In its second week, the Trump Administration continued to confound Americans and our allies overseas with attacks on the progress that has been made in recent years.
The fallout from President Trump’s ban on refugees from around the world and all travelers from seven Muslim-majority countries continued to shake our nation. Thankfully, principled leaders stood against this edict. Several judges have issued stays on portions of the order, and on January 30th, before being abruptly fired, Acting Attorney General Sally Yates directed the Department of Justice not to enforce the order on the grounds that it is likely unconstitutional.
I have proudly co-sponsored the Statue of Liberty Values (SOLVe) Act, which will prohibit federal funding from being used to enforce the ban. I also joined my Democratic colleagues from the House and Senate and a crowd of hundreds on the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court to condemn this action, which has slammed the door to freedom and safety for millions. Amid so much adversity, we must all do everything in our power to protect our nation’s core values, and I thank all of you who have taken a stand. I am with you.
[pullquote]I will never stop fi ghting for “ policies that protect lives and our environment.[/pullquote]
Last week, the President nominated Colorado Judge Neil Gorsuch to fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court. President Trump has repeatedly promised a nominee who supports overturning Roe v. Wade, and we have no reason to believe he has changed his mind. But we don’t know for certain where Judge Gorsuch stands. Members of the Senate Judiciary Committee need to question him closely on this point.
At three Energy and Commerce hearings last week, I pushed back against baseless attacks on the Affordable Care Act that Congressional Republicans are using to justify their repeal efforts. They speak of a health care system that is in a so-called death spiral, and while reforms need to be made, this characterization is simply not true. At last week’s Health Subcommittee hearing focused on Medicaid, I told the story of a previously uninsurable Denver resident whose life was dramatically improved thanks to this crucial program’s expansion through the ACA. At another hearing last week, I condemned the GOP for their failure to provide even a framework for an ACA replacement after vowing for seven years to repeal the law. Millions of lives are at stake, and I won’t stand for dishonest attacks on the health reforms that have helped our community and our nation thrive.
It’s clear that Republicans in Congress are not innovating with new ideas, but are instead simply rolling back the clock on the gains we made under the Obama administration. Last Friday, President Trump issued two Executive Orders: one to review Dodd-Frank, the law that reformed Wall Street and has protected consumers for years, and another reversing important protections for investors. I oppose both these moves, and will be vigilant about any attempts to legislate Dodd-Frank away. And throughout the week, House Republicans introduced a barrage of resolutions with this aim, and I voted against all of them. Three in particular are especially damaging for our state: a nullification of the Interior Department’s Stream Protection Rule which prohibits mining activities causing material damage to streams outside permit areas, a reversal of a common-sense policy allowing the Social Security Administration to report certain SSDI beneficiaries with mental health conditions to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System before they are able to buy a gun, and an official congressional disapproval of a Bureau of Land Management rule that requires oil and gas operations on federal lands to reduce their methane emissions. While this abrupt turnaround is dismaying, I will never stop fighting for policies that protect lives and our environment.
This week marked the beginning of Black History Month, a chance to take stock of changes over time to American society. From afar, the centuries-long legacy of African Americans is a dynamic and often tragic patchwork, but a closer look reveals the individual stories of brave men and women who dared to challenge the status quo and fought for acknowledgement, representation and equality. This month should not only be an occasion to honor the accomplishments of black Americans, but also an opportunity to recognize those currently engaged in the ongoing quest for justice.
As always, you can visit my website (https://degette.house.gov) where you can read my positions on issues and learn about the different ways my staff can assist you (303-844-4988).
As always, you can visit my website (https://degette.house.gov) where you can read my positions on issues and learn about the different ways my staff can assist you.
Diana DeGette is a Congresswoman representing the 1st District of Colorado.
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