He is in his 18th year as a member of the House Armed
Services Committee. His focus as a legislator is to strengthen
the military, protect federal lands and reduce taxes.
As a member of the House Armed Services Committee, Hefley is
a strong advocate for a robust national defense and is a staunch
supporter of missile defense. His district is home to the U.S.
Northern Command, the U.S. Air Force Academy, the North American
Aerospace Defense Command, Peterson Air Force Base, Schriever
Air Force Base and Fort Carson.
He is the chairman of the House Armed Services Subcommittee
on Readiness, and is responsible for the readiness and preparedness
of military personnel, military construction and housing, and
the operation and maintenance of all military bases. His subcommittee
oversees the availability and condition of equipment, civilian
personnel, maintenance depots, and readiness of U.S. forces to
operate in a chemically- or biologically-contaminated environment.
As chairman of the Armed Services Subcommittee on Military
Installations and Facilities from 1995-2001, Hefley focused his
efforts on increasing expenditures on military housing and personnel
programs. He succeeded in improving the quality of life for the
American soldier by expanding healthcare services, increasing
pay and renovating military housing facilities.
Hefley is equally committed to the preservation and conservation
of our nation’s public lands and natural resources. He
focuses his efforts on establishing a fair process for designating
and managing federal lands and ensuring that the nation’s
parks and resources are maintained in a pristine condition.
An Oklahoma native, Hefley moved to Colorado working as a cowboy
and ranch hand. He settled in Colorado Springs and established
himself as a civic leader by serving as the executive director
of the Community Planning and Research Council. He served in
the Colorado State House of Representatives from 1977 to 1979
and the State Senate from 1979 to 1986.
Hefley returns to his Western roots by “cowboyin’” on his
ranch where he raises Quarter Horses and sculpts bronze statutes of Western
scenes and ranch life. He also draws political cartoons that depict the ups
and downs of congressional life.
Hefley has a Bachelors of Arts degree from Oklahoma Baptist
University and a Masters of Science degree from Oklahoma State
University. He was also a Gates Fellow at Harvard University.
He and his wife, Lynn, have three daughters and five grandchildren.