It was a busy week in Washington, D.C. and came on the heels of a productive district work period in Colorado, where I focused on many issues of importance to our community
Among them were several gatherings on immigration, including a discussion with the Colorado Business Roundtable on the importance of visas for highly-skilled workers in our state. Fixing our country’s broken immigration should be a top national priority; in doing so, we must reject the discriminatory rhetoric and policies currently surrounding this critical issue.
While in Denver, I also gave a keynote speech at the third annual Fair Housing Gala, where I saluted Denver Metro Fair Housing Center’s commitment to education, advocacy and enforcement of every American’s right to a home. Our region’s incredible growth has also spurred growing pains causing higher home and rental costs; the more competitive market has led to increased instances of housing discrimination. We must be vigilant in preventing these unjust acts, and I thank the DMFHC for working on the front lines.
Last week in DC, I’ve been dismayed at how the Republicans’ continued crisis of leadership has weakened our nation.
It’s understandable that President Donald J. Trump wouldn’t want to mark his 100th day in office with the ultimate failure in federal management, shutting the government down. Nor is a shutdown in anyone’s interest. However, a one-week stopgap spending bill is not the right solution. Congressional Republicans and Democrats agreed last year to certain parameters for the federal budget, but these have been cast in doubt during the past few weeks as proposals for poison-pill riders have been made. This week’s vote only drags out these political games. Meanwhile, federal agencies that need to make decisions about responsibly allocating their remaining funds for this fiscal year are left in limbo. This is no way to run a government.
Also, kicked down the road, is the latest version of the ill-conceived bill to dismantle the Affordable Care Act. After their terrible TrumpCare legislation crashed and burned in March, House Republicans unveiled an even worse revision that would saddle Americans with higher costs, remove key protections and rip coverage away from even more people. I sincerely hoped that the Republicans would change course and commit to real, bipartisan reforms to the ACA, but once again, we who believe health care is a human right must come together to resist another piece of harmful legislation.
I also condemned President Trump’s executive order, announced April 26th, to review any national monument created since 1996, including Colorado’s Browns Canyon. This edict threatens public lands across the nation and is an affront to all who have worked to safeguard them.
While many Republican leaders continue to disappoint, we can take solace in the promising leaders of tomorrow, one of whom I had the pleasure to meet last week. I was honored to participate in Girls Inc.’s “Take Our Daughters to Congress Day” event. My special guest was Esperanza Magallanes, a bright high school senior from Oakland, California who will attend UC Berkeley next year and plans to work in health care. I had the pleasure of guiding Esperanza through a busy morning, and even introduced her to her representative, Congresswoman Barbara Lee. It was wonderful to meet you, Esperanza, and good luck with your big plans for the future.
Congresswoman Diana DeGette is the Chief Deputy Whip and is serving her 11th term in Congress as Representative for the First District of Colorado.
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