News from Representative DeGette

       

Dear Friend,

This week's startling developments in Judge Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation showed even further that he is totally unfit to serve on the Supreme Court, which makes Senate Republicans' insistence on advancing this process all the more dismaying. But we're not giving up. 

I’ve been working hard to oppose Jude Kavanaugh’s appointment to the highest court in the land. As Co-Chair of the Pro-Choice Caucus, I sounded the alarm about him early on, warning he would strip away reproductive rights and chip away at access to affordable health care. Now, multiple allegations of sexual assault against him show his disrespect for women could run much, much deeper. On Wednesday, I joined Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi and fellow House members in demanding Republicans not give him a pass on this alleged behavior. What message would that send to young men and women?

On Thursday, Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, the first woman whose claims of sexual assault against Judge Kavanaugh became public, bravely shared the painful details of her experience with the Senate Judiciary Committee and the world. While Judge Kavanaugh’s responses to questioning were unjudicial, Dr. Ford’s earnest testimony further proves there is plenty of reason to believe her allegations. As more women come forward, it’s clear that President Trump needs to withdraw his nomination. Proceeding with this sham of a confirmation process is an insult to sexual harassment and assault survivors everywhere.

Despite these high stakes, a committee vote was scheduled today in keeping with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s promise to “push through” Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation. This morning, my congressional colleagues and I walked from the steps of the U.S. Capitol to the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing room to show our opposition to this decision and to stand in solidarity with these and all survivors of sexual harassment and assault. This afternoon, the committee voted 11 to 10 to advance his nomination. This support for him sends a chilling message to survivors. We must keep working to keep this man off of the court, and we must continue encouraging women to share their stories. Their bravery is making a difference, no matter the outcome of this confirmation process. 

In other areas, we were able to make positive progress this week. On Thursday, the Health Subcommittee of the Energy and Commerce Committee held a hearing on the serious issue of maternal mortality. Far too many American women are risking their lives in the delivery room -- in fact, more and more by the year. According to the Centers for Disease Control, maternal mortality rose by 26 percent in the United States between 2000 and 2014. I spoke about one way Congress can help reverse this alarming trend: pass the Preventing Maternal Deaths Act (HR 1318), which provides federal support for Maternal Mortality Review Committees, state-level panels that are already succeeding in saving lives. I’m pleased our committee addressed this major public health crisis, and I hope it also puts our bipartisan bill on the fast track to becoming law.

I was also pleased to meet with several groups of Coloradans this week who are visiting DC to advocate for other important priorities. Travis Tygart, the CEO of the US Anti-Doping Agency, and Olympic bronze medalist Emma Coburn came by on Wednesday to discuss the serious issue of doping in organized sports, which I’m investigating through the Energy and Commerce Committee. And on Thursday, I spoke with representatives for Protect Our Winters about climate change’s threat to the outdoor industry, along with the need to pass my Colorado Wilderness Act, which will preserve more of our state’s wild places. Colorado’s economy depends on these efforts to protect our natural splendor.

Tuesday was National Voter Registration Day, an occasion to recommit ourselves to exercising this freedom and fighting against voter suppression efforts still underway across America. I’m working to counter this threat and expand ballot access through supporting legislation such as the Voting Rights Advancement Act. We can all join in this fight by the simple yet revolutionary act of voting, because, as my friend and colleague Rep. John Lewis said, “The right to vote is precious, almost sacred. It is the most powerful nonviolent tool or instrument we have in a democratic society. We must use it.” Register to vote in Colorado here.

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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