An Abuse of Power

Feb 25, 2019

Dear Friend

What the president did today is beyond the pale. 

Congress did our job when we reached an agreement to fully fund the government and avoid another costly shutdown. What the president did today, on the other hand, through an executive order is something he’s done many times before – ignore the will of the people, abuse his power, and embarrass us in front of the rest of the world.

While I fully support enhancing security at our borders, building this unnecessary wall is not the solution. And the president’s decision to declare a fake national emergency so he can take money away from other important projects and spend it on this vanity project, I believe, is an abuse of power. And it will be challenged in court.

But as that saga plays out, having the threat of another government shutdown officially behind us, for now, means we can finally turn our full attention back to tackling some of the most pressing issues facing our country.

Just this week, for example, I sent a letter to the head of the Food and Drug Administration demanding to know why it approved a new powerful painkiller, Dsuvia. This drug is ten times more powerful than fentanyl, and 1,000 times more powerful than morphine. The FDA’s decision to approve this drug – while our country is in the midst of a growing opioid epidemic – makes no sense to me; and I want to know why that decision was made.

As the chair of the House Energy and Commerce Oversight committee, I’m happy to report that we are officially off and running.

I’ve called on the heads of the three major U.S. manufactures of insulin to explain why the price of that life-saving drug continues to skyrocket.  And I announced this week that our committee would likely hold a hearing on this important issue in the coming months.

We also announced two more important oversight hearings our committee will be holding this month: one on the EPA’s apparent lack of enforcement; and another on the recent outbreak of measles that’s now infected over 100 people in 10 states.

Since President Trump took office, the number of fines and penalties that the EPA has issued to polluters has dropped to an all-time low – our committee wants to know why.

As people across the country took a moment Thursday to stop and remember the 17 students and teachers who lost their lives during last year’s tragic shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, a group of us in Congress have come together and are taking action to try and finally stop other similar tragedies from occurring.

Together, we introduced two important bills this week: one that would ban the military-style assault weapons that have been used in some of these horrific shootings; and another to ban gun magazines that hold more than ten rounds.

Research shows that when a shooter uses a military-style assault weapon or a high-capacity magazine to carry out one of these horrific attacks, the number of victims who are killed increases substantially.

It’s beyond time for Congress to act on commonsense gun safety measures. And with Democrats now in control of the House, we are going to do everything we can to get these assault weapons off of our streets.

Thursday was also somber day for many of us as we took time to say goodbye to one of the greatest public servants of our time. Rep. John Dingell, who passed away last week at the age of 92, was a titan in the House – and a legend in Congress. John took me under his wing when I first arrived in Congress and what he taught me about legislating and oversight still guides me to this day.

There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t think of John.  He was my mentor, and my friend – and he will be missed.

A reporter asked me this week what John Dingell taught me most while we served together. If you’re interested, you can listen to what I told him here – as part of a podcast I recorded this week on our upcoming priorities: 

As always, you can visit my website at, 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. Finally, be sure to share this email with your friends, family, and neighbors so that they too can be a part of this important dialogue.


Diana DeGette
Member of Congress