News from Representative DeGette

       

Dear Friend,

As a mom, the reports this week that hundreds of migrant children in U.S. custody are being denied some of the most basic necessities – including soap and toothpaste – is impossible to accept. The families and kids who are fleeing to our border are often doing so out of desperation. They’re not criminals, they are people looking for a better, safer life.

Earlier this week, we passed an emergency spending bill in the House that would give the agencies that are caring for these kids the additional funding they need, and set strict new standards of care for these children. Instead of voting on our bill, the Senate passed its own, which does nothing to protect these children.
 
So, when the Senate’s bill came up for a vote in the House yesterday, I voted against it. I’m not going to support a bill that gives these agencies all the money they need to house these kids, but does nothing to ensure they are properly cared for. As I told my colleagues before the vote, I believe Congress has a responsibility to protect these children, and if that requires us to stay in town to hash this out and get it right, then that’s what we should be doing.

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As chair of the House oversight panel that directly oversees the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), which is the agency responsible for caring for these migrant children, I was especially alarmed this week by reports that more than one hundred children had been sent back to a filthy Border Patrol facility in Texas, instead of into HHS’s care, as required by the law.

Immediately after seeing these devastating reports, I called the top official at HHS responsible for caring for the migrant children in our custody to find out what was going on. It’s clear that what we have is a system that’s breaking down, and agencies that are failing to work together. This is unacceptable, and at the end of the day it is the kids who are paying the price.

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I can assure you that my subcommittee is going to continue to aggressively monitor every step that this administration takes to care for these kids – and hold them accountable.

As we continue to deal with the crisis at the border, we’re also trying to prevent an unnecessary war with Iran.

The president’s statements this week that “he does not need Congressional authority to initiate military action against Iran” is just flat-out wrong.  

Congress has the constitutional authority to declare war. And while Iran continues to pose a serious threat to our nation’s security, and our interests abroad, no one wants to see America drawn back into a decades-long war in the Middle East.

It’s more important now than ever that Congress pass legislation to restrict the president’s ability to go to war without authorization from Congress. The House will soon be taking up a bill that would do just that. And I’ll be urging my colleagues to support this legislation.

Despite the crises that Congress was dealing with, there was one bright moment this week when Denver’s own Isaac Scholl, who was the winner of this year’s congressional art competition, and his mother stopped by for a visit.

Isaac was born with rare disability and doctors had told his parents that he would likely never be able to walk or talk. Well Isaac, who just last month graduated from Northfield High School in Denver, has certainly proved them wrong. His artwork, entitled, “Beatles at Northfield” is now hanging on display in the U.S. Capitol building.  

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If you, or anyone you know is interested in entering your artwork in next year’s contest, please make sure to check my website in the coming months for all the important dates and details.

As always, if you have any questions about these, or any other issue, please don’t hesitate to contact my office at 303-844-4988, or visit my website at DeGette.house.gov where you can learn more about the some of the topics that are most important to our community, and all of the different ways that my staff may be able to assist you.

I hope you and your family have a wonderful weekend, and a happy Independence Day next week!

Sincerely,

Diana DeGette
Member of Congress

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