News from Representative DeGette

       

Dear Friend,

After a productive MLK weekend in Colorado -- where I highlighted the dangers of the GOP Tax Scam to our community, honored service academy nominees , participated in Denver’s annual Marade and reaffirmed my pledge to protect Dreamers -- it was frustrating to return to a Washington where GOP neglect has failed Americans in so many ways. 

Republican leaders are still scrambling to beat tonight’s midnight deadline to fund the government. For months now, they’ve kicked the can down the road with stop-gap spending bills that don’t address a litany of ongoing crises. These include providing protections for people in the United States under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, additional funding to fight the opioid epidemic, an extension of lapsed federal support for community health centers, and disaster relief for Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. I voted against the latest stopgap bill because it did not adequately address these problems. A shutdown is in nobody’s interest, but if it happens, Congress must stay here in Washington until we reach a fair negotiation that protects the interests of all of these groups. We can do it if the political will is there. 

Instead of tackling their unfinished business, Republicans spent much of the week attacking women’s health. The Trump administration unveiled a new policy that lets health care workers refuse to participate in care they object to, including constitutionally-protected abortions, health care for other groups of Americans, and other services. I immediately spoke out against this discriminatory edict that could put patients’ health at risk.

To make matters worse, House Republicans then brought to a vote H.R. 4712, which serves no other purpose than to bolster their anti-choice credentials. The controversial legislation punishes abortion providers, imposing draconian and unnecessary standards of care enforceable with criminal penalties. It’s no wonder most doctors’ advocacy groups oppose it; it will irreparably damage the critically important relationship between them and their patients. I spoke against this dangerous bill on the House floor, and as co-chair of the Pro-Choice Caucus, I will continue opposing this and other anti-woman attacks that we will likely see in the new year.

On Wednesday, I joined my colleagues in supporting a resolution to formally censure President Trump for his reported comments suggesting America restrict the number of immigrants from Haiti, El Salvador and African countries in favor of people from places like Norway. Like most Americans, I was stunned and angered by these remarks, which seem to advocate a race-based quota system, reminiscent of disastrous policies that were replaced decades ago. Our resolution states clearly that such opinions must not guide our nation’s immigration policy, and it demands that the President retract his words. We will hold President Trump accountable on behalf of the hard-working immigrants from every corner of the globe who have made America great.

Amid a challenging week, I was heartened to see progress on addressing an important public health issue. In 2006, the FDA found that several toddlers had died due to cough medicine. Revised guidelines warning parents about the medicine’s risks to young children have yet to be written due to internal hurdles at the FDA. On Wednesday, my Over-the-Counter Monograph Safety, Innovation and Reform Act moved one step closer to solving that problem after it was approved in the health subcommittee. The bill will give FDA new tools to protect consumers and streamline how the agency reviews over-the-counter medicines in the monograph pathway system. Let’s now work to make it the law of the land this year.

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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