News from Representative DeGette

       

Dear Friend,

Today, the House passed a sweeping elections reform bill I sponsored to make it easier for people to vote - and harder for billionaires and special interests to continue spending unlimited amounts of undisclosed money to influence our elections.

This bill would, among other things, require states to automatically register all eligible citizens to vote and would immediately restore former felons’ voting rights after they finish their sentences. It would also require Super PACs to disclose their big money donors, and force online media outlets – such as Facebook and Twitter – to put in place new protections to prevent foreign governments from buying ads and influencing future elections.

This is, without a doubt, one of the most important issues we, as a Congress, will take on this year. And, if you’re interested, here’s what I said on the House floor earlier this week, urging all of my colleagues to support this bill:

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Earlier this week, before we got this important bill passed, a reporter happened to ask me what I thought my most significant legislative accomplishment has been during my time in office. I had to think about that for a while, and eventually I told him I couldn’t point to just one accomplishment as my most significant, because almost everything I’ve done, or tried to do, is important to somebody, for some reason.

For example, just the other day, the CDC announced it is going to provide states millions of dollars in federal funding to help them identify deaths caused by childbirth complications and find ways to prevent them. This new funding comes as a direct result of legislation that I and Rep. Beutler authored and championed through Congress last year to help lower our nation’s maternal mortality rate and prevent these deaths from occurring.

Coincidently, that same day the federal government also announced it was putting in place new rules to speed up the time it takes for small hydropower electrical projects to be approved. Those, too, were a direct result of bills I authored and Congress passed in 2013 and 2018.

And, as we speak, sitting on the president’s desk and awaiting his signature is a bill I introduced this year to make our national parks free to all fourth grade students.

In fact, while I was home on Monday, I stopped by Escuela de Guadalupe to meet with some of the fourth grade students there talk about this bill, known as the Every Kid Outdoors Act

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Children are our future. And, right now, tobacco use remains one of the biggest threats to their health. While the use of traditional cigarette among middle and high school students continues to decline, the use of e-cigarettes is skyrocketing.

Study after study has shown that the leading cause of this rapid rise in teen vaping is the kid-friendly flavors of nicotine that e-cigarette companies are selling to be used in their products – flavors such as “cotton candy” and “tutti fruitti.”

To better protect our teens, I introduced a bill on Tuesday that would ban these companies from selling these kid-friendly flavors here in the U.S.

Here’s what one local doctor said about that bill in an op-ed published today: https://bit.ly/2SU3W4F

As co-chair of the Congressional Diabetes Caucus, one of the issues I’ve been focused on for a while now is the rising cost of insulin. Earlier this year, as the new chair of the Energy and Commerce Committee’s oversight panel, I sent letters to the nation’s three biggest manufacturers of insulin demanding to know why the price of this life-saving drug continues to up – and then, just recently, I announced that our committee will be holding a hearing to more closely examine why the cost has skyrocketed.

Just days after I announced our plans to hold that hearing, one of the largest makers of insulin here in the U.S., Eli Lilly, suddenly made an announcement of its own and said it will soon start selling a new generic form of insulin for half the cost.

While we’re glad to see at least one company taking steps to lower the cost of this important drug, we still have a long way to go to ensure this vital drug is truly affordable for the millions of Americans who need it. The fact that the price of insulin has gone from about $20 a vial in 1996 to $275 a vial today is unfathomable – and it’s something we are going to continue to investigate.

As always, you can visit my website at www.degette.house.gov, 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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