News from Representative DeGette

       

Dear Friend,

I’m on my way back home to Colorado today after a varied and busy week in Washington.

Among other things, we had a hearing on my bill to reform the way over-the-counter drugs are approved. In 2006, several toddlers in this country died after being given common cough medicines that weren’t properly labeled to alert parents to their risks. The Food and Drug Administration still hasn’t been able to update safety requirements for those products due to an outmoded review system. More than 300,000 medicines are regulated through a review process that hasn’t been updated in 40 years despite scientific advancements and growth in the market. On Wednesday, the Health Subcommittee discussed my bipartisan Over-the-Counter Monograph Safety, Innovation and Reform Act. This bill gives the FDA new tools to protect consumers and would provide the agency with badly-needed resources to safely streamline reviews, potentially saving lives.

Congress must also be vigilant in protecting consumers’ privacy, as evidenced by last week’s news that a massive Equifax data breach has compromised the personal information of approximately 143 million Americans. On Tuesday, I joined fellow Democrats on the Energy and Commerce Committee in sending a letter to Equifax Chairman and CEO Richard Smith seeking more information on the breach and asking what the company plans to do to prevent future breaches. There are still many questions about the size, scope and underlying causes of this data theft that must be answered. I’ll continue to hold Equifax accountable and work to implement new safeguards, because companies that profit from collecting sensitive personal information from Americans should take seriously its responsibility to keep data totally secure.

On Wednesday, I spoke on the House floor against the anti-choice Palmer Amendment, a proposed provision for a GOP spending bill that would overturn Washington DC’s Reproductive Health Non-Discrimination Act (RHNDA). This would let employers discriminate against women based on their reproductive health choices. A woman should never have to worry that she could be punished—or even fired—for a personal choice about her body, such as using birth control or having an abortion. The Republican-run House passed this bill the next day, but as co-chair of the Pro Choice Caucus, I will continue working to ensure every woman can make her health care decisions.

I’m also looking ahead to an important opportunity for young people in our community. Each year, I’m honored to nominate a select group of young Coloradans for admission to America’s service academies, elite institutions of higher learning that combine educational excellence with military officer training. Students aged 17 to 22 who live in Colorado’s first congressional district, are U.S. citizens and have a passion for public service are encouraged to apply by October 7. The application and further details can be found on my website

Today is the beginning of Hispanic Heritage Month, a celebration of the enormous contributions of Hispanic and Latino Americans across Colorado and our entire country. Through the arts, politics, activism, science, journalism and more, this diverse group now numbering more than 57 million has made an indelible mark. This year, affirming their value in our country is more important than ever as many face new challenges, such as the hundreds of thousands of DREAMers who could face deportation after the rescinding of DACA if Congress doesn’t offer a legislative solution. As the representative of a large, growing and dynamic Hispanic community, I will continue working to uplift and empower this group whose roots lie in Latin America but whose hearts are firmly in this country. 

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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