News from Representative DeGette

       

Dear Friend,

I'm back home in Colorado after several very active days in DC, and have been reflecting on the dismal path President Trump has just set for our nation. It contrasts so dramatically with the hope and progress that many of us strive for in our everyday lives.

I attended Tuesday’s State of the Union address with low expectations -- and unfortunately, I was not disappointed. The few issues the president addressed were cast in hyper-partisan terms. The use of fear-mongering to push for immigration reforms was outrageously cynical, seemingly equating Dreamers with members of a despicable, vicious gang. Is this the way he intends to negotiate legislation to address our broken immigration system? We deserve better from the President of the United States. What a shame that he chose to make a divisive speech that only highlights his party’s failure to effectively and responsibly lead our country. 

Last week I highlighted the consequences of this irresponsible governance, including the negative effects of the Republicans’ flimsy, temporary spending bills. The most recent one funds the federal government until next Thursday, February 8, and we're now hearing that thanks to GOP intransigence, their plan is to pass yet another stopgap measure, this time until March 22. The current stopgap spending bill doesn’t fully address important public health priorities such as Community Health Centers and the Special Diabetes Program. Funding for both of these programs is in limbo, harming the millions of Americans who depend on them.

Community Health Centers provide high-quality primary care - such as treatment for substance abuse, dental care, and behavioral health - to more than 25 million medically underserved Americans each year, including more than half a million in Colorado. Federal support for CHCs expired on September 30, 2017. After a two-month lapse, Congress provided funding that will run out in March or sooner. Without a long-term extension, CHCs report that they may have to shorten operating hours, furlough staff or cut services. The Special Diabetes Program provides funding for diabetes research and prevention and management programs for high-risk populations, including many in the Latino community. Its federal support also expired on September 30, and a short-term patch in December similarly interferes with planning for its vital work.

Last Thursday, I visited Sam Sandos Clinic in Denver where I heard from staff about how this unfinished business affects their financial planning and the quality of care they can give. To ensure the good health of our community, they need leadership from Washington, which Congress must provide. As the next funding deadline approaches, I am working hard to ensure Congress does not continue to neglect these two programs that are lifelines for so many millions of Americans.

I also had the opportunity to stop by the Outdoor Retailers’ Snow Show, chatting with local entrepreneurs from our congressional district who have created jobs and contributed to the winter fun. Lanny Goldwasser of Phunkshun Wear, whose factory I visited last year, and Stephen Watkins of Meier Skis were showing off their latest gear; we talked about the realities of running a small business. While the GOP is working to benefit corporations and the ultra-wealthy, I will continue advocating for policies that benefit Main Street over Wall Street.

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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