• July 24th, 2024
  • Wednesday, 06:37:57 AM

New Year, Same GOP-Induced Crises

Photo: Office of Rep. Diana DeGette

The federal government is set to run out of money and Republicans have yet to adequately extend funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program or provide a legislative solution to protect Dreamers from deportation, leaving them, as well as numerous federal programs, in limbo.

Meanwhile, the Trump administration is waging a pointless war on states like Colorado that have legalized marijuana. Recently, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced guidance that undermines marijuana laws in Colorado and other states.

I took action, joining Colorado’s congressional delegation in sending him a letter demanding he accept the will of our citizens. I also led my Colorado colleagues on a bipartisan call with U.S. Attorney for the District of Colorado Robert Troyer, who offered some reassurance that there would likely be no increase in marijuana prosecutions in Colorado at the expense of other priorities, including immigration, the opioid crisis and violent crime.

On January 9, a U.S. District Court judge ruled that DACA recipients must be protected from deportation while a legal challenge to ending the program proceeds. This decision shows the flawed legal reasoning behind the Trump administration’s efforts to end DACA. Still, the administration will likely appeal this ruling, resulting in a drawn-out legal battle that won’t solve the deeper issue: preserving DACA’s protections for all who qualify. Congress must act now to protect Dreamers by passing a legislative solution to help them stay here.

Last week, I discussed these issues and more on C-SPAN’s Washington Journal, finding common ground with callers from across the aisle but stressing that many of these priorities are threatened by GOP brinkmanship.

Later that day, the Trump administration gave states permission to impose work requirements on Medicaid recipients. This effort will keep people who need health care from getting it, and it perpetuates the myth of the so-called “undeserving poor.” Studies show that those who are receiving Medicaid benefits and are able to work are doing so. The most vulnerable in our country rely on this program for vital health services, and for many years there has been bipartisan agreement to protect Medicaid. It’s a shame it’s now being used to score cheap political points.

Last week, I was home in Colorado, keeping busy with important community events. These included a news conference decrying the GOP Tax Scam and highlighting how it will harm our community, including nonprofit groups that offer vital services. I support substantive, bipartisan efforts to make the U.S. tax code simpler and fairer, but did not vote for the scheme that came before the House in December because it gives tax breaks to corporations and the ultra-wealthy at the expense of middle-class and vulnerable Americans


Diana DeGette, Chief Deputy Whip is serving her 11th term in Congress as Representative for the First District of Colorado.


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