Big news on the budget front dominated headlines out of D.C., while Colorado representatives also tackled issues ranging from birth control access to the declaration of the opioid crisis as a public health emergency.
The budget resolution clears the House
In major legislative action, the House passed the Senate's $4.1 trillion budget resolution – the blueprint for building the next year's budget. While it does call for some funding cuts, the resolution ultimately may add $1.5 trillion to the deficit to make way for a GOP tax bill.
This doesn't create a final budget – there are still many committee meetings ahead before anything is finalized – but by moving ahead to reconciliation, Republicans have a chance to push through a tax reform bill without relying on Democratic support.
Ken Buck, a Republican representing Colorado’s 4th Congressional District, was joined with 19 other Republicans in voting against the bill.
Abortion and reproductive rights
Colorado’s congressional delegation has been a study in contrast on issues of reproductive rights in the last week. Rep. Diana DeGette, D-Denver, opposed the Trump administration's move to eliminate part of the Affordable Care Act that required employers – both businesses and for-profit corporations – to provide birth control coverage.
Several entities – most notably Hobby Lobby – objected on religious grounds, and the Supreme Court affirmed that companies with "closely held" religious beliefs should not be required to provide no-cost birth control.
The administration's move to roll back those federal requirements earlier this month follows through on a promise Trump made in the Rose Garden several months ago.
DeGette spoke at an event in Washington Thursday coinciding with a letter sent to the heads of the Department of Labor, Department of Health and Human Services and the Treasury.
DeGette wasn't alone in her criticisms.
“So far there’s no evidence of an intention by the Trump administration to press for (more funding). Instead, they have worked tirelessly to rip health insurance coverage away from millions of Americas, even though access to coverage is a lifeline for people suffering from addiction,” the statement added.
The designation lasts for 90 days, though the administration says it is easy to renew.
More action from the House
Some noncontroversial bills passed with full support of Colorado's House delegation:
Content originally published by KUNC on October 27, 2017.
- H.R. 2142: INTERDICT Act — This bill provides U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents with screening devices aimed at combating opioid trafficking.
- H.R. 3898: Impeding North Korea’s Access to Finance Act of 2017 — This bill imposes additional sanctions on North Korea, specifically its ability to finance weapons programs.
- H.R. 1698: Iran Ballistic Missiles and International Sanctions Enforcement Act — Mandates the president impose sanctions on entities involved with Iran’s ballistic missile program.