News from Representative DeGette

       

Dear Friend,

Colorado’s treasured landscapes are what make our state so unique, and they are a reason why so many of us are proud to call Colorado home.
 
They are also the reason why so many people from across the country flock here to visit each year. Colorado's outdoor recreation industry contributes $28 billion a year to our state’s economy. And this booming industry depends in no small measure on access to our public lands.

To ensure some of our state’s most unique landscapes remain untouched for generations to come, and to help the outdoor recreation industry continue to grow, I introduced legislation this week to permanently protect 740,000 acres of Colorado Wilderness. From the desert slopes of the Bookcliffs, to the highest peaks of the San Juan Mountains, this legislation would designate 33 new areas of our state as federally protected wilderness - the highest level of permanent protection available.

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If you’re interested in learning more about our bill – known as the Colorado Wilderness Act – and which areas would be protected, click here.

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Protecting our state’s public lands wasn’t the only thing we were working on this week. As the co-chair of the Congressional Diabetes Caucus, one of my top priorities has been helping the millions of Americans who live with this disease.

Just last month, I called in all three U.S. insulin manufacturers and the three largest pharmacy benefit managers to testify jointly before my oversight subcommittee and explain to the American people why the cost of insulin has skyrocketed in recent years and why they aren’t doing more to bring the price down.

Knowing the ultimate solution will be to find a cure to this disease, on Thursday, I organized a massive bipartisan group of lawmakers – 378 in all – to call on Congressional leaders to continue funding a pair of special diabetes research programs that are set to expire in September. These programs provide $300 million a year in federal funding to researchers working to find a cure to diabetes, as well as funds for prevention and treatment efforts for American Indians and Alaska Natives.

Since they were first established, they have already led to several significant breakthroughs and discoveries, and have helped develop some of the newest treatments now available to patients – including, the first fully automated insulin-dosing system that’s now available to patients across the country, and a new way to reverse vision loss in people living with the disease.

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Allowing these programs to end in September would dramatically hurt our chances to find a much-needed cure to this disease, and reduce its prevalence amongst high-risk populations. So today, I and Rep. Tom Reed, a Republican from New York, introduced a bill that would not only extend keep these programs for five more years – but would also increase funding from $150 million each to $200 million a year.

Finally, I want to acknowledge the devastating shooting that occurred at STEM School in Highlands Ranch this week. This was the 11th school shooting this year. And, as I said on the House floor the day after it occurred: Enough is enough. Congress can and must do more to protect our communities from the constant threat of gun violence.

Because kids like Kendrick Castillo, who lost his life protecting his classmates at STEM School, should never have to choose between protecting themselves and protecting others. Kendrick, who was just days away from finishing his senior year, was a true hero that day. His actions and bravery saved countless lives and he will never be forgotten.

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If you have any questions or need any more information on any of the bills we introduced this week, you can always 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, if you haven’t done so already, be sure to share this email with your friends, family and neighbors so that they too can be a part of this important dialogue.

As always, I hope you have a wonderful weekend.   

Sincerely,

Diana DeGette
Member of Congress

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