News from Representative DeGette

       

Dear Friend,

As I head back home to Colorado to begin the August district work period, I want to tell you about the many important developments in Congress this week.

After a dramatic overnight defeat in the Senate, the Republican effort to dismantle the Affordable Care Act has reached a road block. However, the path toward improving the ACA is not at an end. Bipartisan solutions must be found. I continue to reach out to my colleagues across the aisle to work on those improvements. Maybe now they're ready to do so; Americans certainly are, and they've shown it with their vocal outcry against every version of Trumpcare this year. Your tireless advocacy was instrumental in this heartening development. For months, I have listened to constituents’ stories about how the ACA is a lifeline for you and your families, and was able to pass them along as promised to your Colorado senators to consider before the vote. When Republicans and Democrats finally come together to make these needed improvements, I will make sure your ideas and concerns aren’t ignored, but instead contribute to making affordable coverage a reality for millions more.  

While we scored a big health care victory, we also faced a setback in LGBTQ rights. In a series of tweets, President Trump announced he is reversing an Obama-era policy allowing transgender people to serve openly in the U.S. military. I was quick to condemn this stunning act of bigotry that certainly won’t make us any safer. This edict forces America backward, to the questionable days of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and well before, when service members stayed in the closet to avoid being persecuted or purged. As a founding member of the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus, I will work to reverse this ill-conceived decision based in the biased notion that America must protect itself from those who seek to protect us.

The events of this week have underscored yet again our country’s desperate need for competent and compassionate leadership. For more than six months, the GOP has had complete control in Washington. What do they have to show for it? A health plan that would have ripped coverage away from millions while giving tax breaks to millionaires, edicts restricting the rights of women and slamming the door on refugees, and a shocking lack of transparency and accountability. Democrats have a better deal for Americans -- a plan to create millions of jobs, crack down on unchecked corporate power and dramatically lower the cost of prescription drugs. It won’t be easy, but we have never shied away from finding bold solutions to big problems. The American people deserve better than what we’ve seen so far in 2017. With a Democratic Congress starting in 2019, a better deal is possible.

As the future of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) hangs in the balance, it’s more important than ever to protect this program and expand its original promise. That’s why I’m honored to cosponsor the American Hope Act. This bill allows DACA beneficiaries as well as other immigrant youth to apply for conditional permanent resident status, providing a pathway to citizenship. It will also improve college affordability for undocumented youth and other immigrants by repealing rules that limit their access to in-state tuition and college loans. Millions of undocumented residents brought here as children are contributing to our country -- some as students, but others as parents, caregivers, full-time workers or military personnel. They are all valued, and they all deserve their shot at the American dream.

 

Also this week, I joined three Democratic colleagues on the Energy and Commerce Committee in sending a letter to NFL commissioner Roger Goodell requesting information on a commitment from the league to donate $30 million to the National Institutes of Health to support research into health issues affecting athletes. Our letter comes on the heels of a recently released study showing the existence of a degenerative brain disease called Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) in 110 out of 111 former pro football players.The NFL announced this week that it was ending its research partnership and does not plan to spend the remaining funds. While this is a setback, I remain committed to supporting this research, which will help improve the health and well-being of millions of athletes, on and off the field. 

As always, you can visit my website, where you can read my positions on issues and learn about the different ways my staff can assist you. While you’re there, be sure to visit the “Contact” page and send me an email about what matters most to you and your family. Finally, be sure to share this email with your friends, family, and neighbors so that they too can be a part of this important dialogue.


Sincerely,

Diana DeGette
Member of Congress

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