News from Representative DeGette

       

Dear Friend,

We worked hard this week to push back on the bad policies of the Trump administration and the GOP Congress -- and we had some success, but more hard work remains.

Late Thursday, it was reported that the Trump administration was on the verge of issuing a proposed Title X domestic gag rule that, like the global gag rule the President reinstated last year, restricts providers in this country from receiving Title X funding if they even mention abortion or provide abortion-related services with private funds. This is unconscionable. Title X, America’s only federal grant program dedicated to delivering family planning services to underserved families, provides women with crucial lifelinesIt should not be used as a pawn in this administration’s extreme, anti-choice agenda. This harmful rule could be implemented even after I led more than 200 of my colleagues in sending a letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar on Tuesday opposing its rumored implementation. Our fight is far from over. As co-chair of the Congressional Pro-Choice Caucus, I’ll continue leading the charge against these relentless attacks on women's rights. 

The administration’s assault on everyone’s rights online were met with resistance this week. On Wednesday, Senate Democrats successfully forced a vote to overturn the Federal Communications Commission's decision to repeal Net Neutrality rules. It passed 52 to 47. Now the House of Representatives has the chance to vote on the same resolution, which I proudly cosponsored. This momentum is due to the tireless advocacy of people in Colorado and across America who understand the critical importance of ensuring a free and open internet to protect free speech, help small businesses grow and more. We’ve made important progress this week, but now we must fight even harder to restore Net Neutrality and save the internet.

 

Also this week, the Energy and Commerce Committee continued its work to advance a large group of bills aimed at improving public health and fighting the opioid epidemic. These efforts began last week, when my colleagues voted to move forward two of my bipartisan bills, the Over-The-Counter Monograph Safety, Innovation and Reform Act (H.R. 5333) and the Alternatives to Opioids (ALTO) in the Emergency Department Act (H.R. 5197). This is a good start, but the GOP leaders in our committee and Congress as a whole must do more to tackle opioid abuse. Many of these bills nibble around the edges but don’t address larger issues such as expanding access to care and holding drug makers fully accountable. Congress has previously passed strong and comprehensive legislation to tackle public health epidemics such as the Ryan White Act in response to the AIDS crisis. The same bold action is needed on opioids, but so far, GOP congressional leaders have not risen to the occasion. 

Meanwhile, House Republicans worked for much of the week on the Agriculture and Nutrition Act, also known as the Farm Bill, a massive spending bill that establishes America’s agriculture and food policy. Due to internal politics, the vote failed on the House floor, thankfully: This damaging legislation would undermine farmers and Americans’ ability to feed themselves. Among the most egregious provisions was a $23 billion reduction in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits, proposed after passing a massive tax break for corporations and the ultra-wealthy. Cutting SNAP would harm millions of beneficiaries, including nearly 28,000 households in our congressional district. It also would harm our environment with stipulations such as the “Poisoned Pollinators Provision” that weakens the protection of endangered species. Once again, GOP leaders have turned a previously collaborative process into a harmful, partisan sideshow.

On a happier note, I’m pleased to announce that my office will be holding our Fourth Annual Resource Fair for Seniors and Caregivers on Monday, June 4 from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Scheitler Recreation Center. This is an opportunity for citizens to learn about the services that are available to them through federal, state, and city governmental agencies as well as NGOs. In addition, Beth McCann, Denver’s District Attorney, will speak about avoiding fraud schemes that target seniors. I hope you’ll attend this upcoming, informative event. We'll send you information soon on how you can register to attend. 

And I’d like to say Ramadan Kareem to Muslims observing this month-long commemoration in Colorado, across America and around the world. I hope you grow closer to your faith, your values and your family during this important time of the 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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