News from Representative DeGette

       

Dear Friend,

This week, the country once again found itself on the precipice of a government shutdown. The Senate voted in the wee hours this morning to pass a federal spending bill, and in spite of a tweeted veto threat, the president signed it. The long-awaited and lengthy legislation was released by the House GOP leadership on Wednesday night. We were unable to thoroughly look into what the 2,232-page bill contained when the vote took place less than 17 hours later. Worse yet, this was done after Republicans had forced the federal government to limp nearly halfway into the fiscal year on five stop-gap spending bills that spurred two government shutdowns. This is not the responsible governance the GOP has promised to deliver, and my vote against the bill sent a message to House Republicans: This is no way to govern.

 

Americans are demanding principled, bipartisan leadership that is strong enough to tackle big challenges, such as the opioid epidemic. We made some progress on that front this week when the Energy and Commerce Committee held multiple hearings on this crisis to determine what factors have contributed to it and what can be done to end it. The Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee, where I serve as Ranking Member, has been looking into the dumping of millions of opioid pills into small towns in West Virginia; on Tuesday, our subcommittee examined the Drug Enforcement Agency’s failure to stop this practice. I asked an agency official how this could have occurred and what must change to ensure it doesn’t happen again – in any state, including Colorado. During a Health Subcommittee hearing the next day, I questioned a panel of experts about ways to improve the efficacy of policies and programs meant to curb the epidemic. The good news is that  21st Century Cures, the biomedical research bill that I shepherded into law in 2016, is helping this mission. Congress must continue to ensure full support and adequate funding for a wide array of innovative efforts in this field.

21st Century Cures continues to provide hope for millions, and people are taking notice. On Wednesday, I was honored to receive the U.S. Association of Former Members of Congress' Statesmanship Award for my bipartisan work on Cures with Republican Congressman Fred Upton. This esteemed organization successfully engages former members of Congress from both political parties in missions worldwide to help strengthen democracy and educate people about the role of America's legislative branch. Recognition from such a distinguished group of public servants speaks to the resonance of this groundbreaking law, which is already helping save lives.

On Tuesday, opening arguments began at the Supreme Court in the case of National Institute of Family and Life Advocates v. Becerra, which challenges California’s FACT Act. This sensible law requires certain reproductive health care providers to disclose information to prospective clients about their reproductive health options. Providers known as “crisis pregnancy centers” and religious liberty groups have challenged the law. As co-chair of the Pro-Choice Caucus, I co-led an amicus brief in support of transparency and reproductive rights in this important case. Every woman deserves access to unbiased facts about her health care options.

Eight years ago today, President Obama signed the Affordable Care Act into law. The ACA has provided fair and affordable health coverage for millions of Americans, many of whom were previously uninsurable. I’m proud to have played a key role in drafting this landmark law. Last year, Americans mobilized like never before to successfully block the GOP’s many attempts to repeal the ACA, but the fight to protect our health care is not yet won. The Republican Congress and President Trump continue to sabotage the law by weakening it wherever possible rather than working with Democrats to improve it. As we reflect on the importance of this historic law today, we must also pledge to continue our work to preserve it.

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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