News from Representative DeGette

       

Dear Friend,

We’ll celebrate Earth Day this weekend, so I’d like to start this update on my week in Washington by highlighting a number of developments in the fight to protect our environment and to hold its so-called stewards in the Trump administration accountable.

As new details emerge regarding improprieties and ethical lapses at the Environmental Protection Agency under Administrator Scott Pruitt, more and more people are joining me in calling for him to resign or be fired. On Monday, the non-partisan Government Accountability Office released a report that finds the EPA broke the law when it purchased a $43,000 privacy booth for Administrator Pruitt’s office without notifying Congress. I grilled him about the justification for this fancy phone booth at an Energy and Commerce Committee hearing last December. This is just one of Mr. Pruitt’s numerous questionable dealings that I have asked the EPA Inspector General to investigate, including unorthodox hiring practices, needless flights in first class and privately-chartered planes, a sweetheart housing deal linked to an energy lobbyist, and steep bonuses to his cronies. Enough is enough. For weeks, I’ve called for Scott Pruitt’s resignation, and Wednesday, I cosponsored a resolution bringing together a chorus of voices to that call.

On Thursday, ahead of Administrator Pruitt’s appearance before the Environment Subcommittee next week, I requested that he testify under oath. After months of investigations by the EPA’s Inspector General, and in light of Administrator Pruitt’s evasiveness in answering inquiries from Congress, we have a rare opportunity to question him personally about these highly problematic actions, and it’s vital we place him under oath to get the truth. 

While Scott Pruitt is the poster child for the Trump administration’s rampant corruption, he’s also representative of its endless assault on the environment, which I worked to prevent this week as well. On Thursday, I led 105 of my House and Senate colleagues in sending a letter to Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke demanding the Bureau of Land Management end its efforts to reverse the 2016 Methane Waste Prevention rule. The smart, Obama-era regulation helps prevent the harmful venting and flaring of methane gas on public and tribal lands, aids in efforts to fight climate change and puts more money in taxpayers’ pockets. After numerous attempts to delay it, they announced their intention to fully reverse it this February. Not on my watch. From day one, this administration has worked to sell our public lands to the highest bidder, but we won’t let them succeed without a fight.

On a happier note for our public lands: On Wednesday, the Every Kid Outdoors Act (H.R. 3186) successfully passed through the House Natural Resources Committee. This bipartisan bill, in which I’ve had a leading role, will give fourth graders and their families free admission to America's national parks, expanding access to our country’s natural wonders. Congress should now vote to make it law so we can get every kid in a park.

Back home in Colorado today, I held a meeting with leaders of organizations in our community that work in refugee resettlement. Our country has long been a haven for refugees, but they often need help adapting to new lives here. In Colorado in particular, many are forced to take jobs well below their education level. The efforts of the folks at this meeting should be supported, but the Trump administration’s shameful Muslim ban, historically low refugee admissions goals, and harmful changes to Temporary Protected Status renewals are making their work more difficult. In Congress, I have pushed back on these bigoted, anti-refugee policies and will continue to do so. Our nation must remain a beacon to all who are yearning to breathe free.

In closing,I’d like to remind you about another live telephone town hall I’m convening on Tuesday, May 1 at 6:30 p.m. MT to provide my constituents with an update on the many important things happening in Congress and to hear from you. Sign up to participate by filling out this form. You’ll have the opportunity to ask questions throughout the call. I’m looking forward to a great discussion.

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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