I’m home in Colorado after a busy week in Washington that saw action on many important issues and unacceptable inaction on others.
Congressional Republicans continue to punt on passing a legislative solution to protect Dreamers from deportation. This is desperately needed since President Trump has chosen not to reverse his decision to end the DACA program, which is currently being blocked by the courts but only serves as a temporary reprieve. On March 9th, in Denver, I convened a meeting of Coloradans and representatives of local advocacy groups engaged in this ongoing effort to hear their concerns and to update them on my work. This includes demanding Republican leaders bring to a vote the Dream Act (H.R. 3440), which I’ve cosponsored. Among other things, this bill would grant DACA beneficiaries permanent resident status on a conditional basis and provide a pathway to U.S. citizenship.
Also last week, I sounded the alarm on a new, disturbing development at the Environmental Protection Agency. Under Administrator Scott Pruitt, the agency has lurched from one scandal to the next, and in hearings and investigations, I’ve worked to hold him accountable. Now I’m seeking information on the agency’s record of approving compensated outside employment for senior agency appointees. One employee works in the EPA’s regional office located in Denver and is the sales director for a company that conducts advocacy campaigns; he also owns a consulting firm in Colorado Springs and is permitted to “solicit prospective clients” on his own time. Such moonlighting raises serious conflict-of-interest questions and could affect the agency’s mission. I’m demanding answers together with fellow Energy and Commerce Committee leaders.
I’m demanding answers together with fellow Energy and Commerce Committee leaders.
Last Thursday was International Women’s Day. Every year, people around the world celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women on this day. But we also acknowledge the hard work remaining to reach gender parity in our own country and worldwide. That’s why this year’s theme is #PressForProgress, which highlights the ongoing global efforts to ensure opportunities and protections for women and girls. I’ve long been engaged in this fight, and encourage everyone to join in. We must all work together to achieve gender equality.
I also want to update you about a local event. The Congressional Art Competition is underway; this annual contest gives students in my district the opportunity to showcase the creativity and artistry that help define our community. The winner will travel to Washington, where their art will be displayed in the halls of the U.S. Capitol, and thousands of people will see it. I’ve been impressed by the interesting and thought-provoking submissions my office has received in previous contests, and look forward to seeing new and inspired artwork this year. The contest deadline is April 6, so don’t delay! For further details: https://degette.house.gov/services/congressional-art-competition-0.
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. 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. For those without internet access: 303-844-4988.
Chief Deputy Whip Diana DeGette is serving her 11th term in Congress as Representative for the First District of Colorado. As a member of the powerful Committee on Energy and Commerce, an exclusive congressional committee with vast jurisdiction over health care, trade, business, technology, food safety, and consumer protection, she is one of the leading voices in the health care debate in this country. She also serves as the Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, which conducts the oversight of, and investigations into, issues falling under the jurisdiction of the full committee.
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