News from Representative DeGette

       

Dear Friend,

I’m back home in Colorado after a busy week working on a variety of issues in Washington that affect our state and all Americans.

Congress just passed a two-week continuing resolution to fund the federal government until December 22, temporarily averting a government shutdown. I voted against this stop-gap measure that doesn’t address protections for Dreamers or support for the Children’s Health Insurance Program; CHIP funds in Colorado run out by the end of January. These priorities are vital for our community, and I can’t in good conscience vote for a budget gimmick that ignores them. Americans deserve a functioning government to make our lives better, from funding research to cure diseases at the NIH to building better infrastructure. The Republicans' are keeping it in a constant state of turmoil and flux, harming us all. Running our federal bureaucracy in this manner is a huge disservice to every single American. 

It’s clear our government must be more efficient at addressing the needs of the vulnerable. Federal and local officials need to do more for Puerto Rico and the U.S Virgin Islands, which are still reeling from hurricane Maria’s devastation. After holding hearings on recovery and rebuilding efforts, several Democratic and Republican colleagues on the Energy and Commerce Committee and I saw the results up close. Critical infrastructure such as bridges and power plants remain in stark disrepair months after the hurricanes made landfall. Local authorities, many of whom I met while there, should be commended for their efforts, but it's clear these U.S. territories continue to need all of the support and power our federal government can provide. I will keep working to supply this vital aid. Our fellow Americans will not be forgotten.

I also advocated for LGBTQ Americans in their continuing march toward full equality. On Tuesday, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the case of Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission. That morning, I spoke in support of the men at the center of the case, Charlie Craig and David Mullins, who are also my constituents. In 2012, this couple were denied service by Masterpiece Cakeshop in Lakewood, Colorado, simply because they are gay and wanted a cake for their wedding celebration. Last month, I joined more than 200 members of Congress in signing an amicus brief supporting their position. I'm proud that they took their fight for full equality to the highest court in the land through a case that affects protections for LGBTQ and other groups of Americans as well. We can't go back to the days when businesses could openly discriminate against customers. Our communities and our country must be open to all. 

On Thursday, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt finally testified before the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on the Environment to provide answers on his controversial tenure as head of the agency. Pruitt recently spent nearly $25,000 in taxpayer funds on an addition to his new office: a fancy soundproof booth that’s normally used to protect government secrets. I asked him why this pricey purchase was made, particularly when the agency faces a steep cut of around 30% in President Trump’s budget. It’s clear this administration is not adequately holding themselves accountable, and I’m happy to take on this task.  

 

This week, Republicans responded to two of the worst mass shootings in recent U.S. history by passing the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act (H.R. 38). I voted against this NRA-backed bill that gives some of the weakest restrictions on guns the force of law nationwide. Compelling state legislatures to adopt the concealed carry standards of other states will only undermine the protections that their citizens have come to expect their elected officials to uphold. If this bill passes the Senate and is signed into law, Coloradans would be in greater peril. I refuse to let our communities face such mindless and needless danger without a fight.

And before the week is out, I’d like to ensure that folks know that if you have questions about Open Enrollment, Connect For Heath Colorado has got you covered. Helpful information on how much you can save on a quality health care plan is on connectforhealthco.com under the “Resources” tab. You can also stop by my Denver office to pick up a handy brochure. The Affordable Care Act has ensured access for all, including cost reductions for most people. In Colorado, the deadline to enroll is January 12—but why wait? Give you and your family the gift of health and well-being this holiday season. 

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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