Black lives matter

May 29, 2020
Newsletters

Dear Friend,

This is an incredibly difficult time in our nation’s history and the tragic events this week in Minnesota only brought more unnecessary suffering and hurt.

Enough is enough. We cannot allow such senseless violence against communities of color at the hands of law enforcement to continue. George Floyd should be alive right now. And it's on all of us to confront the systems of inequity that led to his death.

While I am glad to see that Derek Chauvin was taken into custody today and charged with murder, we are still a long way from justice. I join those demanding for the arrests of all others involved in his death, along with a full, thorough investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice.

While we continue to fight against inequality, we also must continue our fight against the coronavirus. This week, we learned that 100,000 Americans have now died of the virus. My heart is with all those who've lost a grandparent, parent, sibling, friend, colleague or neighbor.

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This was a sad milestone. But it was also an avoidable one. In my opinion, one of the biggest failures of the Trump Administration’s response to this pandemic has been the lack of a comprehensive national testing strategy, which experts agree is necessary to save lives and safely reopen.

In the absence of leadership from the Administration on this issue, I introduced two bipartisan bills this week with Rep. Larry Bucshon (R-IN) to improve testing capacity at our nation’s public health labs and ensure underserved communities have equal access to COVID-19 tests.

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The first piece of legislation – called the Diagnostic Testing for Public Health Labs Act – would help public health laboratories purchase high-throughput diagnostic testing platforms, which simultaneously test thousands of samples using automation processes. And the second piece of legislation – called the Rapid Testing for Communities Act – would help expand diagnostic testing to areas of the country, particularly rural and underserved areas, that lack quick access to a public health laboratory to process test results.

In addition to introducing legislation to improve testing, we’re continuing critical oversight of this issue. As chair of the Energy and Commerce Committee’s oversight panel, I will be holding a virtual hearing next week on coronavirus testing and contact tracing.  

We'll hear from several governors – including our own Governor Jared Polis – on their states’ testing strategies and what further support is needed from Congress and the Administration.

The hearing will begin on Tuesday, June 2 at 9:30 am M.T. If you’re interested, you’ll be able to tune-in live here.

This week, the House also took action to further support our small businesses, as it has become clear that the current one-size-fits-all structure of the Paycheck Protection Program is not working for all small businesses in our community.

On Thursday, I voted to pass the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act, which makes key changes to the PPP to make it more accessible and usable to small businesses that need it most. By making the program more flexible, this bipartisan legislation will ensure small businesses can get the help they need to weather this ongoing crisis.

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Finally, for those of you with high school-aged kids or grandkids, I wanted to remind you about our annual art competition. Due to the coronavirus, the deadline for the 2020 Congressional Art Competition has been extended through this weekend and submissions will now be virtual.

This is one of my favorite events of the year and I can’t wait to see the wonderful artwork that young people in our community create. Click here for more information on how high school artists can enter their art by June 1. And please help us spread the word to any high school artists you may know. 

As we continue to work through this difficult time, I will be doing everything I can to make sure our community has all the resources it needs.

If you haven’t done so already, I would urge you to visit our website at degette.house.gov where you can find more information from various government agencies on how best to protect yourself and our community from the spread of coronavirus.

As always, if you have any questions, or need anything at all, please don’t hesitate to contact my office at 303-844-4988.

Sincerely,
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Diana DeGette
Member of Congress