News from Representative DeGette

       

Dear Friend,

More than two weeks after the tragic shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, the ongoing struggle to pass sensible gun safety legislation has made some significant gains, thanks largely to the emboldened survivors of the massacre and countless students across America demanding action.

A number of these young people are at South High School, my alma mater. Today we discussed some of the common-sense reforms I'm working hard to codify, including banning bump stocks, expanding background check requirements to cover all gun sales, raising to 21 the age limit for the purchase of a rifle or assault-style gun, and changing the law to let the CDC use federal funding to conduct important public health research on the causes and effects of gun violence. Implementing these reforms and others will be much more effective than half-baked ideas such as arming teachers, which I strongly oppose. The students shared their thoughts on the issue as well as the actions they've taken, including circulating petitions in support of gun violence prevention legislation, writing letters to students in Florida, and proposing activities around March 14, one month after the atrocities committed there. I'm immensely proud of these young people, and others like them, who are helping advance the cause to end mass shootings. 

Meanwhile in Washington, I’m working to pass legislation that will help protect every American from the scourge of gun violence. I am a leading sponsor of the Keep Americans Safe Act (H.R. 4052), which would make it illegal to purchase or acquire magazines that hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition. In addition, I co-sponsored the bipartisan Thompson-King Public Safety and Second Amendment Rights Protection Act (H.R. 4240), which strengthens the background check system. And I’ve cosponsored the Assault Weapons Ban of 2018 (H.R. 5087), introduced by Representative David Cicilline and Representative Ted Deutch, who is Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School’s congressman. Coloradans know the tragedy of mass shootings all too well, but we responded by passing common-sense gun safety legislation. Congress must follow our state’s lead and turn thoughts and prayers into life-saving action for the entire country.

We made progress on other important priorities this week. On Tuesday, I joined House and Senate colleagues in introducing legislation to overturn the Federal Communication Commission's rollback of Net Neutrality rules, which the FCC had passed on a party line vote. Coloradans have made it clear they overwhelmingly support the simple, common-sense principles of Net Neutrality. It is essential to promoting freedom of expression, competition and economic growth online and must not be gutted. Speaker Ryan and Senator McConnell should heed the call from across the country and allow a vote on preserving Net Neutrality.

On Wednesday, my colleagues and I on the Health Subcommittee held a hearing on drug take-back programs.These initiatives, including successful ones organized by the Colorado Consortium for Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention, help households securely dispose of old or unused prescription drugs and can go far in addressing opioid abuse. But only three percent of the facilities that are allowed by law to conduct such programs actually do so.  At the hearing, I asked a senior official with the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Diversion Control Division why this is so. We must ensure that all our efforts to combat opioid abuse are effective.

Meanwhile, Dreamers continue to wait in desperation for Congress to pass a legislative solution to the DACA program. Although the courts have blocked the Trump administration’s efforts to fully end DACA, this is a temporary reprieve. To bolster the effort to assure them permanent relief from deportation, I’m sharing the stories of Colorado Dreamers. This week, I featured Maria and Reydesel, who are thriving and contributing to our community in meaningful ways. Congress must act to help them, and hundreds of thousands like them, achieve their American dream.

Yesterday marked the beginning of Women’s History Month, an occasion to honor the countless women who have improved our world and advanced gender equality. Some are now globally-renowned icons, while many others remain relatively unknown – however, they’ve all made a difference. These women have waged successful battles for representation in politics, civil rights, the arts, science and many other arenas, but we must also remember that their fight is still ongoing. There remains work to be done to reduce the pay gap, fend off attacks on women’s health, achieve the goals of the #MeToo movement, and much more. We can win these battles, and we can all claim an important role in women’s history when we are united. Let’s keep fighting.

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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